Playing what counted towards their sixth MLS regular season game each, the Sounders and Timbers met on Sunday night at an empty Providence Park. In fact, they met, toughed out a scoreless first half, then Seattle said goodnight to Portland as a second half slaughter saw the Rave Green drop three goals in a shutout win.
It may have taken until the 72nd minute, but when the Sounders started rolling, no Timber could stop the momentum. Raul Ruidiaz tapped a Joevin Jones cross off the top crossbar, then the ball redirected off Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark's arm and into the back of the net, marking Seattle's opener. Ten minutes later, Ruidiaz scored again, chipping a ball over Clark's head. And two minutes after that, the onslaught continued with a Kelvin Leerdam wide open goal to give the Sounders their third.
Handwalla Bwana entered the match and nearly scored a fourth goal as the dam completely broke and the Timbers failed to contain ongoing Seattle chances. The final whistle finally sounded and the Sounders then ascended to second place in the Western Conference, 3-1-2 and 11 points, owning a tie-breaker in goal-differential over third place Minnesota United.
In total, after a first half where Seattle hit only one shot (off-target), the club ended the match with 10 total shots, six of which came on target. The Sounders also out-possessed the Timbers 56 to 44 percent in both halves.
Sunday's blowout marks the first time the Rave Green have beaten the Timbers by three goals in Portland, extends their all time record to 54-40-14 and MLS record against the Timbers to 12-8-6. It is also the first time since 1987-88 that a pro Seattle soccer team has won three consecutive regular season games in Portland, a feat last attained while in the Western Soccer Alliance.
And while this may be the first time in their 108 meetings that supporters missed out on watching the Cascadia rivals clash, social media was lit ablaze on Sunday night with "Build a Bonfire" posts. Indeed, 3-0 is quite a large fire.
From here, the Sounders stay on the road for a meeting with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday night (7:30 p.m. Pre-Match Show and 8:00 p.m. kickoff on 950 KJR). In a turn of events from the MLS is Back Tournament, which Portland won two weeks ago by the way, the Galaxy beat LAFC 2-0 on Saturday after being routed by LAFC 6-2 during the tournament. Which Galaxy side will Seattle see on Wednesday? You'll have to tune in to find out!
As for the 3-0 demolition, check out highlights below, as well as KJR's McDelivery Post-Match Show with Kasey Keller, Wade Webber and Jackson Felts, plus interviews after the game.