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Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas | MLS Match Preview

PORTLAND TIMBERS vs FC DALLAS
JELD-WEN FIELD, Portland, Ore.
August 17, 2013 (WEEK 25, MLS Game #229) 8 p.m. PT (KPDX/Estrella; KTXA)

A huge match in the Western Conference is ahead on Saturday evening as the Portland Timbers play host to FC Dallas on Saturday evening at Jeld-Wen Field. The teams are separated by just two points, with the Timbers currently in the top five in the West, and FC Dallas outside of the playoff positions. The Timbers return to action after a week off, their
last match a 1-1 home draw with Vancouver. FC Dallas snapped a long goalless drought, but still saw their winless streak extended last weekend in a 3-3 home draw with the LA Galaxy.

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REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): Chris Strickland; AR2 (opposite): Colin Arblaster; 4th: Ricardo Salazar
MLS Career: 27 games; FC/gm: 20.6; Y/gm: 3.1; R: 4; pens: 7

DISABLED LIST: DAL: Peter Luccin; Ugo Ihemelu (season-ending injury)
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: POR: Pa Modou Kah, Diego Chara … DAL: Je-Vaughn Watson
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: POR: Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Will Johnson, Ben Zemanski … DAL: Blas Perez, George John, David Ferreira
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (7 meetings): Timbers 2 wins, 7 goals … FC Dallas 2 wins, 14 goals … Ties 3
AT PORTLAND (3 meetings): Timbers 2 wins, 5 goals … FC Dallas 0 wins, 3 goals … Ties 1

2013 (MLS)
5/8: DAL 1, POR 1 (Cooper 77 – Nagbe 70)
6/15: POR 1, DAL 0 (Nagbe 52)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season in league play. They reached a 1-1 draw at FC Dallas Stadium on May 8, then Darlington Nagbe scored the game’s only goal for a Portland win 1-0 at home on June 15.
  • The win on June 15 was the first for the Timbers in five meetings, since winning the first match ever between the clubs, April 17, 2011 at Jeld-Wen Field. The Timbers are undefeated at home against FC Dallas.
  • The teams also met in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal, a 3-2 Timbers victory. Goals from Darlington Nagbe, Diego Valeri and Frederic Piquionne answered an early Je-Vaughn Watson goal to send Portland on to victory.
  • Coaches record: Caleb Porter vs. DAL: P2 W1 L0 D1 … Schellas Hyndman vs. POR: P7 W2 L2 D3

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • The game's lone goal came in the 52nd minute. Receiving a pass from Kalif Alhassan on the left corner of the penalty area and Dallas defender George John at his back, Darlington Nagbe spun and buried a no-look, curler that FCD goalkeeper Raul Fernandez could only watch sail to the far corner.
  • Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts recorded seven saves to preserve the Timbers' fifth consecutive shutout at home.
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-1-2-3): Donovan Ricketts - Michael Harrington, Pa Modou Kah, Mamadou Danso (Andrew Jean-Baptiste 51), Jack Jewsbury - Diego Chara, Will Johnson - Kalif Alhassan (Ben Zemanski 84) - Diego Valeri, Frederic Piquionne (Ryan Johnson 72), Darlington Nagbe.
  • FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Raul Fernandez - Zach Loyd, George John, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez - Michel, Andrew Jacobson - Jackson, David Ferreira, Fabian Castillo - Eric Hassli (Je-Vaughn Watson 8).

PORTLAND TIMBERS

The Portland Timbers return to league action after a weekend off, their last match a 1-1 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Aug. 3 at Jeld-Wen Field. The Timbers are in fourth place in the Western Conference with 35 points from 22 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Both goals came after the halftime break. Portland broke the stalemate in the 49th minute when Will Johnson converted a perfectly placed Diego Valeri cross with a clinical header to the top corner, beating Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted.
  • Vancouver found an equalizer in the 69th minute on a Camilo Sanvezzo corner that Jordan Harvey flicked home with a header at the near post, as goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was not able to get enough purchase on the ball to deflect it away.
  • Timbers head coach Caleb Porter made two changes to the team that fell 2-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium. Alvas Powell and Frederic Piquionne came into the team in place of Ben Zemanski and Ryan Johnson.
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-2-1-3): Donovan Ricketts - Alvas Powell (Ryan Miller 63), Pa Modou Kah, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Michael Harrington - Jack Jewsbury (Jose Adolfo Valencia 84), Will Johnson - Diego Valeri - Darlington Nagbe, Frederic Piquionne (Ryan Johnson 40), Rodney Wallace.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Timbers are now winless in their last three league matches, their longest winless run since opening the season with three draws and a loss.
  • “We’re obviously disappointed in the draw. For me, the fact that we are so disappointed says everything about how far we’ve come as a club, and the culture we’ve created and the standards that we have, that literally we take the field with this group of guys and we expect to win every game we play,” said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. “If we don’t win, we’re not happy, we’re not pleased.”
  • The draw also ended the Timbers’ four-game home winning streak in league play. They last failed to take maximum points in a scoreless draw with New England on May 2; they are still undefeated over their last eight games at Jeld-Wen Field (6-0-2).
  • “Both ends of the field, we’ve got to start taking a little more responsibility," Will Johnson said. "I think attacking-wise we’re not hungry enough. I think there’s decent service in the run of play as well as on set pieces. Box defending, box attacking, if we execute that well we’ll make the playoffs. If we don’t, we won’t.”
  • Diego Valeri collected his eighth assist of the season, now in a tie for third place in the MLS assist standings. Valeri has recorded an assist on each of the Timbers’ last four MLS goals.
  • Ryan Johnson netted his team-leading seventh goal of the season, his third in the last six league games.
  • “The No. 1 thing we want to do is to keep creating the chances like we are and at the same time keep positive in the possession. That's where we want to be, we want to make sure we're on the ball, not playing defense,” Johnson said. “We've been doing that for the most part this year and that's what we want to continue doing because the goals are going to happen as long as we keep creating the chances.”
  • Alvas Powell made his MLS debut, playing 63 minutes at right back as Jack Jewsbury moved forward into the midfield.
  • Three days following the last league match, the Timbers were bounced from the U.S. Open Cup at the semifinal stage in a 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Alvaro Saborio scored in the seventh minute and Joao Plata netted in the 78th for RSL; Diego Valeri scored a late stoppage time goal for Portland.
  • Here’s the Timbers team: Donovan Ricketts; Michael Harrington, Pa Modou Kah, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Ryan Miller (Alvas Powell, 77’); Diego Chara, Will Johnson (Kalif Alhassan, 63’), Diego Valeri; Darlington Nagbe, Ryan Johnson (Jose Adolfo Valencia, 63’), Rodney Wallace
  • “We’re disappointed, but at the end of the day we have everything to play for in the league and this game, this loss doesn’t change that,” said Porter. “We’ve made it further than we’ve ever made it. You know, we’re still not satisfied. They wanted to win it, but you have to keep it in perspective.”

FC DALLAS

FC Dallas saw their winless run extended to 10 games, but came back for a result in a 3-3 draw with the LA Galaxy on Sunday evening in Frisco. FCD is in seventh place in the Western Conference with 33 points from 23 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • FC Dallas took the lead in the 15th minute. A corner kick found Andrew Jacobson at the far post, and he headed it down in front of goal where center back Matt Hedges finished off with the final touch into the goal. It ended FCD's goalless spell at 465 minutes.
  • But the Galaxy pulled even in first-half stoppage time on what would turn out to be his night in Frisco. Robbie Keane collected the ball inside the center circle and sent a looping ball over the top for Landon Donovan. He headed the ball just over Dallas 'keeper Chris Seitz before tapping into an empty net.
  • Just three minutes after the halftime restart, FCD were back in front. Michel targeted the far post on a 25-yard free kick, and Blas Pérez was able to toe-poke the ball past LA goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini as the linesman's flag stayed down.
  • The Galaxy answered back in the 73rd minute when Donovan hit a bouncing ball on the half-volley from 19 yards out that Seitz just missed. Donovan secured his hat trick nine minutes later when he beat George John to a loose ball in the box and stroked the ball into the far corner to again give LA the lead.
  • But FCD and Pérez struck back in the 86th minute, as he scored the equalizer with a stunning volley off a failed clearance following another free kick by Michel.
  • FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made three changes to the team that suffered a 3-0 defeat by Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field. Chris Seitz came in between the posts with Raul Fernandez on international duty, Kellyn Acosta started at left back for Jair Benitez, and Erick came into the team in place of Je-Vaughn Watson.
  • FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Chris Seitz - Zach Loyd (Jair Benitez 64), George John, Matt Hedges, Kellyn Acosta - Erick (Kenny Cooper 67), Andrew Jacobson (Michel 46) - Jackson, David Ferreira, Fabian Castillo - Blas Perez.

TEAM NEWS

  • FC Dallas still saw their winless streak extended to 10 games – tied for second-longest in club history. FCD went 13 games without a win last year from April 21-July 7; they also went 10 games without a victory in the 2005 season.
  • “I think the glass is definitely half full,” FCD coach Schellas Hyndman. “We’re going in the right direction. Up until tonight, we were going in the wrong direction and [now] I think we’re going in the right direction.”
  • FCD did snap their goalless run at 465 minutes. The shutout streak is the seventh-longest in MLS annals, the longest in the league this season and the longest in the club’s history.
  • “(Attacking) was our No. 1 priority," Hyndman said. "Let's penetrate. Let's get services in; let's force them back on their heels. Let's force them to make mistakes. You can see that we're starting to get on the end of free kicks. If you want to score goals, you have to have the mentality that you're going to score goals, and you have to go forward.”
  • Coming off a CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign where he scored five goals for finalists Panamá, Blas Perez scored two goals in a game for the second time this season and the third time in his two MLS seasons. Of the last nine league goals FCD has scored, dating back to June 1, Perez has scored five.
  • “The only thing that changes is that you get out of the bad rut you have when you’re not scoring goals, but the objective is to start getting three points at home,” Pérez said. “Every game we play at home, we need to get three points if we want to get into the position that we were in earlier in the year.”
  • David Ferreira collected his seventh assist of the season, now in a three-way tie for sixth in the MLS assist leaders table.
  • After coming off the bench the week before for his professional debut, Kellyn Acosta made his first MLS start, coming in at left back.
  • “We all knew he was going to be a good player for us,” said Hyndman. “He just turned 18 a couple weeks ago. I know all the players on our team have a lot of confidence in him. I know David (Ferreira) has come to me a couple of times saying, 'Coach, give him a chance. I think he'll be OK.' His chance came against Stoke City and a little bit against Seattle. I thought tonight would be a great time to start him. He did a very good job.”
  • With Raúl Fernández away on international duty with Peru in South Korea, Chris Seitz came in between the posts for his first league appearance since May 11.
  • Erick also made his MLS debut, starting in the center of midfield and playing 67 minutes.
  • “He's exactly what we've been looking for – a true holding midfielder who has a little bit of bite. He's athletic and makes good passes,” said Hyndman. “But once he got tired people were running by him, and I felt like we had to get him off the field. He was ready to come off when we subbed him out, but I think he'll be a very good player for us once he's fit.”