Matchday Preview: Struggling FCD, Timbers face off in Texas
FC Dallas and the Portland Timbers will both be aiming to start a second-half charge up the Western Conference when the teams meet for the second time this season at FC Dallas Stadium on Saturday evening. FCD return home following a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes at midweek, while the Timbers continue their road swing which started with a 1-0 loss at Chivas USA, also at midweek. The teams drew 1-1 in Frisco in March.
The Portland Timbers saw their losing slide extended to three games, falling 1-0 to Chivas USA on Wednesday afternoon at The Home Depot Center. The Timbers are in a tie for eighth place in the Western Conference with 19 points from 19 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Timbers keep sliding in loss to Chivas
- The game's only goal came in the 16th minute. Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins got his hands to a shot from Ryan Smith on the right of the area, but Miller Bolanos was quickest on the back side to drive the rebound into the goal.
- Timbers interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson made two changes to the side that fell 5-3 to the LA Galaxy at JELD-WEN Field. Mamadou Danso came into the back for David Horst, and Diego Chara started in midfield for Lovel Palmer.
- PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-2-3-1): Troy Perkins - Kosuke Kimura, Hanyer Mosquera, Mamadou Danso, Steven Smith - Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara - Kalif Alhassan (Danny Mwanga 77), Darlington Nagbe (Franck Songo'o 61), Eric Alexander (Sal Zizzo 70) - Kris Boyd.
Preview: Wilkinson talks about FC Dallas
It was a second loss in as many matches for interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson, after taking over for John Spencer.
"I think in the first half we lacked a little bit of energy, we lacked imagination, we lacked creativity -- our ball speed was a little bit poor and individual areas cost us the goal," said Wilkinson. "I think our shape was by and large a lot better and going into the second half we picked up the tempo a little bit and we started to press a lot higher."
The Timbers are now 0-7-2 on the road this season, their last away win coming last Oct. 2 at Vancouver. They are the only team in MLS without an away victory this season.
"It's disappointing, another road loss. I thought we could have had a couple goals in the second half and some breakdowns gave them a goal early," said midfielder Eric Alexander. " ... Different surfaces, size of the field, I don't know -- not much, really. But it seems to affect how we play a little bit and we've got to fix it."
The Timbers have not scored on the road since the 3-1 loss at LA on April 14. They have now gone 607 minutes without a road goal; the second-longest in MLS history. The all-time MLS record is 683 minutes, set by the New York Red Bulls from March 19-June 13, 2009.
"Did we deserve to score? We created chances, a couple of good, good chances. It's a matter of self-belief and getting those opportunities and hitting the target, and hitting the target with a purpose," Wilkinson said.
The Timbers have allowed 15 goals both in 10 home games and nine away games. They've scored just two on the road.
"I think our defending one-on-one (needs to be better)," said Wilkinson. "I think in the middle of the park we did a decent job and we got isolated out wide and we need to do a better job of dictating play, even in our defensive third."
While he maintained the same scheme he put in for his match in charge, Wilkinson changed all three attacking midfielders around the hour mark, bringing on Danny Mwanga, Franck Songo'o and Sal Zizzo.
- "Football's a difficult game sometimes to pinpoint where something changes, but I think we upped the game speed a little bit. We got at them in higher areas of the pitch and were closing them down and it lead to a few mistakes and we probably should have capitalized on them," said Kris Boyd.
FC Dallas concluded their two-game road swing with a defeat, the San Jose Earthquakes escaping with a 2-1 win Wednesday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. FCD is in a tie for eighth place in the Western Conference with 19 points from 21 matches.
HIGHLIGHTS: Quakes escape in Dallas
- The Quakes took the lead in the 12th minute when Marvin Chavez hammered a skidding cross-field pass from Shea Salinas into the far corner with a wicked strike.
- San Jose doubled the advantage through Alan Gordon in the 45th minute. From a turnover, Sam Cronin looped a cross from the right flank to the far post, where a barely marked Gordon looped a header back the other way.
- The game was poised to be put out of reach when FCD's Brek Shea was called for a handball in the 60th minute. Chris Wondolowski stepped up to the spot and ripped a shot past goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, but referee Kevin Stott ruled a San Jose player encroached into the area, and Hartman knocked away Wondolowski's drive on the retake.
- FC Dallas pulled a goal back in the 89th minute when Hernan Pertuz headed home a free kick launched into the mixer by Jackson from the right.
- Then in stoppage time, Quakes substitute Simon Dawkins bundled over FCD's Zach Loyd, and Stott again pointed to the spot. Jair Benitez stepped up to take the kick, but pushed his shot just high of the crossbar, allowing San Jose to escape with a full three points.
- FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made two changes to the team that came back for a 2-1 win against the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Julian de Guzman came into the midfield for Daniel Hernandez, and Jackson replaced Ricardo Villar on the flank.
- FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Kevin Hartman - Zach Loyd, Hernan Pertuz, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez - Andrew Jacobson, Julian de Guzman - Jackson, David Ferreira (Scott Sealy 82), Brek Shea (Carlos Rodriguez 64) - Fabian Castillo (James Marcelin 95+).
FC Dallas allowed more than a goal in a game for the first time since June 16, a 2-1 loss to Houston. FCD had allowed two goals total in their previous four games.
"It was a really wide open game. Two teams that try to play a type of soccer of getting the ball wide and getting services in. The game slipped away from us with a couple of mistakes that led to two goals," said FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman.
Jair Benitez -- who does not have a goal now in 83 MLS league appearances for FC Dallas -- took the stoppage-time penalty with Brek Shea coming off after 52 minutes.
"You know Brek [Shea] usually takes them, so does David Ferreira and Daniel Hernandez has taken them," said Hyndman. "But for us at the moment after subbing Shea and Ferreira off, it was, 'Who can take it?' We had three guys in mind and looking back on it, I probably should have gone with one of the other two."
David Ferreira made his third consecutive start, coming off after 82 minutes in favor of Scott Sealy, after playing the full match the previous two contests.
Jackson has assists in each of his last two starts, his second assist of the season coming July 4 vs. Toronto FC, before setting the Pert˙z goal in San Jose.
"Unfortunately that final touch, we just couldn't finish, and I think that was the tale of the night," defender Zach Loyd said. "They finished the opportunities and we didn't capitalize on ours. ... When you play the best team and away on the road you've got to finish those chances early."
Julian de Guzman made his FC Dallas debut, playing the full 90 minutes in the midfield after coming to the club in a trade with Toronto FC.
"Normally it takes time, but just playing with these guys today, I could see myself getting really comfortable really fast. There are some good players around me in the squad and they like to play," said de Guzman. "Today was a good opportunity to finally play with the guys and there were a lot of good moments in the game. We need to work off of that and we can only get better."
REFEREE: Sorin Stoica. SAR (bench): Peter Manikowski; JAR (opposite): Jeff Muschik; 4th: Jorge Luna Hernandez
MLS Career: 3 games; FC/gm: 26.3; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 0; pens: 3
- FC DALLAS -- OUT: MF Bobby Warshaw (R foot fracture); DF Ugo Ihemelu (concussion symptoms); DF Alex Lee (lower abdominal strain); FW Blas Perez (R foot sprain); QUESTIONABLE: DF George John (concussion symptoms); PROBABLE: MF Ricardo Villar (R foot strain); MF David Ferreira (R foot surgery); MF Daniel Hernandez (R knee soreness); MF Jackson (R ankle sprain); DF Jair Benitez (R knee contusion)
- PORTLAND TIMBERS -- OUT: DF Eric Brunner (concussion); DF Chris Taylor (R hip surgery); QUESTIONABLE: DF Rodney Wallace (R ankle sprain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: POR: Jake Gleeson (New Zealand; Olympic Games)
SUSPENDED: DAL: Fabian Castillo (caution accumulation; through July 22)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: POR: Jack Jewsbury, Lovel Palmer
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DAL: Jair Benitez, Daniel Hernandez, Julian de Guzman ... POR: Kris Boyd, Diego Chara, Steven Smith, Kosuke Kimura
ALL-TIME (3 meetings): FC Dallas 1 win, 7 goals ... Timbers 1 win, 4 goals ... Ties 1
AT DALLAS (2 meetings): FC Dallas 1 win, 5 goals ... Timbers 0 wins, 1 goal ... Ties 1
FUTURE MATCH: 8/5: Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas, 4 p.m. PT (NBC SN)
- The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Goals from Portland's Darlington Nagbe and FCD's Blas Perez left the teams in a 1-1 deadlock, March 17 at FC Dallas Stadium.
- The teams split their two meetings in Portland's inaugural season, with nine goals scored in the two games. FC Dallas claimed a 4-0 win in Frisco on June 25.
- Coaches record: Schellas Hyndman vs. POR: P3 W1 L1 D1 ... Gavin Wilkinson vs. DAL: first game
LAST MEETING (MLS)
3/17: DAL 1, POR 1 (Perez 22 -- Nagbe 51)
- FC Dallas opened the scoring in the 22nd minute. Carlos Rodriguez found FCD Academy product Bryan Levya on the right side of the Timbers area. Leyva fired a hard shot that was brushed away by Timbers 'keeper Troy Perkins, only to bounce to a wide-open Blas Perez waiting to put in the rebound.
- Portland answered six minutes after the break. Darlington Nagbe, who came in for Jorge Perlaza to start the second half, collected a Daniel Hernandez turnover outside the penalty area and quickly slid it past FCD 'keeper Kevin Hartman for his first goal of the season.
- FC DALLAS (4-1-4-1): Kevin Hartman - Zach Loyd, Hernan Pertuz, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez - Daniel Hernandez - Bryan Leyva (George John 46), Ricardo Villar, Andrew Jacobson, Carlos Rodriguez - Blas Perez.
- PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-4-2): Troy Perkins - Lovel Palmer, Hanyer Mosquera, Eric Brunner, Rodney Wallace - Kalif Alhassan, Diego Chara, Jack Jewsbury, Eric Alexander (James Marcelin 77) - Jorge Perlaza (Darlington Nagbe 46), Kris Boyd.