Timbers keep control of Cascadia with draw

Portland's Rodney Wallace strikes to salvage a 1-1 result with Seattle
Sept. 15, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
Rodney Wallace celebrates his goal Saturday.
Photo by Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com.

The Portland Timbers' drop on the Cascadia Cup loosened significantly for about 21 minutes Saturday before Rodney Wallace scored to salvage a 1-all draw with Seattle at Jeld-Wen Field.

Playing on national television, the Timbers were poised to claim the fan-based trophy with a win, but instead settled for a tie that keeps them atop the standings that involves games between Portland, Seattle and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Wallace scored off a corner kick from Jack Jewsbury in the 78th minute to counter a Freddy Montero goal for the Sounders in minute 57 of the hard-fought game played in intense sunlight. Midfielder Diego Chara, apparently dehydrated, left the game in the 86th minute, which caused the Timbers, who had used all three substitutes, to finiish the game with just 10 players.

One of Portland's substitutions involved starting goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who was injured early in the second half.

Portland has road games remaining at Seattle and Vancouver with a win in either giving the team the cup for the first time when all three teams have played at the same professional level. Seattle, though, can now claim a share of the Cup with a pair of wins, regardless of what the Timbers do in their road game with Vancouver.

The Timbers improved to 7-14-8, 29 points, while Seattle is 13-6-10, 49 points and sits in second place in the Western Conference.

A win might have given the Timbers a glimpse of fifth place and a playoff spot, but Saturday's result made that a fairy tale to a season of turmoil. Portland has six games remaining - all against teams bound for the playoffs, and four of them are on the road, where it has not won.

Portland returns to action Wednesday at San Jose, which leads the West, and then Saturday at Real Salt Lake, which is battling Seattle and the LA Galaxy for second in the West.