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FC Dallas vs Portland Timbers: Preview, prediction and how to watch online

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FC Dallas looks to knock off the Timbers to advance to a MLS Cup.

Godofredo Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


FC Dallas looks to advance to a MLS Cup tomorrow night as they host the Portland Timbers in the second leg of the Western Conference finals.

Portland enters the second leg with a 3-1 advantage on goals.

FC Dallas notes:

Injuries: Out: Bakary Soumare (concussion), Rolando Escobar (facial fracture)

Goals against. FC Dallas has improved its goals against average this season. Last year, the squad allowed 1.32 goals per game. This season the back line has reduced that number to 1.18 per match.

First goal is key. FCD has a 15‐1‐2 record this season when scoring first. Dallas' only regular loss was a 2‐1 defeat to the LA Galaxy on Aug. 15. Seattle did manage to come from behind last week.

First half defense. FC Dallas has only allowed 13 goals in the opening 45 minutes of matches this season, which ranks first in MLS (tied with Seattle). The team has shutout its opponent through the first 45 minutes of the match 21 times this season or 68% of the time.

Playing the kids. Dallas' Homegrown players logged a league high 4,607 minutes (14%) of the team's total minutes in 2014. Dallas is leading the charge in MLS again this season with 6,373 minutes (20%) played by Victor UlloaMoises HernandezKellyn AcostaAlejandro ZendejasCoy Craft and Jesse Gonzalez. The Revolution rank second with 4,343 minutes played. Dallas' Homegrowns have logged 1,900+ more minutes than any other team in MLS.

Key player for FCD: Victor Ulloa and Kellyn Acosta.  I'm cheating on this one but its going to come down to Ulloa and Acosta in the middle of the park, clogging up passing lanes and keeping the pressure off both Mauro Diaz and the Dallas defense. If those two aren't able to set Diaz up in space and relieve the pressure off of Matt Hedges and Zach Loyd, then the season may be over for the club.

Biggest question: How will the nasty weather play a factor?

If you are in Dallas right now, you know that the last couple of days have been nasty weather wise. The big thought in my mind is how this will cause issues on Sunday evening with a potentially rain-soaked field. Will that slow Dallas down in the attack and allow Portland to play their game more? Or will it open things up for a cagey affair that helps Dallas out?

Prediction

After last week, I'm not as confident as I once was about this game. I do think Dallas will get the win at home but something tells me in my gut that Portland will snag a ridiculous goal late to win the series. God, I hope I am wrong with that thought.

FCD 2, POR 1

How to watch

Match date/time: Sunday, 11/22, 4:00PM

Venue: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX

TV: ESPN

Online: Watch ESPN

Look out for our game thread, which will go up an hour before kick off.