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Ted S. Warren, Associated Press
Portland Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, center, leaps for a shot that went over the net as Seattle Sounders' Lamar Neagle, right, and Timbers' Michael Harrington (5) look on in the first half of an MLS soccer match, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Seattle.

SEATTLE — Clint Dempsey scored for Seattle off a wild scramble in the 71st minute in his return to Major League Soccer following the World Cup, and the Sounders beat rival Portland 2-0 on Sunday night, their second victory over the Timers in four days.

Dempsey and Obafemi Martins were both denied by Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts earlier in the sequence with sprawling kick saves. The ball eventually landed at the feet of Gonzalo Pineda and his diagonal pass found Dempsey open in front of the net for his first goal with Seattle since April 26 against Colorado. Dempsey was kept onside on the play by Portland's Will Johnson.

Seattle defeated Portland 3-1 in extra time in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup earlier this week and moved 10 points clear of second place Real Salt Lake in the MLS Western Conference with the victory.