Timbers-FC Dallas Preview
FC Dallas used a barrage of goals to win in Portland last month, but that scoring touch vanished during its longest road stretch of the season.
When it returns home, Dallas will seek to avoid a franchise record-tying losing streak and a fourth consecutive shutout in Wednesday night's rematch with the Timbers.
FC Dallas (5-4-2) scored three goals in the first 29 minutes in a 3-1 road victory over Portland on April 13 but would probably settle for just a portion of that outburst after being outscored 8-0 in its last three games. After being blanked in Vancouver and at Red Bull Arena, Dallas fell 1-0 in Toronto on Saturday.
"Obviously disappointed with not getting a point from the game but we did much, much better today than the last two games," coach Oscar Pareja told his team's official website. "We showed a lot of improvement, but we made some mistakes that created some options for Toronto and one of them was a goal."
Dallas lost goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez following a late-game collision with Toronto's Will Johnson, and his status is unclear for this contest. Chris Seitz could start in net for the club's attempt to avoid losing four in a row for the first time since April 26-May 10, 2014.
FC Dallas, 3-0-2 at home, hasn't been blanked in four consecutive games since a franchise-worst 465-minute scoreless stretch in 2013.
The club will face Portland at Toyota Stadium for the first time since a 2-all draw in the final leg of the Western Conference championship Nov. 29. The teams scored all four goals in the second half with Lucas Melano's stoppage-time tally finishing off the series victory for the Timbers, who would go on to claim their first MLS Cup.
Portland's title defense isn't off to the strongest start, but the team was unbeaten in three straight until a 2-1 loss to Vancouver on Saturday. The Timbers (3-4-3) couldn't build on Nat Borchers' first-half goal and gave up the Whitecaps' two scores in a six-minute span of the second half.
"I thought we deserved something out of the game, at least a draw," coach Caleb Porter said. "This is one of those when you watch the tape, you're going to see coulda, shoulda, woulda. ... That's the way it falls some games and we need to put it behind us."
Portland is 0-3-2 away from home, the longest it has gone into a season without a road win since going 0-12-4 in 2012. The Timbers are 2-4-3 all-time in Dallas, including a win in the 2013 U.S. Open Cup, and went 0-1-1 there last season.
Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press
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