Yimmi Chara scored in a third consecutive match and Steve Clark made six saves as the Portland Timbers defeated the visiting Seattle Sounders 1-0 on a wet Wednesday night at Providence Park.
The Timbers (6-4-3, 21 points) moved into a tie with Cascadia Cup rival Seattle (6-3-3, 21 points) for first place in the Western Conference. The Sounders entered the game with a league-high 26 goals and were blanked for the first time since the resumption of regular-season play following the MLS is Back Tournament in Florida.
The game's lone goal came in the 13th minute. A long Timbers free kick from their own half of the field was headed down by Sounders defender Nouhou Tolo straight to Portland's' Jeremy Ebobisse about 10 yards into the Seattle half. Ebobisse took a couple of dribbles forward and then made a diagonal pass for Chara, who was making a run toward the top of the penalty area.
Chara's one-timer from about 15 yards beat charging Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei and bounced into the right side of the net.
Sounders forward Raul Ruidiaz had three quality chances in the first half but couldn't convert.
In the 10th minute, Ruidiaz took a cross from Jordan Morris on the right wing but his shot from just outside the top of the 6-yard box went straight at Clark, who was able to smother the rebound.
Ruidiaz's best chance came in the 21st minute, as a Portland pass near midfield deflected off a Sounders defender and went straight to Ruidiaz, who split two defenders and tried to chip the ball over an onrushing Clark from about 25 yards out. The shot easily cleared Clark and headed toward an empty net, but curled just wide of the left post.
In the 36th minute, a Kelvin Leerdam cross from the right wing was deflected near the top of the 6-yard box. Ruidiaz was able to jump on the rebound, but his off-balance shot found the netting wide of the right post.
Seattle outshot the Timbers 19-9 and had 13 corner kicks to Portland's four.