Dempsey’s hat trick leads Sounders comeback in wild draw vs. Timbers

TimbersSounders (PortlandTimbers)

Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers


PORTLAND, Ore. — Some rivalry matches fail to live up to the hype. Saturday’s match between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders was not of them.

In a game that saw lead changes, long-distance goals, a hat trick and a brace, numerous shots off the woodwork, and seven yellow cards, the Timbers and Sounders dueled to a 4-4 draw in front of a sold-out Providence Park, with Seattle overcoming a two-goal deficit in the final five minutes.

Clint Dempsey scored a hat trick, including two goals in the final five minutes  for Seattle, while Diego Chara’s brace led the way for Portland. Goals were also scored by Portland’s Diego Valeri and Maxi Urruti and Seattle’s Kenny Cooper.

After scoring midway through the first half, Dempsey notched the hat trick by scoring in the 85th and 87th minutes to deliver a stunning finish to a wild match. The hat trick was Dempsey’s first since returning to MLS last season and gives the American International four goals in his three MLS matches this season.

“It always feels good to score goals and it feels a little bit sweeter against your rivals,” Dempsey said.

His 85th-minute goal came when he put home a deflection from the top of the six-yard-box, while the game-tying goal came after substitute Ben Zemanski took down DeAndre Yedlin in the box, resulting in a penalty kick. Andrew Weber went the wrong way as Dempsey scored the final goal of a crazy match.The quick goals in succession left Portland questioning their own resolve.

“In these type of games, Portland-Seattle, until the final whistle you have to maintain focus,” Valeri said. “And we didn’t.”

Dempsey, who played midweek for the U.S. National team in Phoenix, was glad to be in the lineup and to continue his positive start to the MLS season.

“You always feel good when you are contributing, scoring goals or getting assists. I’m in a good rhythm at the moment and it’s about continuing that form,” Dempsey, who has four goals and an assist in three league matches in 2014.

While each team will take one point from the match, the Sounders were the ones who left Providence Park upbeat.

“That point today felt like more than a point, it almost kind of felt like a win,” Dempsey said.

Portland, on the other hand, is left without a win after five games this season, three of which were at the friendly confines of Providence Park.

“We’re up 4-2, and although we tied the game, which is a positive, it still feels like we definitely should have came out on top,” Weber said.

Weber’s words echoed that of his coach.

“We got another point, that’s the positive,” Caleb Porter said. “You have to remember that, remind yourself of that, but you can’t be satisfied.”

In the opposing locker room, the talk was about how the late comeback can serve as a building block of things to come.

The birthday boy Chara was the catalyst for Portland as he scored on two long-range shots, one in each half. The Colombian midfielder more known for his tackles than his goalscoring ability, found the back of the net for the first time since the 2011 season.

Chara’s first goal tied things up in the ninth minute, while his 57th minute goal gave Portland the lead. Both of his goals came after he was left room to shoot by the Sounders defense.

Just five minutes after Chara’s first goal, Valeri put the Timbers ahead for the first time in the match, with a nice turn-and-shoot move that ended with the ball flying over the head of a helpless Stefan Frei. It was Valeri’s first goal of the season and sent Providence Park into a fervor after three goals in the opening 15 minutes of the match.

“To play in an atmosphere like this is something you’re going to remember for your whole life,” Weber said.

Chara’s second goal of the match was almost immediately followed by Urruti putting his name on the scoresheet after finding a gap in Seattle’s defense. After a few dribbles towards the net, the Argentine curled a shot from near the top of the penalty area between Chad Marshall and Frei.

“For him to smack two goals from the top-of-the-18, that’s a real positive,” Porter said.

The game’s first goal came just three minutes into the match, when Cooper, who played with the Timbers in 2011, found himself unmarked for an easy tap-in off a Jalil Anibaba shot. Anibaba redirected a Gonzalo Pineda corner kick on the goal.

Porter believed the majority of his team played well, however, it was individual errors that cost his club the match.

“If I’m rating my players, the majority of them are getting an eight or nine. But the problem is there are a couple guys who are a five or six, or less,” Porter said. “That ultimately led to the goals given up.”

Cooper and Weber, who was making the start for the suspended Donovan Ricketts, became the first players to play for both teams in this rivalry match at the MLS level.

“The atmosphere that the fans on both sides create is amazing. And I think people who aren’t fans of either team, I think they get excited about this one and enjoy it,” Cooper said. “I’m sure anyone watching at home was thrilled with the amount of goals that were scored today.”

With eight combined goals, the match was the highest scoring game in the history of the rivalry, which started in 1975 in the NASL. The draw dropped the Timbers to 0-2-3, while the Sounders are now 2-2-1. Portland will once again try to get their first win of the season when they take on Chivas USA at home on Saturday. Seattle, meanwhile, will make the trip to Texas to take on FC Dallas.

Here are the match highlights:

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78 Responses to Dempsey’s hat trick leads Sounders comeback in wild draw vs. Timbers

  1. Griff says:

    Great match to watch

    Sounders third jerseys are awesome

  2. Mike V. says:

    That was the multi million dollar performance we’ve all bean waiting for. Even without the comeback he was fantastic. He had that vintage Dempsey look — like he would kill if you crossed his path. As a neutral that is one of the most exciting MLS matches I’ve seen in years and Clint was the catalyst.

    • Joey Chestnut says:

      While I think he’s had that “Don’t tread on me” look since he came back to the MLS, I feel like his mind was telling him yes but body wasn’t quite there yet. However, today he was a man on a mission.

      • Duke says:

        Weird game. I thought Dempsey was going to pull a disappearing act then he got a goal, then two, then three. The news story reads “Dempsey scores a hat trick.” It’s hard to knock a 3 goal game but looking past that… how did he look? He looked too slow for a game at this pace. In fact, I thought Cooper greatly out played him, except for the three goals.

        My concern is the WC. All the games are at this kind of high pace and Dempsey is not up for it yet.

        • GW says:

          “My concern is the WC. All the games are at this kind of high pace and Dempsey is not up for it yet.”

          Remain concerned.

          MLS games will never replicate the World Cup so by your standard Deuce will never be ready.

          • Duke says:

            Bradley was ready. They have both been training for weeks and yes, I don’t think Dempsey will ever look any better then he is now. IDC about the 3 goals… Im talking about his ability to take over a game like Bradley is doing… to leave people talking about how great he was.

            • Big Red says:

              He apparently also does a great job at disappearing if you watched the Mexico game. Dempsey was running a lot harder than Bradley at the end of that game.

            • GW says:

              Mikey and Deuce play different roles.

              Your comparison of the two using the same standard for both is always then going to be flawed

    • g-dub says:

      It should also be said that this was one of the best officiated games I’ve ever seen in MLS. Grajeda was excellent. He managed a game where emotions were very high. Everyone stayed on the field. And he made the absolutely right call on the penalty at the end. MLS needs quality referee performances like this to be a quality league.

      • bb says:

        Completely agree. I even remember thinking this during the match, how well of a job he did. Announcers said he is the reigning Referee of the Year and it showed. Hopefully he raises the bar for everyone else in the league.

    • divers suck says:

      Couldn’t agree more. That said, Portland had the quality goals, all 4 of them. And all 8 were legit. Seattle’s midfield was scary bad in their giveaways, surprisingly from both Alonso and Pineda. Games I’m sure they both want to file away in the “forget” file. Anibaba backing away, inviting Chara to shoot with absolutely no challenge is also forgettable for Seattle. Still, nobody can argue with the quality of any of the Timbers goals….A scintillating game overall that rivals any other MLS game (and most EPL games) in crowd atmosphere (volume and chants along with a full house) and heart pumping excitement from the opening whistle until the end that few can argue about the result….Great job! Both Timbers and Sounders!!!

  3. James says:

    What’s the difference between the Portland Timbers and a square?

  4. Jim Butterworth says:

    From the stands wee saw a replay of the Papparatto header and it was clearly a goal. Soccer needs some instant replays for select incidents like this.

    • James says:

      There’s no way you “clearly” saw a goal on the screen 100 feet from you. I’ve watched the slow-mo replay 5 times and can’t tell. When I saw it in real time (TV), I was almost certain it was a goal – watching the replay though, it’s impossible to say. If it crossed the line, it was before it hit Yedlin’s head, but it clearly bounces on/in front of the goal line.

      • Jim Butterworth says:

        This is exactly why there should be some instant replay. I saw what I saw, you saw what you saw, but the camera works better than either of us. Time will tell which of us is correct.

        • CSD says:

          If you want instant replays go watch a different sport don’t ruin this one. If you are looking for stop and start action you have plenty of options.

          • Dogg says:

            As if baseball wasn’t slow enough now they’re reviewing every other play

          • RAMONE says:

            Personally I think it is quite possible to do it quickly. No, I don’t want instant replay. On a bang/bang play like that it is impossible for an AR to know with any certainty whether the ball is a few cm across the line. It may very well have been (as it hit Yedlin in the face) and I only say this because it appeared to deflect forward noticeably before it bounced on or just in front of the goal line. Does that mean the whole ball was over the whole line with certainty? No (and whomever says it did above was watching a different replay than I saw which didn’t have an angle).

            It cannot be that difficult though to have a completely invisible detector on the back of the bar or on each post which detects an entire ball crossing the invisible plane of the goal line. When it goes off, the 4th official is immediately alerted and has 30 seconds to confirm video evidence (i.e. confirm that there was no malfunction with the detector). This isn’t a frequent play, but it happens often enough that a ball comes off the bar and goes straight down and none of the officials are in position to make a call so their default is no goal. The technology exists to make this simple and quick and would maybe even come into play every 50th game or so (but have important consequences in those that it does).

        • Ali Dia says:

          I would say let’s distinguish here between “instant replay” and “goal line technology”. Yes they are vague terms, but this is one place where FIFA actually “gets” what the trade-off is and has rightly stalled/resisted. As soon as you start using the term “instant replay”, you are talking about a system of video review, which takes time and also involves human error, as the NFL has taught us repeatedly. Eventually you end with a minmum 1.5 to 3 minute process (whaddya know, just enough time for commercials– there goes the dignity, not to mention the solitary best differentiating thing we had going for US based target fans).

          And once this happens, people (typically ones who like also are passionate about ad revenues) start wondering what else could be “improved”, now that 45-50 minutes of uninterrupted and continuously televised flow has been identified as as “not maybe as necessary as we had previously told our sponsors”. Soccer is beautiful but it’s only enjoyed as a televised spectacle on account of its wealthy cokehead uncle uncle FIFA, whose refusal to mess around with heroin is his sole redeeming quality.

          “Goal Line Technology” is a little more like “methadone” and refers to a family of a previously established family of boundary technolgies that first became credible in top-level tennis two decades ago, and which do not require human review (at least ideally). For whatever reason, this has been a challenge to adapt to a soccer goal (the horizonal plane of the goal line extends upward and creates a “field” of possible outcomes that are much more difficult to judge/prove than a x-y position as you would see with a ball striking a tennis court near a boundary line. But it makes a decsion and renders it immediately using the data and threshold…zero delay, just a yes/no decision. This is far different. And I’m okay w this.

          Replay is the beginning of the garbage heap…. Enjoy this commercial-free, beautifully flowing sport and accept that your fave team may occasionally get jobbed A small price to pay once in a while, even if the rumor is false and it never does in fact come back around.

    • reignman says:

      There is no way at all that you saw a replay that showed clearly if it went in or not. NBC showed about four different angled and I couldn’t tell from what I saw. I highly doubt you guys had some magical angle that NBC didn’t

    • iggy says:

      From the instant replay i saw it was clearly not a goal. Ball came slightly off Yedlin’s face, and hit on/ in front of the line.

      Not controversial at all, the right call, and really not even that close.

    • KenC says:

      Not definitive, but it sure looked like it had to be in. The way the ball angled off Yedlin’s head, and where it landed on the line would seem to indicate it had to have been over the line when it hit Yedlin.

      • Troy in his apartment says:

        Except you dont know if Yedlin’s head was over the line. I would expect to be up in arms if that happened to Seattle but at the same time you have to be willing to agree that it is inconclusive and the call on the field is what it is .

        • RAMONE says:

          Doesn’t matter where Yedlin’s head was, it matters where the ball was.

          That said, I suspect it was VERY close if not in. Yedlin finishes getting whacked in the face by the ball and his feet are easily 12-24 inches behind the line when he comes down (with his head even behind this). Again, at that exact moment, there is no TV angle directly down the line so I can’t say with any certainty. Goal line tech or a TV angle from one corner flag to the other would be the only way to know for sure and we have neither.

    • Troy in his apartment says:

      And no confirmation bias would skew your vision whatsoever right?

    • Duke says:

      If you look at where the defender was when it hit him… he looked inside the goal on TV

  5. Greg says:

    Ummm, Portland rhymes with Bitch?

  6. Chris says:

    But…But…Dempsey was supposed to be doomed because he came to MLS?

    • AcidBurn says:

      MB90 scored as well. Dooooomed, they should have been riding pine at Spurs and Roma and coming in on mop up duty in the last five minutes. That would have been so much better.

      • Ian says:

        Yup! Too early to declare the moves good for the USMNT, but it’s looking that way. 90 minute of soccer against decent competition will always be better than sporadic appearances against better comp. Just ask Julio Cesar.

    • Alexi Lalas Tribute Band Roadie says:

      Seriously, who are you talking to? I mean, I heard about a billion people dog these guys for coming back to MLS, but I can’t remember anybody directly saying their quality of play would decline on account of playing in a less glamorous place. And this non-existent person could just as easily retort “Well, I saw Dempsey spend a couple months doing nothing in the EPL on loan. And he comes back to the preschool league and hits a hat-trick after a widely criticized performance as captain in an international at mid-week friendly. You’ve proven nothing but MLS is weak, as we had mentioned”

      Fact is these were nobody’s points, unless you can name somebody (maybe JK, but nobody here I can recall). The disappointment invovled having both our best non-GK talents in Europe (or anywhere,) leave abruptly where many had hoped they would succeed and raise the profile of US Soccer by achieving things that had rarely been done before, making it easier for our guys to go over there and succeed in the future. Nobody I can recall thought MLS would kill their talent — a few expressed fear that they would be injured by the physicality of the play and you may justifiably spike a football in their face if that doesn’t happen, although they will not be looking to do the same if they are hurt.

      Nobody here would ever root against these guys playing well. Stop yelling at ghosts.

      • divers suck says:

        Anyone who thinks Deuce went to Fulham on loan to help them escape relegation is delusional. He went there (pretty much at the insistence of JK) to get match fit at the highest level possible. Fulham is putrid and has been all year. The Sounders just reaped the benefits financially of Fulham paying a chunk of his salary for his services…As for Michael Bradley, he wasn’t getting much playing time at Roma anyways so why not? Barring injury, they should both be in top form come Brazil!

        • Alexi Lalas Tribute Band Roadie says:

          Agree and viva the 2014 MLS World takeover. Although Deuce going to Fulham out of some sense of loyalty, or to somehow Freejack them out of out of relegation is another thing nobody said.

          Yup. Freejack.

      • Chris says:

        I have no response to someone who doesn’t think the future level of play for Dempsey and Bradley was dragged through the mud all over the place after the moves.

        You are just so wrong.

        • Alexi Lalas Tribute Band Roadie says:

          You know, a lot of people said Alexi’s music would suffer when he went away from anthemic power rock classics like “American Redhead” and “Kickin’ Balls” to more socially aware material like “Twitter Song”… But he always stayed true to the game and true to the music, and let his fans do the suffering. This is a valuable lesson. I think.

          • GW says:

            Having a complete knowledge of Lalas’ entire musical career has a certain value.

            I’m not sure who it has value to however.

            • Ali Dia says:

              Lots of people.,,, Marcelo Balboa, badly out-of-touch Padova fans, Taylor Twellman’s mom, Greg Lalas. If it weren’t for that awful Ruud Gullit (aka “Yoko”), Alexi would be bigger than Jesus…. or Jesus Jones at least.

      • GW says:

        “Nobody here would ever root against these guys playing well. Stop yelling at ghosts.”

        You don’t read SBI much do you?

        • Ian says:

          My thoughts exactly. The hate was all over SBI and virtually every other media outlet. These ghosts have a heavy web presence.

  7. Shawn says:

    gil in the right spots, just need to be a little more tidy with the ball

  8. Chris says:

    That was a wild freaking game too

  9. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Heck of a game for DPs and guys from Akron!

  10. Scott e Dio93 says:

    I am a bit worry about Timber because Timbers are in CONCACAF Champions, and Timbers looked sloppy in defense. Still, this game had some amazing goals from both teams.

    • Troy in his apartment says:

      Yeah CONCACAF Champions League could be good or VERY bad. RIght now the hole is being dug. 3 points out of 5 and ahead of two teams that have played 2 and 3 games respectively. Portland has to start winning or it will be a long road back especially with Champions League group stage later on sapping minutes out of players.

  11. Good Jeremy says:

    Thank you Clint.
    I’d stated a couple times that you would be ineffective in Brasil because you were a shadow of yourself and on the wrong side of 30.
    Thanks for proving me wrong.

  12. EspinDOHla says:

    Darlington Nagbe immigration status please!

    The kid is good!

    • Troy in his apartment says:

      Next year. The one major problem I had is that Sigi’s formation left Yedlin on an island against Nagbe, who should never be left alone, and Harrington who is savvy. The 4-3-3 left way too many holes open.

      Soon as Seattle switched to a 4-2-3-1 the game switched on its head. Yedlin had more help that way with cover most the time and was able to get forward, effectively a lot more. That ended up paying off in the penalty call.

      • divers suck says:

        That’s because Cooer is so slow and plays no defense (Timbers fans surely know this) in leaving Yedlin exposed. That said, yedlinhad an awful game in his own right until Naegle came in. This match was really a comedy of errors (Ozzie and Pineda shockingly bad in the midfield for the Sounders and the entire central defense play for Portland being woefully bad for Portland) but most definitely made it a fantastic watch for all and a just result in the end!!

    • 2tone says:

      He will gain US citizenship December of 2015. 6 months before WC qualification begins. He will be available for selection for the USMNT, the Olympic team, and possibly the Copa America team the summer of 2016.

      I guarantee Klinsmann wished he was already a citizen.

      • user222 says:

        100% sure Obama’s phone call to the State Department would get it done in like 5 minutes…. Clinton did it 98 for David Regis….

        • GW says:

          Regis had already been married to his American wife for the required amount of time or close to it when Sampson looked into his situation.

          Since she worked for the US foreign service the wait time for Regis was a little shorter. Any expediting was about the red tape that always is associated with these things.

          Unless Nagbe’s application is associated with him marrying a US citizen then there is no way around the five years.

      • divers suck says:

        I wish Klinsmann had the FIFA “pull” with Cuba to get Alonso in the mix also, that’d be awesome!

        • .Alonso is a walking red card and he gives the ball away waaayyy to much…huge liability…only Sounder fans would think otherwise.

          • Larry says:

            wow. What a completely ignorant statement. thanks for being here and posting your thoughts.

            • Travis (S.) says:

              I agree, apparently someone does not like stats. MLS’s website has had several articles over the years about Alonso’s ability to stop counter attacks, break up passing lanes, while also being one of the most consistent passers (there was one great article comparing him and Beckerman if I remember correctly).

          • milbo says:

            your team would grab him if available

      • Scott e Dio93 says:

        Alonso would be upper in age. I rather Funes Mori Twins and Faguez get citizen right way.

    • Cliff Starkey says:

      Agreed. I was starting to think I was the only fan of his on here.

    • EspinDOHla says:

      Thanks for the info! Can’t wait to see this guy with the USMNT!!!!!

    • RAMONE says:

      Hoping he isn’t seriously injured before then. The guy is just plain quicker on the ball and also has a lot of speed. He blows by most defenders in MLS leaving them with no choice but to repeatedly bring him down from behind. Most fouled player in the league because nobody can keep up with him. So far it has been nothing more than minor injuries (he was hurt again today at the end when he was taken off) but the lack of willingness of most MLS refs to hand out yellows for these types of cynical tackles sooner or later is going to catch up with a more serious injury for a very promising player.

  13. rigoberto says:

    Good for Dempsey but I don’t think that was a well-taken penalty.

    • JayAre says:

      Theres always a critic

    • GW says:

      Any penalty that goes in is a well taken one.

      Any penalty that does not go in is a poor one.

      • slowleftarm says:

        First part of that is false and second part is probably true.

        • Ali Dia says:

          In FIFA 05, you could shoot down the middle and score every time. It was an existentialist expereince that moved me to ask myself if there really is such thing as a “well-taken penalty” or a “poorly taken penalty” at all. Then I saw some guy in my rec league take a penalty that hit the corner flag, and I was ok. As I recall, one of his teammates actually referred to him as a “peasant” for most of the remainder of the game.

        • GW says:

          You would not say that if you were the one taking the penalty.

  14. Mark says:

    This game changed when Nagbee was subbed and local boy, Lamar Neagle came in. He got the ball into the box. Made things happen. And don’t forget DeAndre. After a tough first half he raised his game and was key to the pressure that led to the tying goals.

    • JayAre says:

      Yedlin was the same guy to me. Cooper was the true victim in this game, on the second goal he didn’t track back and he had a terrible pass to Anibaba (who was playing an equally terrible game) on the fourth goal.

  15. milbo says:

    Sig— Next time against Podunk skip Anibaba and go with Zack Scott Man Marker

  16. Ian says:

    Helluva game. As a neutral, I was entertained from kickoff to the final whistle. Portland fans are incredible. As a Galaxy fan, I’m pleased that slugfest ended in shared points.

  17. Scott e Dio93 says:

    “Patience” is what important key here. Many of MLS fans bad mouth DPs rightway, instead understanding players have to develop understanding with each other, the team and league, while travelling in two largest countries. Martins and Dempsey already develop chemistry together, which took sometime, image other teams had more patience with their team and players (The Fire and Revs).