PORTLAND, Ore, (AP) — Raul Ruidiaz scored twice and the Seattle Sounders defeated the Portland Timbers 3-0 in an eerily fanless Cascadia Cup match on Sunday night.
After a scoreless first half that included what looked like an early Portland goal negated by video review, Ruidiaz’s shot hit the cross bar and went into the goal in the 72nd minute. He added a second goal in the 83rd.
Less than two minutes later, Seattle’s Kelvin Leerdam added a third goal, Ruidiaz getting the assist. It was Seattle’s third straight win in Portland.
“There’s always opportunities when things are not going your way, and I think we would admit that we haven’t been playing our best football in the past few months, and struggled. We’re sputtering a little bit,” Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei said. “And why not here, at your archrival’s home?”
The Timbers were coming off a victory in the recent MLS is Back tournament in Florida. The Timbers went undefeated in seven matches, and defeated Orlando City 2-1 on Aug. 11 in the championship game.
The Sounders, the defending MLS Cup champions, were eliminated by LAFC in the round of 16.
“I think we could have done better,” Timbers coach Giovanni Saverese said about the attack. “We created moments in dangerous situations, but I felt sometimes our possession could have been better. I felt that we had a great start in the first eight or nine minutes, we found the goal — unfortunately it was offiside, I think, I have watch the replay.”
It was the first game back for both teams since the league announced it was resuming the season in local markets. Only a few teams are playing before fans, and only in markets where it is allowed.
Even with crowd noise pumped into Providence Park, it was noticeably quieter than when the Timbers Army supporters group fills the stadium with songs and chants.
Tarps with photos of fans were stretched across seats in the north end of the stadium and a banner hung that read: “Next time you see us we will be smiling.”
The Cascadia Cup is a supporter-created trophy for the winner of the three-way rivalry between the Sounders, Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps each season. The Sounders are the defending Cascadia Cup champions.