After stepping aside last week for the national broadcast of FC Dallas' thrilling 3-3 draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy, our broadcast is back tonight for a very important match against Western Conference foe Portland. It's a "six point game" with FC Dallas trying to climb back into the Top 5 in the West table and the Timbers are one of the clubs not too far in front of the club. We hope you will join us tonight at 10 pm on TXA21 to take in FC Dallas playing in one of, if not the best, soccer atmospheres in MLS. Here are some key numbers heading into the match:
37: Career assists for David Ferreira after picking up his seventh this year in last week's tie. In June, Ferreira moved past Ronnie O'Brien for third in club history in assists and his total ties him for 3rd most in MLS since the start of the 2009 season. Ferreira is level over that stretch with current MLS season assist leader Sebastian LeToux. In the last 5 seasons, Brad Davis tops the list at 56 while Landon Donovan has 45.
3: Two-goal games in Blas Perez's FC Dallas career after his double against the Galaxy. Blas also had two in a road draw last season to San Jose and scored both earlier this season when FCD drew away to Colorado. Perez leads Dallas with eight goals and is ninth overall in MLS in goals scored.
9: Goals scored in 2013 for FC Dallas in the 70th minute or later that have been match-winners or equalizers. The aforementioned Perez smashed home a volley in the 86th minute last week that salvaged the 3-3 home draw with the Galaxy.
5: Career MLS goals for second year center back Matt Hedges, but his goal last week that gave FC Dallas the early lead was his first at home in his young career. Hedges has road goals over the last season and a half at Chicago, Real Salt Lake, San Jose and Vancouver. It was also his goal last week that ended FC Dallas' club record scoring drought at 465 minutes.
0: Wins for FC Dallas this year when allowing the first goal, the only club in the Western Conference without at least one come from behind win. While FC Dallas has drawn in four of the nine games in which they have surrendered the first, it appears any hopes of stealing three road points tonight rest on being the first to break through.
0.95: The goals-against-average for Portland as the Timbers go into the weekend leading MLS in goals allowed per match, so breaking through first or at all against Portland won't be easy. Comparing the defenses of the respective clubs, FC Dallas has allowed two or more goals in a match seven times since the start of June while Portland has done that seven times all season.
6: Consecutive shutouts by Portland Timbers FC at home earlier this season. Portland surrendered five home goals in their first two matches of the year at Jeld-Wen Field before going on their stretch of keeping a clean sheet in six straight home matches. Portland has given up a goal in each of its last two outings at home, a win against LA, and most recently a draw with Vancouver.
11: Draws in 2013 for Portland, which leads MLS. One of them was at FC Dallas on May 8 (1-1). FCD is tied for seconnd in MLS with Colorado at nine draws. The MLS season record is 16 by New York and Chicago in 2011.
75.6: The save percentage for Timbers 'keeper Donovan Ricketts. The Jamaican number one is second in the league in save percentage and goals against average - trailing RSL's Nick Rimando. Rickets is also tied for most shutouts in MLS with nine. It looks like Rimando and Ricketts are leading candidates for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, an award Ricketts won in 2010 with Los Angeles.
4: Goals for Portland's Darlington Nagbe in all competitions against FCD in 2012 and 2013, the most for any player in that time. Nagbe scored once in a draw at FC Dallas Stadium last year and this year Nagbe has been a real problem, with goals in both MLS games between the clubs and the opening strike for Portland in their Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal win in Frisco in June. FC Dallas will obviously need an answer for him defensively tonight.