FRISCO, Texas - Head coach Luchi Gonzalez shifts to a 4-2-3-1 formation as FC Dallas faces the Portland Timbers tonight, July 17, at 9:30PM at Providence Park. Here's the lineup notes, pres. by UnitedHealthcare.
Forward Franco Jara gets his first start since May and will lead the line for FC Dallas tonight. Ricardo Pepi, who's been starting at the No. 9 spot, shifts wide and will play on the right wing. On paper, Jara is the highest forward but expect him to drop deep to hold up the ball while Pepi runs in behind to stretch Portland's backline.
Paxton on the Wing
Midfielder Paxton Pomykal gets his second start of the season and will line up at the left wing spot. The Homegrown has featured in every game so far this year but exclusively as a second-half substitute, except for Dallas' 1-1 home draw with Minnesota on June 20 where he played the entire first half. Pomykal has't played more than 45 minutes in a game this season so don't be surprised if he exits after 45 or 60 minutes tonight.
Midfielder Bryan Acosta had started all 12 games for FCD this season but is absent tonight while on international duty with Honduras in the Gold Cup. Acosta has been a standout performer in Dallas' midfield this year so replacing him isn't straightforward. Instead of opting for a like-for-like replacement, Luchi has gone for a double pivot of defensive midfielders in Facundo Quignon and Edwin Cerrillo, who will look to protect the backline as Jesús Ferreira operates as the creative outlet ahead of them.
Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Jimmy Maurer; Bressan, Nkosi Tafari; Ryan Hollingshead, Justin Che, Edwin Cerrillo, Facundo Quignon, Jesús Ferreira, Paxton Pomykal, Ricardo Pepi; Franco Jara
Phelipe, Johnny Nelson, Brandon Servania, Ema Twumasi, Andrés Ricaurte, Dante Sealy, Szabolcs Schön, Jáder Obrian, Freddy Vargas