Match Preview: FC Dallas vs. Portland Timbers
FC DALLAS vs PORTLAND TIMBERS
FC DALLAS STADIUM, Frisco, Texas
May 8, 2013 (WEEK 11, MLS Game #92)
8 p.m. CT (TWCSN-TX; ROOT-NW)
Two teams riding lengthy undefeated streaks meet in a crucial Western Conference clash when FC Dallas play host to the Portland Timbers on Wednesday evening in Frisco. West-leading FCD is 5-0-2 in its last seven games, returning to action following a 2-2 draw at Vancouver 11 days ago. The second-place Timbers are 3-0-4 in their seven games, coming off a scoreless draw with New England at home last Thursday evening.
REFEREE: Juan Guzman. AR1 (bench): Corey Rockwell; AR2 (opposite): Matthew Nelson; 4th: Armando Villarreal
MLS Career: 25 games; FC/gm: 25.2; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 8; pens: 4
DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: DAL: Jackson (through May 8)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (5 meetings): FC Dallas 2 wins, 13 goals … Timbers 1 win, 5 goals … Ties 2
AT DALLAS (3 meetings): FC Dallas 2 wins, 10 goals … Timbers 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 1
FUTURE MATCHES: 6/15: Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas, 2 p.m. PT (ESPN); 8/17: Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas, 8 p.m. PT
LAST YEAR (MLS)
3/17: DAL 1, POR 1 (Perez 22 – Nagbe 51)
7/21: DAL 5, POR 0 (own goal 16; Jacobson 26; Jackson 48; Sealy 69; Luna 81)
8/5: POR 1, DAL 1 (Jewsbury 79 – Sealy 51)
- Since a Timbers victory in the first meeting ever between the clubs, in 2011, FC Dallas is undefeated vs. Portland with two wins and two draws in the four meetings since.
- In the three meetings all-time in Frisco between the teams, FC Dallas has outscored Portland 10-1, including a 5-0 victory last July 21.
- Coaches record: Schellas Hyndman vs. POR: P5 W2 L1 D2 … Caleb Porter vs. DAL: first game
FC Dallas return to action after a weekend off, stretched their undefeated streak to seven games last time out, reaching a 2-2 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC on April 27 at BC Place. FCD sit atop the Western Conference with 20 points from 9 matches.
- FC Dallas took the lead nine minutes in. A Michel corner curled right to the goal line where Kenny Cooper came crashing in as Whitecaps defender Andy O’Brien tried to clear, and the ball deflected off O’Brien and redirected back and across the line.
Highlights: VAN 2, DAL 2
The lead was doubled in the 47th minute. From near the halfway line, Michel lofted a free kick that Vancouver defender Brad Rusin headed the ball backward into his own area, and FCD center back raced to meet it, poking it past goalkeeper Joe Cannon from close range.
- But Whitecaps FC pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute. Following a flurry of activity in the Dallas box which involved a fine reflex save by Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez on a Camilo attempt, the ball landed at Kekuta Manneh’s feet and he rifled a shot inside the near post.
- The rookie followed that up with a surging run three minutes later, gliding past three Dallas defenders before centering across goal to Camilo, whose effort deflected off FCD defender Jair Benitez from close range, giving Fernandez little chance to react as the ball curled inside the near post.
- Dallas saw their odds of escaping with a late win go down considerably when Jackson lashed out at Alain Rochat in the 77th minute, immediately earning a straight red from referee Ricardo Salazar.
- FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made no changes to his team for a fourth consecutive match, keeping the team that defeated Vancouver 2-0 the week before at FC Dallas Stadium.
- FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Raul Fernandez - Zach Loyd, George John (London Woodberry 46), Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez - Andrew Jacobson (Je-Vaughn Watson 41), Michel - Kenny Cooper (Fabian Castillo 76), David Ferreira, Jackson (sent off 78) - Blas Perez.
- FC Dallas are undefeated in seven games in a streak that began March 17, having gone 5-0-2 since.
- “Either team could have won the game. We’re disappointed that you have a 2-0 lead, and you don’t walk away with the three points,” said FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman. “At the same time, we give Vancouver a lot of credit for just coming to us with everything they had.”
- Raúl Fernández faced a season-high nine shots, and made a season-high seven saves, in ensuring FCD would come away with a point from Vancouver and maintain their undefeated streak.
- “We came here to win, we came here for the three points and we’re leaving with a sour taste in our mouths almost as if we had lost the game,” said Fernández.
- FC Dallas have allowed nine goals in nine games this season – but they have recorded five shutouts. They have allowed multiple goals in each of the other four contests.
- “Fernández had a couple of moments where he might have handled the ball a little bit better and get a rebounds and I think Vancouver missed a couple of great opportunities there, but at the same time he probably made two great 1v1 saves that kept us ahead,” said Hyndman.
- FC Dallas also had to overcome a pair of changes before the start of the second half. Andrew Jacobson had to come off before the first half was complete, and center back George John was a halftime replacement. Then FCD finished the game a man down after Jackson was sent off.
- “It was huge. Huge. You have your center back, who is your best defender, out, and your best central midfielder, out. … One of our best guys is out and now we’ve got two out. So give my guys a lot of credit for not losing this game,” said Hyndman.
- For a second consecutive game against Vancouver, FC Dallas took advantage of an own goal, with a deflection off Whitecaps FC center back Andy O’Brien leading to the opener. His defensive partner, Brad Rusin, contributed the opener in the 2-0 FCD win in Frisco.
- The Portland match is the first of two games in four days at FC Dallas Stadium, and the start of a stretch of three home games of the next four for the club.
- “It is [important],” Hyndman said. “I think you need all the points you can get and we all know how difficult it is on the road to travel in this league; the environments, the surfaces, there’s so many issues that you have to deal with. Getting the points at home if you want to be a successful team is a must.”
The Portland Timbers extended their MLS club record undefeated streak to seven games, playing to a scoreless draw with the New England Revolution on Thursday at JELD-WEN Field. The Timbers are in a tie for second place in the Western Conference with 14 points from 9 matches.
Highlights: POR 0, NE 0
- Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth was credited with nine saves in keeping the clean sheet, six of them coming in the second half.
- Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts turned in a stellar performance of his own, making three saves.
- Timbers head coach Caleb Porter maintained his same team for third consecutive game, keeping the group that came back twice for a 3-2 victory against Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park.
- PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-2-1-3): Donovan Ricketts - Michael Harrington, Mikael Silvestre (Andrew Jean-Baptiste 58), Mamadou Danso, Jack Jewsbury (Kalif Alhassan 81) - Will Johnson, Diego Chara - Diego Valeri - Darlington Nagbe, Ryan Johnson (Frederic Piquionne 62), Rodney Wallace.
- The Timbers stretched their club-record undefeated streak, now having gone 3-0-4 since March 16.
- There are games when you can’t find the goal and I thought that was the case. We’ll move on from it, obviously it’s not a loss it’s a tie and we get a point and yet we’re feeling like we let two points slip away,” said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. “If you don’t win, you’re not going to be satisfied. We’re not satisfied with a point, but it’s also not the end of the world. We’ve played nine games now and we’ve only been beaten one time, so that’s a real positive.”
- The Timbers uncorked a season-high 22 attempts at goal in the New England match, but were shut out at the offensive end for the first time this season. Only FC Dallas has now yet to be shut out in attack in MLS this season.
- “We had plenty of shots. We had a lot of chances. We missed a couple breakaways and there were some point blank saves. It very easily could’ve been a different result. We were a touch off on a few finishes and their goalkeeper made some great saves,” said Porter. “In the end, that’s soccer. You leave the game and you think you’re not good enough on the attack, but in the end 22 shots is a lot on goal.”
- Said fullback Jack Jewsbury: “We’ve got guys in the attacking third that are very dangerous and we’ve got to get them on the ball more. It’s a matter of the back four and the holding midfielder to break lines and not just play around the back and play a little quicker. I thought they did a good job of frustrating us at times, but we had enough shots.”
- But there was an injury blow for the club, after center back Mikaël Silvestre suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while stretching to clear a ball in the second half. Silvestre will be out an estimated 6-9 months, likely putting him out for the rest of the season.
- With center back David Horst also out for the season with a leg injury, the Timbers did announce the signing of Pa Modou Kah, a veteran to several European leagues and most recently Qatar and Saudi Arabia, to help fill the void.
- “We’ve had a bit of bad luck with injuries in the back line. It’s been the case where guys go in and do a great job,” said Porter.
- The Timbers have recorded three consecutive defensive shutouts at JELD-WEN Field. They last conceded a goal at home in a 2-1 loss to Montréal on March 9, now 300 home minutes without a goal against.
- I’d be remiss if I didn’t commend Donovan Ricketts. He made a world-class save at the end of that game to keep us level. He has been absolutely tremendous,” said Porter. “There are going to be days when our attack digs us out of a hole. That has been the case in a few games when we’ve given up goals and our attacking side has bailed us out and scored goals. Tonight, I thought our defending kept us level and Donovan probably saved us in the end.”