Unless you live in the Denver area, or are a diehard Colorado Rapids fan, last night’s 2-0 win for Seattle in the Western Conference knockout round gave us the match-up we really wanted to see: Portland v Seattle in the Western Conference semifinals. Seattle got Seattle got goals from Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson to beat the Rapids.
The stakes have never been higher in the history of a fierce rivalry between Portland and Seattle that goes back 38 years to the old North American Soccer League. The first leg is in Seattle on Saturday, with the second leg of the aggregate-goals series at Jeld-Wen Field on Nov. 7.
Surprisingly the two goals was the first time that Seattle had scored multiple goals since the middle of September. When Eddie Johnson sealed the victory with his goal in added time, the assist on it from Clint Dempsey was Dempsey’s first assist in a Sounders uniform.
Dempsey has not exactly been setting the league on fire since arriving from Spurs. Yes he had been battling injuries but I am sure that Sounders coach Sigi Schmid expected more than 1 goal and 1 assist in 9 games for the American star.
Seattle will head into the Portland game shorthanded after goalkeeper Michael Gspurning was sent off in the 85th minute for a deliberate hand ball when he inexplicably rushed out and handled the ball outside his penalty box. Gspurning will face an automatic one-game suspension for denying a goal-scoring opportunity.