FC Dallas scored a monumental win over the New York Red Bulls in their season opener, but head coach Schellas Hyndman isn’t letting that get to his team’s head. After all, Portland are coming to town on Saturday (8:30 pm ET, MLS Live).
And fresh off a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union, there is absolutely no chance FC Dallas take the explosive second-year franchise lightly.
“Portland is a very strong team,” Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. “They are a much better team than they were last year. They got off to an outstanding start as an expansion team. … They have two very good forwards and center midfielders. Their fullbacks attack really well and they’re solid in goal. They’re very athletic. Sometimes, they attack six or seven players so we have to get back and defend.”
The two strikers of whom Hyndman is referring are Kris Boyd, the Scottish Premier League’s all-time leading scorer, and 10-year professional Jorge Perlaza. Hyndman says it's imperative for his squad to frustrate and contain these two savvy strikers
“I think we have to realize they are a team that attacks on the flanks,” the coach said. “They will look to double up there. They have two good strikers that can score. … They’re a team that is very good on counterattacks and their set pieces. To find success, we have to force them wide. We have to stop them from being comfortable on the flanks. We have to run and run. We find success when we move the ball.”
With Fabián Castillo questionable for the match and Brek Shea competing for the US Olympic qualifying squad, FC Dallas signed Colombian striker Luis Perea, veteran MLS forward Scott Sealy and 2012 Supplemental Draft pick Alex Lee this week to add depth.
“We may have one or two of our new players dress out,” Hyndman said. “Scott is still coming back from an injury. We like him a lot. … Luis is new to the league. He may be dressing out. I think it’s asking a lot from him early on. I think for now, we have to be organized and play the type of soccer we like to play.”
Last season, FC Dallas and Portland traded wins in their two encounters. Hyndman hopes this weekend’s game will be a repeat performance of the match played in Frisco, Texas, when his team took the Timbers to the woodshed with a 4-0 blowout.