Brian Fernandez makes his mark in Cascadia's biggest rivalry as his two goals see the Timbers beat the Sounders in Seattle while two late goals see Atlanta extend D.C. United's poor run of form.
SEATTLE — Brian Fernandez scored his second goal of the match in the 51st minute, moments after Seattle had pulled even, and the Portland Timbers beat the Sounders 2-1 on Sunday night in the first clash of the season between the Cascadia rivals.
Fernandez continued to make his mark on MLS with his seventh and eighth goals of the season in just his second full month with the Timbers after being signed as a designated player form Necaxa in Mexico.
Fernandez gave Portland the early lead when he collected the ricochet from Jorge Moreira's shot off the crossbar and scored in the 20th minute, finishing into an open net. After Seattle's Raul Ruidiaz scored in the 50th minute to pull the Sounders even, Fernandez answered seconds later when his one-time shot deflected off Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei and trickled into the goal.
It was the first matchup between the rivals since last year's Western Conference semifinals, when Portland advanced from the two-leg series after an exhausting, exhilarating second-leg that eventually went to penalties before the Timbers advanced. Portland reached the MLS Cup final before losing to Atlanta.
While the stakes weren't the same, the intensity between the two long rivals was evident and erupted after the final whistle with several scrums, plenty of pushing and shoving and players needing to be separated. Seattle's Roman Torres and Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark appeared to be at the center of the activity, but plenty of others were involved.
The victory kept alive Portland's chances of winning the Cascadia Cup competition between the Timbers, Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps. It was also a crucial three road points for the Timbers, who have just two MLS matches away from Providence Park for the rest of the regular season.
It's also the second straight year Portland won the only regular-season matchup in Seattle.
While Ruidiaz did collect Seattle's only goal and his eighth of the season, he'll also lament a pair of missed chances in the first 45 minutes and another opportunity in the 79th minute. Ruidiaz nearly scored in the opening 20 seconds after a Portland turnover, but the more troubling miss came in the 22nd minute when Jordan Morris's cross found Ruidiaz's foot in front of an open net, but the shot went over the crossbar.
Atlanta United 2, D.C. United 0
ATLANTA — Gonzalo Martinez had a goal and an assist in the closing minutes to help Atlanta United beat D.C. United 2-0 on Sunday.
Brad Guzan had three saves for his MLS-leading 10th shutout this season.
Atlanta (11-8-3) controlled the action throughout—finishing with 71.4% possession and outshooting D.C. United 18-7—and finally broke through as time waned. Darlington Nagbe lofted a cross that Martinez headed home from point-blank range to open the scoring in the 89th minute. Josef Martinez slipped behind the defense, ran onto a long ball from Gonzalo Martinez flipped it over the head of charging goalkeeper Bill Hamid and into the net in the second minute of stoppage time.
D.C. (9-6-8), which has just one win its last five games, fell into third in the Eastern Conference standings, one point behind Atlanta (36) and four back of Philadelphia.
Josef Martinez chipped a penalty kick over the crossbar in the 72nd minute. It was just the second times in 17 tries in MLS that he failed to convert from the spot.
New England Revolution 2, FC Cincinnati 0
CINCINNATI — Charles Gil had a goal and an assist, Matt Turner had a career-high seven saves and the New England Revolution beat expansion FC Cincinnati 2-0 on Sunday night to extend their unbeaten streak to 10 games.
New England (8-8-6) is 6-0-4 since a 5-0 loss at Chicago on May 8.
Defender Kendall Watson poked away the ball from Gustavo Bou at the top of the 6-yard box, and Gil first-timed a rising side-footer into the net to give the Revolution the lead in the ninth minute.
Antonio Mlinar Delamea scored in the 55th, heading a cross by Gil just inside the near post. It was the third career goal for Delamea, a 28-year-old defender in his third MLS season.
FC Cincinnati (5-14-2) has lost eight of its last 10 and has been outscored 33-9 during that stretch.
Turner has back-to-back shutouts.
New York Red Bulls 1, Orlando City 0
ORLANDO, Fla. — Brian White scored, Luis Robles had four saves and the New York Red Bulls slipped past Orlando City 1-0 on Sunday night.
Robles had his fifth shutout of the season and his first since June 1 for the Red Bulls (10-8-4). He had allowed 12 goals in the previous five games.
White scored in the 32nd minute, bouncing a sliding first-timer off goalkeeper Brian Rowe and into the net. Amro Tarek stole a careless pass near midfield and tapped it to Alejandro Romero Gamarra, who played a bending through pass to White for the finish from near the spot.
Orlando City (7-10-5) had 62% possession and 18 shots, including three that drew iron. Carlos Ascues hit a left-footed volley off the crossbar in the 60th, Tesho Akindele's rising right-footer split two defenders and hit the crossbar in the 70th and Sacha Kljestan bounced a roller off the far post in the 76th. Kljestan's sliding put-back attempt was stopped by Robles, who kicked it away while lying on his backside before, moments later, jumping on the ball.