FC Dallas has never won at Providence Park, but can that change Saturday?
The Hoops travel to Portland to take on the Timbers on Saturday. Last season, the teams went 1-1-1 on the season.
The Timbers will be without four Saturday with one player listed as questionable for the match. Some injuries date back to last season.
Out: M Will Johnson (broken leg), M Diego Valeri (torn ACL), M Ben Zemanski (torn ACL), M Michael Nanchoff (sports hernia surgery)
Questionable: M Jack Jewsbury (concussion symptoms)
The Timbers will sport the same 4-4-2 lineup FCD is expected to start.
GK: Adam Kwarasey; RB: Alvas Powell; CB: Nat Borchers, Liam Ridgewell; LB: Jorge Villafana; RM: Darlington Nagbe; CM: Diego Chara, George Fochive; LM: Rodney Wallace; F: Maximiilano Urruti, Fanendo Adi
Atiba Harris vs. Adi - Through four games, Atiba Harris has not been the most impressive defender for FCD. Through four games, Adi has been impressive with all three goals for Portland (even if two of them might have been right place right time). Adi has the striking mindset to get the ball to the back of the net, and Harris cannot let Adi get behind him in Saturday's contest. With Urruti back up top for the Timbers, the two can work well with to provide that offensive threat for Portland.
Keys to Three Points
Nagging Nagbe. Nagbe has the most impressive resume against Dallas. In five season against FCD, Nagbe has scored five goals. Don't forget a goal against FCD in the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The veteran midfielder could cause damage down his right side, but with the talent of Fabian Castillo and Moises Hernandez, Dallas should be able to win the battle.
Comforting Michel. As sad as it is that the injury bug strikes Mauro Diaz once again, Dallas has to solidify the midfield with Michel. Victor Ulloa had a great game last week against the Sounders but will continue to need that strength to hold the midfield. Michel had a good match against Seattle and will hope to have an even better one against Portland. His set pieces will need to be in tact after last week's attempts didn't prove threatening minus his free kick that smacked the crossbar.
Offense, please. There's no hiding the fact there was not a single shot on target in last week's draw. Shoutout to the defense for not allowing a shot after going down a man. However, David Texeira has to give FCD something to work with if he's going to get the start. Last week was tough on the offense after having to set back to cover for Kellyn Acosta, but Dallas now has the chance to getting back to its threatening offensive ways. It would be nice to see Castillo make a streaking run and get a few looks on Kwarsey.