Schmetzer says Stefan Cleveland was the key to Sounder’s win

Brian Schmetzer has praised full-back Stefan Cleveland for his performance in the Seattle Sounders’ 6-2 victory over tough rivals the Portland Timbers.

For the Sounders, it was an invaluable victory that ends a winless streak in three games in MLS games, although every triumph over the Timbers is appreciated in this part of the world.

Seattle finally picked out emphatic winners, but it could have been very different if it were not for Cleveland’s performance. Timbers had 21 attempts at night, with nine hitting the target – enough to generate 2.1xG.

But to fill in the number one goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who has a knee injury, Cleveland stood tall to earn three points for his side and praise from his manager.

“Stefan Cleveland had a very, very, very good game,” Schmetzer told reporters (via Seattle Sounders’ official website). – He was fantastic in goal.

“He did everything well. He made the saves when he had to. The two goals that went in, I’m not so sure he could have done anything for them.

“He’s developing into a fine goalkeeper, and that’s all credit to my very good friend [club director of goalkeeping] Tom Dutra. He works hard with the guys, and all the hard work is what you see on the pitch. ”

No fear from @stef_cleveland !! ? #PORvSEA | #CaptainRoldan pic.twitter.com/71ZG8qqpYt

– Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) August 16, 2021

Seen by many as MLS ‘greatest rivalry, games between Seattle and Portland always create an incredible atmosphere, and it was the intensity of playing at Portland’s Providence Park Stadium that inspired Cleveland to pull off such a heroic performance.

“These are the games you see on TV when you grow up, and these are the ones you dream about, the big rival games,” said the goalkeeper. “You always hear Seattle-Portland, the biggest rivalry in MLS. So to be a part of it, I love playing away-rival games because the energy from the crowd gives me energy and gives me the extra motivation. ”

Sunday’s win leaves Sounders second in the Western Conference, just one point behind leaders Sporting Kansas City. Then there are away trips to FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew before hosting the Timbers during Rivalry Week.

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