If there were positives to be taken away from the Portland Timbers previous two games, they were the team’s flashes of brilliance despite disappointing final results.
The Timbers were seconds away from a victory against New York on Sunday and nearly scored a tie against Colorado on June 11. But on the road Saturday against FC Dallas — another of the league’s top teams — there was nothing the Timbers showed that was worth remembering in a 4-0 loss on a stifling night at Pizza Hut Park.
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“I thought we were very poor,” Portland head coach John Spencer said. “From the first moment to the last, we never matched them at all, never got close to them, never tackled them, never ran with them. Just a poor, poor performance.”
Portland showed little fight as Dallas dominated every facet of the game, wasting any momentum gained after scoring three goals in the second half Sunday against New York.
The result continued Portland’s disturbing trend of futility away from the raucous crowd at JELD-WEN Field. The Timbers are winless in seven road games, having lost five of those. They have not scored first in any road match this season and have been outscored 13-3 in those games.
“It was disappointing, honestly,” said forward Kenny Cooper, a Dallas native and former FC Dallas star making his first homecoming with his new side. “It was definitely not the result we were looking for, so it was definitely disappointing.”
Especially troubling for the Timbers (5-7-3) is that they seemed to have solved what was a four-game winless streak when they took a 3-1 lead against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday. But a wild finish — including a game-tying goal in the final seconds of second-half added time — resulted in rain on the Timbers’ would-be victory party.
On Saturday, there was never hope to be dashed — even with defender Mamadou “Futty” Danso returning to the back line sooner than expected after missing a game with a shoulder injury.
Dallas (9-4-4) made run after run from the match’s outset and dominated possession throughout. The home club made 21 attempts on goal while Portland managed just seven. FCD earned eight corner kicks to Portland’s one.
“I feel like in the first half, both of the teams didn’t play to their best of ability, but they finished their chances,” Danso said. “They were definitely the better team in the 90 minutes.”
The offensive barrage resulted in two early corner kicks that led directly to goals. The first strike happened in the 34th minute when a corner kick by Daniel Hernandez made its way to the far side of the goal, where Zach Loyd headed it to the back of the net.
The next goal, also on a Hernandez corner, came when George John sliced through the Portland defense for the header five minutes later.
Brek Shea and then Ruben Luna then put the Timbers away with second-half goals. It was in stark contrast to the two teams' contest more than two months ago when the Timbers beat Dallas, 3-2, at JELD-WEN Field.
“I believe in this group that we have,” Cooper said. “I have a lot of confidence in our coaches and my teammates, and I believe we are going to get back on track and hopefully we can do that next week.”