Raul Ruidiaz and Fredy Montero each scored twice, with Ruidiaz netting his Major League Soccer-leading 13th goal of the season, as the Seattle Sounders defeated the host Portland Timbers 6-2 Sunday night.
Jimmy Medranda and Nicolas Benezet also scored, and goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland made seven saves for the Sounders (10-3-6, 36 points), who moved within a point of first-place Sporting Kansas City in the Western Conference.
Ruidiaz hammered a free kick from just outside the top of the 18-yard box into the upper right corner of the net in the 55th minute to break a 2-2 tie. He also scored in the 72nd minute, tapping home a rebound of Nicolas Lodeiro‘s free kick.
Medranda scored on a 17-yard volley off the underside of the crossbar in the 77th minute on a corner kick from Joao Paulo. Benezet, making his Sounders debut after a trade with Colorado earlier this month, tallied on a breakaway in second-half stoppage time after taking a pass from Cristian Roldan.
Montero scored twice in the opening half-hour to give Seattle a 2-0 lead.
In the 13th minute, he pounced on rebound just outside the right post and tucked the ball past Portland goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic.
Montero doubled the advantage in the 29th minute, taking a pass at the top left of the 18-yard box from Paulo, deking past a defender as he moved toward the center of the field, and lifting a left-footed shot over Ivacic and into the far upper corner of the net.
The Timbers pulled within 2-1 before the half as Blanco, making his first start since suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament last Sept. 6 at Seattle, took a pass near the top of the penalty area from Felipe Mora. Blanco’s shot from about 12 yards out on the left side of the box deflected off sliding defender Shane O’Neill and over Cleveland’s head.
Portland tied it in the 52nd minute as Fochive corralled a rebound about 10 yards out on the right side of the box and volleyed the ball off the turf and over Cleveland, who was still attempting to recover after making the initial save.