After two fairly lousy efforts for FC Dallas it appears the team is back in the normal flow of things. Dallas possibly put together the most complete performance of the season against the Portland Timbers as they rout the expansion club 4-0 on Saturday night. Two goals late in the first half followed by two more in the second half were definitely enough for the three points.
Goals came from all over as two defenders scored off corner kicks, Zach Loyd and George John cashed in as Daniel Hernandez stepped up and took corners for the first time all season. That move paid off in a big way. The other two goals came in the run of play from Brek Shea and Jackson Goncalves.
The defense stepped up to stop one of the best set piece-taking teams in the league while the offense came alive thanks for a switch back to the old 4-1-4-1 with the absence of Fabian Castillo. Jackson had possibly his best game in a Dallas uniform as he set up the last two goals, scoring the forth and final goal of the game.
(read on for more thoughts, videos and stats)
1. Dallas beat the heat. It may not get talked about but you could tell after about 30 minutes Portland looked gassed. The Timbers had been making some very dangerous chances from about the 12th minute to the 30th minute or so. Dallas was giving away a few set pieces too many to the Timbers and thankfully last night they could not cash in on them. More than half of their goals this season came from set pieces so Dallas did a remarkable job defending them. But once the half hour mark hit it was all Dallas for the rest of the game. The second goal before half time really took the sails out of the Timbers and you could tell it was just going to be a fun night.
2. Jackson's game. It may be safe to say that Jackson's natural spot is on the flank. With Castillo out, Hyndman opted for the 4-1-4-1 and it really paid off having Jackson on the wings. He and Shea really proved to be a handfull for the Timbers all night. The Brazilian easily had his best night with Dallas, looking dangerous on counter opportunities early, hitting the crossbar once, creating chances late and scoring a nice goal.
3. The trio in the middle. In a way it was a quite game for Andrew Jacobson and Eric Alexander but it was a good kind of quite. They bogged down the midfield for the TImbers and really didn't allow the Timbers to set up any quality chances through the midfield for Kenny Cooper or Jorge Perlaza. I think Alexander really had a strong performance last night as he nearly scored a goal set up by Jackson that hit off the post, thankfully Shea was there to finish the play.
4. The play without Castillo. It was a weird thing but honestly the offense seemed more alive without Castillo out there last night. I doubt this will happen every week that Castillo is out with Colombian for the U20 World Cup but to see the team open up like this without him is a real positive thing.
Hyndman on the win
Hyndman on Jackson's performance
Kevin Hartman on the game
George John on the game and his goal
DAL - Zach Loyd (Daniel Hernandez) 34
DAL - George John (Hernandez) 38
DAL - Brek Shea 58
DAL - Jackson (Eric Avila) 85
FC Dallas - Kevin Hartman, Zach Loyd, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Jair Benitez, Eric Alexander (Eric Avila 76), Andrew Jacobson, (Bobby Warshaw 68), Daniel Hernandez, Jackson, Marvin Chavez (Ruben Luna 78), Brek Shea.
TOTAL SHOTS: 21 (Jackson 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 10 (Jackson, Brek Shea 2); FOULS: 15 (Brek Shea 3); OFFSIDES: 1 (Marvin Chavez 1); CORNER KICKS: 8 (Daniel Hernandez 8); SAVES: 2 (Kevin Hartman 2)
Portland Timbers - Troy Perkins, Jeremy Hall, Eric Brunner, Mamadou Danso, Rodney Wallace, Darlington Nagbe (Adam Moffat 45), Diego Chara, Jack Jewsbury, Kalif Alhassan (Sal Zizzo 57), Kenny Cooper, Jorge Perlaza (Eddie Johnson 63).
TOTAL SHOTS: 5 (Rodney Wallace 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Rodney Wallace, Sal Zizzo); FOULS: 5 (Jeremy Hall, Diego Chara 2); OFFSIDES: 3 (Jorge Perlaza (3); CORNER KICKS: 1 (Jack Jewsbury); SAVES: 6 (Troy Perkins 6)
Referee: Elias Bazakos
Referee's Assistants: George Gansner, Eric Boria
4th Official: Alex Prus
Time of Game: 1:45
Weather: Clear, 95 degrees