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Ruidiaz scores fifth goal, Sounders down Timbers 2-1

UPDATED: Sun., May 9, 2021

By Anne M. Peterson Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — Raul Ruidiaz scored his fifth goal in four games and the Seattle Sounders beat the rival Portland Timbers 2-1 on Sunday to remain undefeated.

Ruidiaz scored on a penalty kick in the 63rd minute and Fredy Montero added a goal in the 79th to help the Sounders improve to 3-0-1.

Stefan Frei stopped a penalty kick before the retake missed. Portland Jeremy Ebobisse drew a foul in the box and Frei deflected Diego Valeri’s attempt, but video review allowed for the retake for encroachment — and Valeri’s second try hit the post.

Frei has 1,000 career saves, a milestone only eight other MLS goalkeepers have reached.

“It wasn’t the prettiest game, it wasn’t as much possession as we wanted in an ideal situation,” Frei said. “This is a difficult place to come and win, and sometimes it doesn’t have to be pretty to be effective.”

Portland’s Bill Tuiloma denied Frei the shutout with a goal in stoppage time.

It was the 112th meeting between the teams since 1975, when both were part of the North American Soccer League. The Sounders have a 13-10-4 advantage in the MLS era.

Portland (1-3-0) is in the midst of a tough stretch, playing five matches in 15 days. The Timbers are coming off of a 3-1 loss to Club America Wednesday in Mexico City, which eliminated the team in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.

“We just have to stay positive,” Portland coach Giovanni Savarese said, “because it can get in your head a bit when results don’t go your way.”

Ebobisse started for Portland for the first time this season after a thigh injury.

The Sounders, coming off a 3-0 victory over the LA Galaxy last Sunday, were without Nicolas Lodeiro because of right knee pain.

“What I like is that the players responded,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said. “Because I believe we come down here to Portland to win, always. We play like we’re at home: We’re going to go, we’re going to press high up the field, we’re going to be aggressive, we’re going to try to keep possession in their half of the field. and we didn’t do any of those things in the first half. Zero.”

Ruidiaz had a great opportunity from close range in the 11th minute, but his shot missed to the right. Shortly thereafter, the Timbers had to make an early substitution when Larrys Mabiala was injured and replaced by Tuiloma.

Tuiloma’s header at the end of the first half was stopped by Frei, who remains three shutouts away from taking over third on the league’s all-time list.

The Timbers were hurt in the second half when goalkeeper Jeff Attinella was stretchered off with an injury. He was replaced by Hunter Sulte, a 19-year-old 6-foot-7 homegrown goalkeeper.

Frei made sure to recognize Attinella: “A non contact injury. I mean, it sucks to see that. So I wish him all the best and hopefully he’ll have a speedy recovery. ”

Attintella went to Twitter following the match.

“I appreciate the messages. Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game I’ve gotten all too familiar with over the last few years. Time to regroup, have a glass of wine with my wife, see what the scans say and move forward! Good vibes only,” he wrote.

The Timbers and Sounders last met in October, playing to a 1-all draw in Seattle.

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