Matchday Preview: Timbers face FC Dallas in U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal
Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas
Quarterfinal of 2013 U.S. Open Cup
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Kickoff: 6:00 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: FC Dallas Stadium (Frisco, Texas)
Forecast: 100 degrees, partly cloudy
English Radio: 750 The Game (KXTG 750AM)
The Portland Timbers enter Wednesday’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match on a MLS-club record 15-game unbeaten streak in league play. In all competitions, the Timbers have not lost a match in 17 straight games dating back to March 9. Portland is making its first appearance in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal round in the tournament’s 100th edition and is set to play its first away match in this year’s competition. Forward Frederic Piquionne leads the club with four goals in two matches as the Timbers defeated the Wilmington Hammerheads (USL PRO) and Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) to reach the quarterfinals.
FC Dallas has yet to allow a goal in U.S. Open Cup play this year and sits one point shy of first place in the Western Conference behind the Timbers and Real Salt Lake. In U.S. Open Cup play, forward Kenny Cooper leads the club with two goals, while Brazilian midfielder Michel has earned a team-high three assists as FC Dallas defeated Ft. Lauderdale (NASL) and the Houston Dynamo.
Scouting FC Dallas
One of three MLS teams that have yet to lose a match on home soil, FC Dallas are 7-0-2 at FC Dallas Stadium in league play this season. Head coach Schellas Hyndman’s squad has scored 15 goals at home, conceding six while stringing together the longest home unbeaten streak (9 games) in MLS this season.
Midfielder David Ferreira ranks tied for third in the league with five assists, while Panamanian forward Blas Pérez leads the team with five goals. Midfielder Jackson has recorded three goals and three assists and midfielder/defender Michel has earned four assists for the Hoops. FC Dallas recently earned a come- from-behind 2-2 draw against Sporting Kansas City on June 22, overcoming a two-goal deficit with goals in the 88th and 90th minutes by Andrew Jacobson and Walker Zimmerman, respectively. Earlier this season, FC Dallas built a nine-game unbeaten streak from March 17 to May 11, which ranks as the second longest undefeated streak in MLS this season.
FC Dallas Open Cup History
FC Dallas is making its second appearance in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals in the last three editions of the tournament. The Hoops advanced to the semifinals in 2011 before losing to eventual champion Seattle Sounders FC 1-0 on a 40th-minute game-winning goal by forward Fredy Montero. The Texas side won the 1997 U.S. Open Cup title, defeating D.C. United 5-3 on penalty kicks after playing to a scoreless draw in regulation and extra time before 9,766 fans at Carroll Stadium on the campus of IUPUI in Indianapolis. Former University of Portland defender Wade Webber (1985-88) started and played 90 minutes for Dallas in the championship match. FC Dallas has reached the final three times, winning once (1997) and losing twice (2005, 2007). In 2013, FC Dallas defeated the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 2-0 on May 28 and followed that with a 3-0 win over the Houston Dynamo on June 12. FC Dallas has yet to allow a goal in U.S. Open Cup action.
Timbers vs. FC Dallas
The Timbers and FC Dallas have already squared off twice this season, with the Timbers holding a 1-0-1 record in the season series. In the first matchup, forward Darlington Nagbe scored his third goal of the season and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made four saves as the Timbers earned a 1-1 draw against then-MLS leader FC Dallas at FC Dallas Stadium on May 8, extending their unbeaten streak to an MLS-best eight games. Nagbe scored the go-ahead goal in the 70th minute off an assist from Rodney Wallace, but FC Dallas tallied the equalizer on a Kenny Cooper penalty kick in the 77th minute to salvage a draw.
In the next match, Nagbe scored the game-winning goal on a tremendous turn-around strike in the box and Ricketts tied a club record with seven saves as the Timbers earned a 1-0 win at JELD-WEN Field. The win pushed the team’s MLS- club record unbeaten streak to 13 games and closed the game on FC Dallas for first place in the Western Conference.
Timbers Shut Out Rapids 3-0
The Timbers moved into a two-way tie with Real Salt Lake for the best record in MLS and a share of first place in the Western Conference with a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids before a sellout crowd of 20,674 at JELD-WEN Field on Sunday afternoon. Forward Frederic Piquionne and midfielder Will Johnson each registered one goal and one assist and forward Rodney Wallace recorded three assists to help the Timbers (7-1-9, 30pts) extend their MLS-club record unbeaten streak to 15 games, which is the longest unbeaten run in the league this season and tied for the fourth-longest in MLS history. Portland’s defense recorded its sixth straight shutout at home in league play and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts earned his MLS-best eighth clean sheet of the season. Forward Ryan Johnson scored Portland’s third goal late in the match to secure the club’s third straight victory at home.
Portland has scored an MLS-high 20 goals in the second half of games this season, including a league-best nine goals during the first 15 minutes following the halftime break. On the defensive side, the Timbers have conceded seven goals in the final 45 minutes this season, which ranks third behind Seattle (5) and Sporting Kansas City (6) for the league’s best second-half defense.
Last One Standing
Through 17 games, Portland claims the best winning percentage on the road (2- 0-7, .611) and is the only remaining team yet to suffer a road loss. The Timbers have earned at least a point in each of their first nine road contests, including a scoreless draw at the LA Galaxy on June 19. This season, Portland has earned draws on the road at Seattle (March 16), Colorado (March 30), San Jose (April 21), FC Dallas (May 8), Vancouver (May 18), Chicago (June 8) and LA (June 19). On April 27, the Timbers overcame two, one-goal deficits in a 3-2 road win at Sporting Kansas City and also earned a 2-0 road win at D.C. United on May 25. Portland’s 14 goals on the road ranks first in the league. Portland is also the only remaining MLS team with just one loss this season.
Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts had recorded four straight shutouts – a Timbers MLS record. He has an individual shutout streak of 396 minutes (May 18-25; June 15-current), which is the third-longest in MLS this season, beating out his 312-minute shutout streak from March 30-April 21. Ricketts missed the Timbers’ June 8 match at Chicago while on international duty. Ricketts’ 396-minute shutout streak is a new Timbers MLS record, surpassing the previous mark of 376 minutes set by Troy Perkins from April 21-May 20, 2012.
Timbers forward Frederic Piquionne, who scored the 100th goal in the team’s MLS history on June 23, has recorded five goals and five assists over his last seven matches across all competitions since May 25. He scored four goals in 45 minutes of a 5-1 win over Wilmington in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup on May 29, earning Player of the Round honors.
About the U.S. Open Cup
The oldest continuous soccer competition in the United States, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is open to all U.S. Soccer affiliated teams, from amateur to professional levels, and has been contested each year since it was first held in 1913-14. The 2013 U.S. Open Cup, the 100th edition of the tournament, began with a 68-team field, the largest in the modern era (1995 to present), on May 7, with four amateur teams competing in a play-in round. The tournament kicked off in full swing on May 14-15 with 36 amateur teams squaring off in the first round. In the U.S. Open Cup, all Division I (MLS), II (NASL) and III (USL PRO) professional clubs, totaling 32 clubs, are participating in the tournament proper. In 2012, Sporting Kansas City won its second-ever U.S. Open Cup trophy with a 3-2 penalty kick win (1-1 draw in regulation) against Seattle Sounders FC, stopping Sounders FC from winning a fourth straight title. Every winning team earns a monetary prize, entry into CONCACAF Champions League and gets its name engraved on the base of the Dewar Challenge Trophy, which dates to the first year of the tournament and resides at U.S. Soccer House in Chicago.