Take a look at the highlights from FC Dallas' fifth consecutive win:
By Jeremy Villanueva
It’s not a rivalry like the Texas Derby, but when it comes to FC Dallas and Portland, there’s definitely still some Taylor Swift “Bad Blood” between the two clubs.
For the most part, the series that began in 2011 has been pretty even with the Timbers leading the all-time series at 5-3-4. Portland took the first meeting between the two teams this season in 3-1 fashion at Providence Park on April 4; a match notably remembered for the infamous “TissueGate.” The win was Portland’s first of the season, and FCD’s first loss.
The two clubs went 1-1-1 in last year’s three meetings. FC Dallas took the first match 2-1 on March 29, 2014 with a last-minute goal from Mauro Diaz before drawing 2-2 on June 11 in a match that saw controversial red cards and a hotly-debated last-second equalizer from the Timbers. They ended that season in a 2-0 loss at home; the only win Portland has in Frisco (minus a 3-2 victory in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open quarterfinal dual on June 26, 2013) and a win that created some nervy moments for FC Dallas who was forced to host a play-in playoff game after losing that match.
The teams combined for 13 yellow and two red cards last year in their meetings and Saturday's showdown with huge Western Conference playoff implications should bring yet another firey affair at Toyota Stadium. Get your tickets now!
As FC Dallas looks to continue their dominance at home on Saturday vs. Portland, here are some numbers to keep in mind:
4 - FC Dallas won its fourth consecutive game -- matching the club’s longest winning streak since a club‐record six‐game winning run in 1999 -- and will look to win its fifth this weekend.
15 - Both teams combined for 15 cards (13 yellows and two reds) in last year's three meetings.
1 - The Timbers have only won once in six trips to Frisco.
0 - Saturday’s match features two of the top teams in MLS when scoring first. Both FC Dallas and Portland are 9‐0‐2 when finding the back of the net first for a combined 18‐0‐4 record.
8 - Portland forward Fanendo Adi leads the Timbers in scoring with eight goals on the season. No other player on the team has more than three.
.55 - Since selecting Atiba Harris in the MLS Re‐Entry Draft and converting him to right back, FC Dallas is 8‐1‐2 (18GF, 6GA) when starting the St. Kitts and Nevis native on defense. The team has a goals against average of 0.55 in those matches and Dallas has recorded seven of its eight shutouts with Harris at right back. The only match FC Dallas lost in which Harris started was against Portland on April 4.
349 - Dan Kennedy and the FC Dallas defense own the longest shutout streak in MLS this season with 349 minutes.
12 - Portland's goalkeeper, Adam Kwarasey (#12), and Seattle's Stefan Frei, lead MLS in shutouts with eight on the season.
3,510 - Dallas is leading the charge in MLS again this season with 3,510 minutes (17.7%) played by Homegrown players Victor Ulloa, Moises Hernandez, Kellyn Acosta and Alejandro Zendejas.
FC Dallas’ newest acquisition Ezequiel Cirigliano arrived in Frisco today and FCDallas.com caught up with him briefly, through a translator, for his first interview as a member of FCD.
On joining FC Dallas:
I am very happy to be here. I know that the team is in first place and playing very good soccer right now. I am very excited for the change [to be] here and I’m just excited to get out there and play and prove that I deserve [this] chance with the team.
On re-joining his friend, Mauro Diaz:
We were together for a few years at River Plate. I haven’t been able to see him yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing him and being [on the same team] with him here.
On his skill set and what he can bring to Dallas:
I’m a defensive midfielder. I feel like I’m best at recovering balls and passing them to a guy like Mauro or the forwards to create chances for the team.
Chandler Parsons wasn’t the only Dallas sports figure trying to recruit someone to the metroplex the summer.
FC Dallas has added another key cog to their midfield in Argentine Ezequiel Cirigliano and his countryman, midfield maestro Mauro Diaz, played a big part in selling Cirigliano on what the Frisco club can offer the 23-year-old.
“They asked me to invite him here,” said Diaz through a translator. “I gave a great recommendation as this is a great place to live, a great team with great coaches and I’m very happy he’s coming.”
Diaz said he and Cirigliano have known each other since they were 13 years old and played together through the ranks at Argentine giants River Plate including one year together in the first team. Their career paths have been remarkably similar as well and Diaz thinks the 23-year-old can be another great addition to a team already competing for the top spot in MLS.
“I’m very happy, he’s a player that I’ve known since I was young. He’s a great player and someone who will bring a lot for FC Dallas,” said Diaz. “He’s a player who knows how to play well with the ball, loves to win and is going to bring a lot of quality.”
“Mauro was a big part of recruiting Ezequiel to MLS on the phone talking and texting him and he helped make this happen for the club,” said FC Dallas President Dan Hunt. “Mauro is not the kind of player who would just bring a buddy here, he wants to win and is so competitive. He was really high on the player too and was a huge help in the process so the club is very thankful for that.”
Of course there may have one ulterior motive to the recruiting efforts.
“It adds one more friend to drink mate with,” said Diaz, with a laugh.
Saturday's heart-stopping win over DC United means FC Dallas is back into a tie for first place at the top of the Major League Soccer standings and it also kept alive a few different streaks going into this Saturday's match vs Portland.
FCD has won four games in a row, which is the longest active streak in MLS and tied with Portland and Vancouver for the longest streak this season. Dallas can take over the longest streak in MLS this season with a win on Saturday. FC Dallas also carries the longest current unbeaten streak at five games in a row.
With his stoppage time goal, Fabian Castillo extended his consecutive games with a goal or assist streak to five in a row which is the longest active streak in MLS and tied for the second-longest this season with CJ Sapong. Only Clint Dempsey has a longer streak with eight.
Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy was finally beaten on Saturday, but not before setting the longest shutout streak in MLS this season at 349 minutes.
The FC Dallas win was their 10th of the season which is tied for the most in MLS and extended their league-best record when scoring first to an amazing 9-0-2.
Despite the ultra-tight Western Conference standings, FCD has solidified their playoff standing and now sit nine points ahead of Real Salt Lake above the dreaded red line.
FC Dallas is now tied with D.C. United at the top of the MLS Standings and alone in first at the top of the Western Conference standings.
- Saturday's match against Portland becomes all the more crucial for Dallas as it's one of 11 remaining games against Western Conference opponents. FCD could extend the gap over the Timbers to six points with a game in hand if they can beat Caleb Porter's side on Saturday night.
For the fourth straight week an FC Dallas player has been named to the MLS Team of the Week. After a stellar home performance in which FCD snagged its fourth straight win, Mauro Diaz claimed his fifth "Team of the Week" honor. This is also the second time he's been named to the team in the past three weeks.
In addition, MLS All-Star Fabian Castillo earned an honorable mention to the team's bench with his late tally in stoppage time to clutch the three home points.
Take a look at the highlights from FC Dallas' 2-1 win over D.C. United with Kellyn Acosta's first MLS goal:
As FC Dallas prepares to take on first place D.C. United, here are some numbers to keep in mind:
10,000 - The first 10,000 fans to enter Toyota Stadium on Saturday night will receive an Oscar "Papi" Pareja bobblehead courtesy of MoneyGram!
68 - If Dan Kennedy keeps a clean sheet for at least 68 minutes, it would be the longest shutout streak in MLS this season, reaching 340 minutes.
1 - D.C. United will be without their number one goalkeeper on Saturday. Bill Hamid will miss the next 4-6 weeks due to injury.
5 - Fabian Castillo likes to play at home. He has scored five of his seven goals on the season at Toyota Stadium.
4 - DCU midfielder/forward Chris Rolfe leads MLS in game winning goals with four.
2007 - DCU last won in Frisco in 2007, but FC Dallas has won three of the last five meetings at home between the clubs, drawing the other two.
9 - FC Dallas is undefeated in their last five games at home, haven't allowed a goal in their last three, and have only lost once all season in nine games at home. THIS IS OUR HOUSE!
2 - United hasn't scored in their last two league games. FC Dallas will look to make that three.
1,805 - DCU captain Bobby Boswell leads MLS in minutes played with 1,805.
15 - D.C. United has allowed five of its 18 goals (28%) in the opening 15 minutes of matches this season. DCU has also scored 61% (14 of 23) of its goals in the final 30 minutes.
Take a look at the highlights from the first ever MLS meeting between Dallas and Orlando: