07/22 00:11 CDT Fernandez scores twice as Timbers outlast rival Sounders 2-1
Fernandez scores twice as Timbers outlast rival Sounders 2-1
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE (AP) --- Brian Fernandez only arrived in Portland a couple of months
ago. He's quickly become a despised figure in Seattle.
Fernandez scored his second goal of the match in the 51st minute, moments after
Seattle had pulled even, and the Portland Timbers beat the Sounders 2-1 on
Sunday night in the first MLS clash of the season between the Cascadia rivals.
For Fernandez, it was his third and fourth goals against Seattle this season.
He scored twice against the Sounders when the sides met in a U.S. Open Cup
match last month.
But what he did on Sunday --- before a crowd of more than 50,000 --- had a
"To come to a stadium, especially in a big rivalry derby like this, and be able
to score and be able to quiet people and not have people talk to you during the
match it's beautiful," Fernandez said through an interpreter. "It's part of the
game. I don't mean to be condescending. I don't mean to be arrogant about it.
It's just one of those beautiful things about football."
It was the first league matchup between the rivals since last year's Western
Conference semifinals, when Portland advanced from the two-leg series after an
exhausting, exhilarating second-leg that eventually went to penalties before
the Timbers moved on. Portland reached the MLS Cup final before losing to
While the stakes weren't the same, the intensity between the two long rivals
was evident and erupted after the final whistle with several scrums, plenty of
pushing and shoving and players needing to be separated. Seattle's Roman Torres
and Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark were at the center of the activity, but
plenty of others were involved.
"When you get taunted by some of their players toward the end of the game,
that's a rivalry," said Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who was trying to
separate others after the game. "Maybe getting feisty after the referee blows
the whistle and people go after each other, we just need to remember those
moments when we play them next time."
Fernandez scored his seventh and eighth goals of the season in just his second
full month with the Timbers after being signed as a designated player form
Necaxa in Mexico.
Fernandez gave Portland the early lead when he collected the ricochet from
Jorge Moreira's shot off the crossbar and scored in the 20th minute, finishing
into an open net. After Seattle's Raul Ruidiaz scored in the 50th minute to
pull the Sounders even, Fernandez answered seconds later when his one-time shot
deflected off Frei and trickled into the goal.
The victory kept alive Portland's chances of winning the Cascadia Cup
competition between the Timbers, Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps. It was also
a crucial three road points for the Timbers, who have just two MLS matches away
from Providence Park the rest of the regular season.
It's also the second straight year Portland won the only regular-season matchup
"There is a belief we can do it together as a group and there is that trust in
each other to go out there and play with our hearts and stick to what we ask
them to do," Portland coach Giovanni Savarese said.
While Ruidiaz did collect Seattle's only goal and his eighth of the season,
he'll also lament a pair of missed chances in the first 45 minutes and another
opportunity in the 79th minute.
Seattle will have its chance to get even on Aug. 23 when the teams meet in
"Still some fire in this rivalry, and that got stoked to a higher level
tonight," Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said. "We'll remember some of the
things that happened tonight, and hopefully we can use that in the next game."