Ugh. That is certainly a valid feeling going into this Monday following FC Dallas' loss to the Portland Timbers on Sunday. A 3-1 result isn't terrible but it certainly was not something we wanted to see. Not only did Portland get the two goal advantage, they possible found a way to win this series and advance to MLS Cup.
I know it is early still to say such a thing but given the way the defense played last night for FC Dallas, it will be hard to imagine the club will advance to their second MLS Cup with the way things are going. Normally I am not the pessimistic type, but two goals off set pieces to add the the other two goals given off set pieces in three playoff games has me extremely worried.
It wasn't just a bad night for Zach Loyd. Sure, he was the main culprit in the game's opening goal to Liam Ridgewell. Loyd got suckered in the box on the corner kick and Ridgewell found the open space after one bounce of the ball and made sure to hammer it into the back of the net.
It wasn't just a bad night for Je-Vaughn Watson. The Jamaican had turner over after turnover in the game. I lost track at the number on the night but it wasn't pretty.
The same can be said for Ryan Hollingshead. The dude got beat on a couple big plays on the sideline that helped see Portland score.
I don't like to call out the entire defense here as it was also a rough night in the midfield. If Mauro Diaz was able to get on the ball more, maybe things would have been different. Had Fabian Castillo or Michael Barrios gotten free on the wings more, maybe it would have been different. And had David Texeira...yeah. I won't go too much into what Texeira could have done more with because outside of the goal, the guy missed a couple big chances.
You have to tip your hat to Portland a bit here. They knew the defensive issues were there on set pieces. Dallas doesn't have the big bodies that can compete in the box like we did a couple years ago. You have to wonder why Oscar Pareja didn't opt to bring in a Walker Zimmerman late in the game to help out with things.
The task is large right now for FC Dallas. Later this week we'll dive into what FCD needs to do here to regain the hold on this series and advance to MLS Cup. Lets just say, a lot has to happen between now and Sunday for things to go our way.