The Timbers rallied from a goal down to beat the Sounders, 2-1, in a match that saw all three goals scored in the first half hour.
Portland found itself on the defensive in a second half against the short-handed Sounders, who lost key starters Chad Marshall and Cristian Roldan with injuries in the first half but
managed to pressure Portland.
Man of the Match. Diego Valeri scored both goals when the Timbers beat FC Dallas, 2-1, in the Knockout Round and he was involved in both goals as the Timbers quickly recovered from a 1-0 deficit on Raul Ruidiaz's goal in the 10th minute.
Valeri slotted a pass into space for Jeremy Ebobisse to chip Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei from inside the box for his first MLS goal, and he did it again to set up the winner in the 29th minute.
Moment of the Match. Valeri led the Timbers on the break, dribbling into the penalty area, where Marshall cut him off. But the ball bounced to Sebastian Blanco, who cut the ball back on to his left foot and scored his first MLS playoff goal.
Talking Point. The Timbers have won all three meetings with the Sounders in MLS postseason play. They swept a two-game series in 2013, their first year in the MLS postseason.
Next Up. Seattle and Portland will have to play the second leg on Thursday at CenturyLink Field. The stadium is booked all weekend for the Seattle International Auto Show.
What They're Saying:
“It was definitely a little overwhelming at first, just knowing how much it means to the club, the fans and us as players, but I was able to calm my nerves early on in the game with a few simple touches. From there, I was able to keep my composure on the finish."
-- Ebobisse, 21, on the atmosphere at Providence Park, where he was starting for the first time in the MLS playoffs and first time against the Sounders.
Nov. 4 in Portland, Oregon
Portland 2 Seattle 1. Goals: Ebobisse (Valeri) 17, Blanco 29; Ruidiaz 10.
Portugal -- Attinella, Valentin, Tuiloma, Ridgewell, Villafana, Guzman (Olum 51), Chara, Polo, Valeri, Blanco, Ebobisse (Melano 75).
Seattle -- Frei, Leerdam, Kim, Marshall (Torres 40), Tolo, Alonso, Svensson, C.Roldan (Francis 31; Shipp 87), Rodriguez, Lodeiro, Ruidiaz.
Yellow Card: Seattle -- Svensson 85.