FRISCO - FC Dallas embarks on quite a week this Saturday night as they visit the Portland Timbers (9:30 p.m. CT, TXA 21). Dallas (6-2-5) is coming off the heels of a thrilling 6-2 win over Real Salt Lake to close out a stretch of four straight weekends at home, and now head to Portland, return home for a midweek Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup game and then trek back to the Pacific Northwest to face Vancouver in the span of eight days. Portland (6-5-3) is fresh off their first win in six weeks, a 2-0 result over San Jose at home on Saturday. The two sides played to a 2-2 draw on April 29 at Toyota Stadium.
With the FIFA International break this weekend, FCD and Portland are two of just six teams in action. Dallas will be tested at the back with Matt Hedges (U.S.) and Maynor Figueroa (Honduras) on National Team call, while Walker Zimmerman continues to rehab from an MCL strain picked up just under two weeks ago. The visitors will also be without Homegrown Kellyn Acosta (U.S.), but will get a late-week boost as Tesho Akindele is expected to meet the team in Portland after a Canada friendly on Thursday night. Portland will be tested in the midfield with regulars David Guzman (Costa Rica) and Darlington Nagbe (U.S.) both out on international duty.
Walker Hume vs. Fanendo Adi: Expected to get his second career start this weekend, Walker Hume and counterpart Atiba Harris in the middle will have to shut down one of the most prolific strikers in MLS, who picked up a goal and an assist in the first meeting. Both sizable defenders will be challenged in the air against the aerial DP.
Carlos Gruezo vs. Diego Valeri: Coming off a brace in the win over San Jose, Valeri has scored the last three goals for the Timbers this season. The Argentine missed the first meeting between the two sides and he’ll be leaned on heavily in the Timbers’ midfield without two regular starters.
Last Time Out
(4-2-3-1): Jake Gleeson; Vytautas Andriuskevicius, Liam Ridgewell, Roy Miller, Zarek Valentin; Diego Chala, David Guzman (out vs. FCD); Sebastian Blanco, Diego Valeri, Diego Chala; Fanendo Adi.
Key to Three Points
Dallas took a 3-1 result in their lone trip to Oregon last year and remain the last team in MLS with just a single loss on the road this season. If the veteran Atiba Harris and rookie Walker Hume can hold down the dangerous Portland attack and the offense can carry their five-goal opening half form from last week on the road, FCD can kick off their busy week with a full three points.