KBSR, Timbers vs. FCD, 11.22.20
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

KeyBank Scouting Report | Timbers and Dallas duel in Round One of Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs


Date: Nov. 22, 2020
Kickoff: 7 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Forecast: Showers, 41 degrees

Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Cameron Blanchard, Matthew Nelson
Fourth Official: Victor Rivas
VAR: Tim Ford

National TV: ESPN
Talent: Jon Champion (play-by-play), Taylor Twellman (analyst)
English Radio: 750 The Game
Talent: Jake Zivin (play-by-play), Nat Borchers (analyst), Fletcher Johnson (host)
Spanish Radio: La GranD (KGGD 93.5 FM, 1150 AM)


The Portland Timbers received a late second-half goal from Jorge Villafaña to earn a 1-1 draw on the road against Los Angeles FC at Banc of California Stadium on the final day of the 2020 MLS regular season.


Sunday’s Round One match in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs marks the 27th meeting across all competitions between Portland and FC Dallas, with the Timbers leading the all-time series 10-8-8. In three playoff meetings all-time against FC Dallas, Portland is undefeated with a 2-0-1 record. Notably, Portland is 7-1-3 at Providence Park in 11 matches played across all competitions against FC Dallas dating back to April 17, 2011. The last time the two teams met in the playoffs, the Timbers earned a 2-1 win over Dallas in the Knockout Round of the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs on Oct. 31, 2018. In 18 career playoff appearances (17 starts) for the Timbers, Diego Valeri has tallied six goals and seven assists.


Since head coach Giovanni Savarese took over the helm in 2018, he has managed the Timbers to a 40-29-22 record in MLS regular-season play. Savarese’s 40 wins in charge of the Timbers is tied with Peter Vermes of Sporting Kansas City for the fourth-most wins by an MLS head coach since 2018. In 91 MLS regular-season matches since 2018, the Timbers have scored 152 goals, which ranks tied for the third-most in the league with Sporting Kansas City. In seven playoff matches managing the Timbers, Savarese holds a 3-3-1 record. In 109 matches across all competitions managing the Timbers, Savarese holds a record of 51-34-24.


In 19 all-time Audi MLS Cup Playoff matches, the Timbers hold a record of 8-6-5, with Portland having won the 2015 MLS Cup and making an appearance in the 2018 MLS Cup Final. In eight playoff matches at Providence Park, the Timbers hold a record of 3-2-3. Portland played to a scoreless draw against Sporting KC in the first leg of the Western Conference Finals on Nov. 25, 2018. In seven playoff matches managing the Timbers dating back to 2018, head coach Giovanni Savarese holds a 3-3-1 record.


Diego Chara was named to 2020 MLS Best XI presented by The Home Depot on Nov. 20. Chara, 34, made 20 regular-season appearances (20 starts) for the Timbers in 2020, leading the team in minutes played (1,800), while adding one goal and a career-high six assists. The recognition marks the first time Chara has been selected to the MLS Best XI team in his 10 seasons with the Timbers. Chara led all MLS players in recoveries (174) this season, while he was one of three players in MLS in 2020 to have multiple games (2) with two or more assists. Chara’s 282 games played are the most by any player that was selected to the Best XI for the first time. Since making his debut with the Timbers on April 23, 2011, Chara ranks first amongst all MLS players in games started (279), minutes played (24,755), tackles won (735) and fouls conceded (683) in league play.


In their last 15 matches played dating back to a 2-1 win on the road over Seattle Sounders FC on Sept. 6, Portland holds a record of 8-3-4. During that stretch, the Timbers rank tied first in MLS in goals scored (32), rank tied for second in the league in games won (8) and rank second behind only Philadelphia (+21) in goal differential (+14). The Timbers have had three different players score five or more goals (Jeremy Ebobisse, Felipe Mora, Jaroslaw Niezgoda) dating back to Sept. 6; the only team in MLS with that figure. Additionally, Eryk Williamson has tallied three goals, while Yimmi Chara and Diego Valeri have both tallied four goals dating back to Sept. 6. Notably, Yimmi Chara is tied for the league lead in assists (7) dating back to Sept. 6.


In 23 regular-season matches played during the 2020 campaign, the Portland Timbers ranked second in MLS in goals scored (46) and lead the league in assists (48). As a team, Portland ranked first in the league in headed goals (13). The Timbers were one of four teams in MLS with two players with eight or more goals scored (Jeremy Ebobisse, Diego Valeri), and the only team in MLS with four players that scored seven or more goals scored (Ebobisse, Felipe Mora, Jaroslaw Niezgoda, Valeri).


Across all competitions in 2020, 28 players have appeared in at least one match for Portland, while 15 different players have scored at least one goal and 15 different players have recorded at least one assist. Andy Polo tallied his first goal in league play in 2020, while Pablo Bonilla tallied his first career assist for the Timbers in the 5-2 win over the LA Galaxy on Oct. 28 at Providence Park. In total 19 players featured across seven games in the MLS is Back Tournament for the Timbers, and 15 of those 19 players appeared in at least three games during the tournament.