FC Dallas Cements Return to Postseason with Draw in Portland, Eyes Shift to Securing Bye

PORTLAND - FC Dallas is officially back in the postseason.

After a back-and-forth 0-0 draw with the Portland Timbers on Saturday night, Dallas became the first Western Conference team to clinch a spot in the 2018 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.

“It’s great news,” head coach Oscar Pareja said. “I want to congratulate the players on a terrific job so far. It’s not easy to qualify this early in this league. It is very competitive and differences are really tight. Well deserved for the club that we are back into the playoffs after a very tough year. We are very happy for this achievement.”

It’s the fourth time in five seasons under Pareja that Dallas has made the postseason, bouncing back from last year’s second-half collapse that saw the team miss out on the final day by goal differential.

“I am very happy for this accomplishment,” Homegrown Victor Ulloa said. “It was one of our goals from the beginning of the season to get back into playoffs because unfortunately we didn’t clinch last year. Absolutely happy to be back in it and now its on to our next objective to finish in the top two and make a run for the cup.”

FCD punched its ticket to the postseason with a game that, in itself, felt like November.

Chalked full of end-to-end action, the match saw 21 shots between the two sides and a combined 53 clearances forced from the defenses. Each team tried to exploit the left side of its attack, but in the end, the stalemate earned Dallas its 22nd point on the road and ninth shutout overall this season.

“This is what we’re going to face in the playoffs,” Jesse Gonzalez said after his fifth clean sheet of the season. “I think the team did a great job and hopefully we can keep winning in the playoffs.”

Over the final four weeks, the sights of the team now focus on clinching a top-two spot and the coveted Knockout Round bye. If they can get six points over the final month, they’ll likely accomplish their goal heading to November.