FC DALLAS vs. PORTLAND TIMBERS
2021 MLS Regular Season
July 17 - 9:30PM
Providence Park, Portland, OR
TXA 21 | FCDallas.com/Stream | FCDallas.com/Radio | 1270AM
- FCD record: 2-5-5 (11 pts., 12th in West)
- POR record: 4-6-1 (13 pts., 9th in West)
- FCD vs. POR all-time: 8-7-7 (37 GF, 28 GA)
- FCD vs. POR away: 1-6-5 (10 GF, 74 GA)
RETURN TO PROVIDENCE PARK
- FC Dallas returns to Providence Park this Saturday for the first time since Dallas defeated the Timbers on penalties during last season’s playoff run. Although Dallas’ regular season record away at Portland stands at 1-6-5 all-time, the team can take some confidence from its last trip to Providence Park. However, this time FCD will have to do it with the Portland faithful in the stands, as they were absent last year due to COVID-19 protocols.
Head coach Luchi Gonzalez: "It’s a reference last year when we went to their stadium. I know the fans weren’t allowed to be a part of that moment but it’s still a difficult place to get results. We knew we weren’t expected to win last year and we used that in our motivation. So, we’re using a similar approach. They’re also a team that’s expected to win at home and they have their fans, so we enjoy that pressure and that environment.
NKOSI TAFARI'S RISE
- The past few games have seen Nkosi Tafari’s stock rise. The second-year defender has started the last five games due to the absences of Matt Hedges and José Martínez, and acquitted himself well—particularly recently. The 24-year-old is dominant in the air and has impressive recovery pace. While he may not have the ball-playing ability of Hedges and Martínez yet, at 24, he still has time to grow in that area. Regardless, Tafari isn't ready to accept any praise until the team registers a few more positive results and clean sheets; something they'll be looking to do in Portland.
Defender Nkosi Tafari: “I think it’s been decent, all things considered. I can’t really say it’s been that good because we haven’t won that many games. I think we’ve won one and lost three, and I haven’t kept a shutout. So honestly, as a defender, if you’re not keeping shutouts, it’s tough to say you’re playing that good. Overall, it’s good to get the minutes and experience and hopefully we can start progressing to something better."
- This Saturday's game will be Dallas' first without Bryan Acosta who's away with Honduras at the Gold Cup. The midfielder has started every single match for FCD this campaign, and has been among the team's strongest performers. Head coach Luchi Gonzalez and co. will need to find a solution to fill the gap left by Acosta's absence
Head Coach Luchi Gonzalez: “We want him (Acosta) to do well at that event but we have players in his position that can step up and get the job done. Obviously we’ll miss him and we wish had him but we also know the dynamic and we’re proud to have guys represent their countries. Him doing well there will allow him to do well for us when he comes back.