FRISCO, Texas – It’s been more than a year since FC Dallas last visited the Rose City in a 3-2 loss to the Timbers on April 17, 2011. But as FCD get ready for the their return trip on Sunday (7 pm ET, NBC Sports Network), there's one player who knows the town better than most.
Midfielder James Marcelin spent more than two years with the club, both in Major League Soccer and USL. And he can't wait to return to Portland.
"I’m just excited to go back and play them again,” Marcelin told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “When you play for Portland, you always know a lot of fans are going to come support you.”
Marcelin played 23 MLS games for the club between 2011 and 2012, but was unceremoniously waived by Portland earlier this season to make room for Scottish defender Steven Smith. FC Dallas were more than happy to snap him up just a week later.
The Haitian has played 12 games for FCD, including six starts since joining the team while filling a need at backup midfielder. However, with the recent acquisition of Julian de Guzman, Marcelin’s minutes have faded.
That doesn’t mean Head coach Schellas Hyndman isn’t expecting a big reaction from the former Timbers midfielder heading back to Portland.
“There always is a great response from all players going back to prove something.” Hyndman said of Marcelin’s return to Portland. “It’s not just going back to a team who traded or waived you, it’s going back to your old teammates.”
The midfielder played 16 minutes in Dallas’ 5-0 win over Portland just a couple weeks ago, but he will know better than anyone else on the squad the difference between Portland playing home and away.
“The players step up more [at home] than when they’re outside which is the problem,” Marcelin said. “When Portland go away, they have trouble because they’re used to the home crowd.”