SEATTLE, Wash. – The attackers Fanendo Adi and Sebastian Blanco, both of whom have suffered thigh injuries, found the Portland Timbers double-assisted on Saturday afternoon in a hostile environment in Seattle.
Center-back Larrys Mabiala scored two goals The second half led the Timbers (7-3-5, 26 points) in front of 47,521 fans at CenturyLink Field Saturday to a huge 3-2 win over rival Seattle Sounders (3-9-3, 12 points). It was Portland's first ever MLS win over Seattle at CenturyLink Field. Mabiala, who scored four goals this season, has now met in consecutive games.
With the victory, the Timbers have expanded their unbeaten run to 10 games in the MLS game and 1
Timber midfielder Diego Valeri also played a big role in all of Portland's three goals on Saturday. He earned three assists in the game and doubled his assist sum for the season.
Along with the absence of Blanco, who sat on the bench but did not play, and Adi, the Timbers were again missing defender Liam Ridgewell for personal reasons. Timber's coach Giovanni Savarese, who has made a name for himself as a tactically-agile coach this season, has put up a 4: 4-2 diamond formation for the game with Samuel Armenteros and Dairon Asprilla at the top In a balanced and highly competitive game, the Sounders and Timbers failed to make it onto the board in the first half before attacking in the second 45 minutes.
Portland took the lead on 22 minutes when Mabiala scored a header from Valeri's corner. But Sounder's goalkeeper Bryan Meredith, who has played his first MLS game since 2012, made a tremendous reaction to keep Portland off the board.
But Meredith failed to stop Mabiala in the 48th minute when the Timbers Center returned A corner from Valeri to give Portland a 1-0 lead.
It was the first time that Portland had ever taken a lead in a regular season MLS game in Seattle. The Timbers held this lead for three minutes. The Sounders midfielder Victor Rodriguez made a great run on 51 minutes by Nicolas Lodeiro, who led the match 1-1
Portland responded in the 57th minute when Valeri scored the ball 2-0 Armenteros, who touched his defender a bit before throwing a left-footed shot into the net for the fourth goal of the year. Seattle drew back in the 68th minute when Chad Marshall headed home 2-2 after a corner kick from Lodeiro
But Mabiala found the last goal of the night.
Valeri's 74th-minute corner kicked Valeri's second goal to give Portland a decisive 3-2 lead at CenturyLink Field, giving the Timbers their first Seattle MLS win.  – Jamie Goldberg | [email protected]
503-853-3761 | @ jamiebgoldberg