You knew the game would be a tad rough when the press release went out before kickoff that FC Dallas would be without Kenny Cooper due to a family emergency. Then it got worse not even 10 minutes in as his understudy on the day, Eric Hassli, left the match with a hip injury.
The Portland Timbers found that the lack of offensive options up front for FC Dallas was more than enough for them to push forward when they wanted to on the afternoon on the way to the 1-0 win.
It was an amazing goal from forward Darlington Nagbe early in the second half that proved to be the difference maker. There was nothing that defender George John could do about the goal as Portland found Nagbe in the box with little room to work. John defended Nagbe almost to perfection but the quick turn by Nagbe followed up by the impressive shot left John and the rest of FC Dallas standing around wondering what happened.
FC Dallas was on their heels for the majority in this one as keeper Raul Fernandez was called to make several big stops. One if the late stage of the first half on Mamadou Danso, a couple more in the second half including a one-on-one stop against Diego Valeri.
The Hoops got some offense going though at different times in the match. With Cooper and Hassli out, Fabian Castillo pushed forward in the first half while Jackson moved up in the second half. The move with Jackson seemed to spark a few things in the Dallas attack but none of the chances were good enough to get by Donovan Ricketts.
The loss for Dallas is the third on the season. Portland moves within two points of the Western Conference lead that Dallas will kept a hold of for another week.
(More on this game coming up)