FC Dallas returns home on the heels of a three-game road swing to face the Portland Timbers on Wednesday night, the first of two playoff rematches at Toyota Stadium this week. Dallas (5-4-2) will look to build on their 10-game unbeaten streak at home after a rough go on the road with three-straight losses. Portland (3-4-3) will be looking to bounce back after a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
Dallas and Portland will meet on a Wednesday for the second time this season, with both meetings coming in the middle of streaks with three games in just over a week. FCD played in Toronto last Saturday and will host Seattle this Saturday, while the Timbers played in Vancouver last Saturday and return home to face NYCFC this Sunday. Dallas took the first matchup of the season, 3-1, four weeks ago at Providence Park with goals from Michael Barrios, Fabian Castillo and Tesho Akindele.
KEY PLAYER FOR PORTLAND
Fanendo Adi – The 25-year-old striker is tied for the MLS lead in goals this season with 7 in 10 games played. Dallas was able to hold him off the board in the first meeting between the two sides and will need a repeat performance on Wednesday night.
Maxi Urruti vs. Liam Ridgewell – The former Timbers striker played arguably his best game of the season in his return to Portland last month, creating Dallas’ first two goals in the win. He did so with the veteran Ridgewell out of the lineup, but will face a much bigger task this time around as Dallas looks for their first goal in the last three matches.
Victor Ulloa vs. Diego Valeri – Valeri is the Mauro Diaz to the Portland attack – orchestrating everything from the center of the pitch. He leads the Timbers in assist (3), key passes per game (3.8) and led all players on the field in shots during the first meeting (6).
PROJECTED LINEUP (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Jake Gleeson; Defenders: Chris Klute, Liam Ridgewell, Nat Borchers, Zarek Valentin; Midfielders: Diego Valeri, Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe; Forwards: Darren Mattocks, Fanendo Adi, Lucas Melano.
KEYS TO THREE POINTS
Dallas has been unstoppable at Toyota Stadium over the last eight months and a two-home-game week couldn’t come at a better time. If they can keep creating the chances they saw in both the Vancouver and Toronto games, while playing a strong defensive game, FCD should pick up the first three of six points on the line in Frisco.