Fanendo Adi, a Nigerian who joined Portland last season, erupted for two goals in a 65-second span late in the second half, leading the Timbers to a 4-1 romp over the Sounders Sunday in a thoroughly one-sided Cascadia Cup match in front of 21,144 at Providence Park. Adi blasted in remarkably easy goals in the 74th and 76th minutes, breaking a 1-1 tie, handing Seattle its third consecutive MLS defeat.
Coming off 2-0 and 1-0 losses to San Jose and Philadelphia, the Sounders were squarely in the match until Adi curled a shot past Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei for a 2-1 lead. Before the Sounders could get their wits about them, Adi tallied again on an 18-yarder that Frei was helpless to stop.
“Portland was the better team; ut was a deserved victory,” said Sounders coach Sigi Schmid. “The score line was exactly deserved. I thought they were all over us in the first 30 minutes. We got ourselves back in the game with the free-kick goal. I thought the first 15 minutes of the second half we played well. I thought that was our best phase and then we just made silly errors at the end.
“We just didn’t do a good job of compacting the middle of midfield. We stayed too wide . . . we didn’t even force their goalkeeper into a save, so that’s not enough.”
The Sounders again played without Clint Dempsey, serving the third of a three-game MLS suspension for tearing apart a referee’ notebook during a U.S. Open Cup loss to Portland two weeks ago, and Obafemi Martins, nursing a groin injury that will keep him out at least another five weeks. Dempsey and Martins combined for 14 of Seattle’s 23 goals heading into Sunday’s match.
The team that Sigi Schmid fielded Sunday not only couldn’t compensate for the absences of Dempsey and Martins, it was clobbered in every category imaginable, including energy, effort, and execution, as well as on the stat sheet, notably this one: Portland took 11 shots on target, the Sounders one.
Darlington Nagbe gave Portland a 1-0 lead, assisted by Diego Valeri, in the 12th minute and Lamar Neagle answered for Seattle in the 38th. After a back-and-forth next half hour, in which Seattle was lucky not to fall behind 2-1, Adi pumped in a pair.
In extra time, Rodney Wallace got out on a break and smashed a shot into the net as Portland completed a rub-your-noses-in-it rout.
Without a point to show for the afternoon, the Sounders remain stuck on 29 points at 9-7-2, including 0-3 sans Dempsey and Martins. The Timbers, shellacked 5-0 by the LA Galaxy earlier in the week, improved to 8-6-4 with 28 points.
Idle Vancouver still leads the Western Conference with 32 points and D.C. United of the Eastern Conference tops the Supporters’ Shield race with 35. Two weeks ago, the Sounders topped both the Western Conference and Supporters’ Shield races.
The Sounders host D.C. United, the Eastern Conference leader, at 8 p.m. Friday at CenturyLink Field.