FRISCO, Texas - Blas Perez scored his first MLS goal but Portland Timbers substitute Darlington Nagbe kept the Panamanian and FC Dallas from celebrating three points in a 1-1 draw on Saturday night.
Perez scored in the 22nd minute after a cross from Carlos Rodriguez found FCD academy product Bryan Levya on the right side of the Timbers box. Leyva, making the first appearance of his MLS career, put in a hard shot on Timbers 'keeper Troy Perkins that was brushed away only to find a wide-open Perez waiting to put in the rebound.
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Portland answered six minutes after the break when Nagbe, who came in for Jorge Perlaza to start the second half, took a Daniel Hernandez turnover outside the penalty box and converted it into his first goal of the season.
Dallas provided plenty of pressure early on but after a choppy start, including two early cautions for Rodney Wallace and Jack Jewsbury, the visiting Timbers came on strong to end the half.
The Timbers pressed hard in the final 20 minutes of the opening stanza, getting a couple of good chances on Kevin Hartman’s goal. A free kick by Timbers captain Jack Jewsbury in the 36th minute saw a header from Lovel Palmer hit the post.
The late first half pressure by the Timbers caused FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman to go to his bench just before the break. Hyndman brought on defender George John in place of Leyva. The move shifted Jair Benitez from left back to right wing with Hernan Pertuz filling in at left back.
Portland nearly pulled away in the second half as Kris Boyd had two clear chances on Hartman’s goal. One came outside of the penalty box that forced Hartman to punch it out. The second came off a giveaway by Dallas in the penalty box with Boyd finding some space but his shot was saved once again by Hartman.
Neither team was able to register any quality chances on goal in the final 20 minutes of the game, trading fouls and possession as the game ended level.
FC Dallas (1-0-1, 4 points) will go on the road for the first time next weekend when they visit Eastern Conference foe Sporting Kansas City.
Portland (1-0-1, 4 points) stays on the road next Saturday, March 24 as they visit the New England Revolution.