Perhaps the most intriguing early season match-up for FC Dallas is tonight's midweek battle against the Portland Timbers. For the last season and change, I’ve wanted to post an inside the numbers-type of column to share some of the research that we may or may not have time to get in on our broadcast. There are so many intriguing statistical storylines to tonight's match that this is the time to hit some of the big statistical trends heading into the game at FC Dallas Stadium (8p on TWCSN-Texas HD Channel 148)
7: The unbeaten streak for both sides. For FC Dallas, it’s the fourth longest in club history, and if it reaches eight then it ties the third longest. In their third MLS season, this is a record unbeaten streak for Portland. This is the first time two MLS clubs on unbeaten streaks of at least seven games have met since LA (11 games) defeated Chicago (eight games), 2-1, on July 9, 2011.
0: The number of points dropped at home this year by FC Dallas, the only team in MLS still perfect on their home ground in 2013. In winning all five home games, FCD has outscored opponents 9-2
1: The number of MLS teams to take points from every road match this year, and that lone squad is Portland. In four road matches, Portland has drawn three, and added a thrilling 3-2 come-from-behind win at Sporting Kansas City on April 27. That’s very significant because in their first two seasons in MLS the number of road wins for the Timbers was three total.
3: Yep, three road wins for PTFC in their first two MLS seasons, with only one away from the great atmosphere of Jeld-Wen Field last year (in Vancouver). In 2011, the Timbers road wins were again in Vancouver and Chicago. In addition to the three wins away from JWF in their first two seasons, the Timbers drew 10 and lost 21.
1.67: The number of goals per match for the diverse FC Dallas attack, the most for any team in MLS. Of course the Timbers are the second most potent scoring team in MLS on a per match basis at 1.56, setting the stage for what could be an entertaining show that will test 'keepers and the depleted back lines in front of them.
5.22: The number of shots on goal generated per match by the Timbers attack, leading MLS. The assault on frame had led to goals in every match until Bobby Shuttleworth of the Revs turned aside nine shots last Thursday to become the first opposing goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet against PTFC this season. The 5.11 shots on goal per match for FC Dallas places them fourth amongst the 19 clubs in MLS.
4: Numbers that are significant to both goalkeepers and the comeback efforts of both offenses. FCD’s Raul Fernandez has four shutouts, second in MLS to Sporting Kansas City’s Jimmy Nielsen. Meanwhile, Jamaican International Donovan Ricketts has had a flair for the dramatic, capturing MLS Save of The Week honors in four of 10 weeks this season.
6: The number of red cards shown to FC Dallas last season, which led the league. The last of which was August 5 in a 1-1 draw at Portland. The first red of the season for FC Dallas saw Jackson sent off late in their last match at Vancouver. Jackson will serve his suspension against Portland and could be one of three players for FC Dallas who have started every game this year who will sit out against Portland. In addition to the Brazilian midfielder, Andrew Jacobson and George John are potential candidates to miss the match after knocks suffered in the 2-2 tie at Vancouver.
2.44: Fouls committed per match by Portland’s holding midfielder Diego Chara. That ranks third per match this year in MLS. However, among players who appeared in at least half their club’s matches, Chara has led the league in fouls per match the last two years at 2.6 in 2012 and 2.3 in 2011. An important match-up to watch will be the physical Chara against the dynamic David Ferreira of FC Dallas who is by far the most fouled player in the league this season.
50: The number of games between converted penalty kicks for Portland, who finally were awarded one and managed to score on it when Will Johnson buried a spot kick to level an eventual draw on March 30 vs. Colorado. That penalty ended a 37 match run for PTFC without even being awarded one. Unfortunately, FC Dallas is on a 34-match streak since converting from the spot. Brek Shea’s penalty kick at LA last April 28 was the last for FCD, who have missed four straight PK attempts over the 34-match run.
2: The number of own goals received by FC Dallas this year. In back to back weeks, corner kicks by FC Dallas resulted in own goals off Vancouver center-backs Brad Rusin and Andy O’Brien. The only own goal scored in FC Dallas’ favor last year was off the Timbers’ Hanyer Mosquera in the lone win for FCD in three matches with Portland, 5-0 at FC Dallas Stadium on July 21.