FRISCO, Texas - Luchi makes four personnel changes from his previous lineup as FC Dallas takes on the Portland Timbers in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs at 9:00PM at Providence Park. Here's tonight's lineup notes, pres. by UnitedHealthcare.
Maurer Back in Goal
Goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer makes his return between the sticks after missing Dallas' Decision Day match against Minnesota United with a minor injury. Brazil international Phelipe made his FCD and MLS debut at Allianz Field two weeks ago in his stead. Maurer led the league in Goals Against Average (GAA) and save percentage over the regular season and will make his MLS playoff debut tonight at Providence Park.
Changes in the Front Three
Dallas' front line looks much different from Decision Day as Franco Jara, Ryan Hollingshead and Fafa Picault all start in the attack. Last time out, it was Ricardo Pepi, Santi Mosquera and Michael Barrios who led the line for FCD against the Loons two weeks ago. It also marks the MLS playoff debut for Jara and the FCD playoff debut for Picault. Tonight's front three combined for 14 goals over the regular season, exactly half of Dallas' overall tally.
Johnny in Defense
FC Dallas' back four remains unchanged save for Johnny Nelson who returns at left back to cover for Hollingshead who moves forward to the wing. Nelson last started in FCD's away trip to Nashville SC earlier this month but was an unused substitute on Decision Day. Today's game will also be Nelson's playoff debut as well as his 12th overall appearance of the year.
Starting XI: Jimmy Maurer; Johnny Nelson, Bressan, Matt Hedges, Bryan Reynolds; Thiago Santos, Andrés Ricaurte, Jesús Ferreira; Ryan Hollingshead, Franco Jara, Fafa Picault.
Substitutes — Phelipe, Reto Ziegler, Bryan Acosta, Tanner Tessmann, Brandon Servania, Ema Twumasi, Ricardo Pepi, Santiago Mosquera, Michael Barrios