Made the (surprisingly quick) drive down I5 for leg one of the Western Conference Semi-Final between the Sounders and the Timbers. Should be a hell of a game; the Sounders are at close to full strength, with only Jordan Morris and Felix Chenkam definitely out for the away side. Thanks to the Sounder At Heart crew for the ride. Still have just about two hours until game time, so I’m just going to soak in the atmosphere.
ECS setting up:
In the press box:
ECS fills out the section:
No lineup surprises. Smith is omitted, though he was close to returning. I’d expect him Thursday to make the bench at least.
1:47 PM: Teams are on the field.
2:22 PM: About 10 minutes out from kickoff. Definitely a nervousness here.
2:33 PM: And we’re off! On schedule.
4′: Bad pass from Nouhou stops a promising Sounders attack.
5′: Ruidiaz misses a guild edged chance and a penalty shout goes uncalled. Great pass from Nouhou.
6′: VAR time. Possibility penalty.
7′: No penalty.
8′: Corner to the Sounders.
9′: Rodriguez draws a foul, and has been a handful so far.
10′: Goal Sounders! Ruidiaz finishes a great ball from Roldan. Deserved goal for the Sounders.
’14’: Good pressure from the Sounders gives then an attacking throw.
16′: Leerdam foul results in a talking-to from the referee.
17′: Goal timbers on a through ball to Ebobisse. Looked offside. Nope, goal counts.
20′: Definitely contentious and the Timbers are back in things.
22′: Sounders giving away a ton of dangerous free kicks.
24′: Cristian Roldan is down.
27′: Roldan is back on the field. TA not happy.
31′: Brutal for the Sounders. They lose Roldan for the game, and then give up a goal before they can get a sub on the field. Francis on for Roldan.
33′: Timbers with all of the pressure right now.
36′: Sounders now have Marshall down.
43′: Sounders finally with some possession and get a corner.
45′: Svensson down with an injury along with a Timbers player (Guzman).
Halftime: Of all the 1st halves of soccer I’ve seen, that one definitely had just about everything.
62′: Sounders have done well to stay in the game, but have to keep from getting killed on the counter.
74′: Sounders still withstanding occasional counters from the Timbers. Both sides seem unwilling to be the one to concede the next goal.
76′: Frei gets down to make a save on Valeri shot. Out for a corner.
End of Regulation: Sounders take the 2-1 loss, but considering the injuries and the away goal, they’re probably feeling okay. But the injuries…