FC Dallas notes:
Blas Perez (Panama) and Je-Vaughn Watson (Jamaica)
Scoring first. According to the club's game notes, FC Dallas is 9‐0‐0 this season when scoring two or more goals. The team is also 9‐0‐2 when it scores first and 5‐0‐1 when leading at halftime.
At home against Portland. The Timbers have won once in six visits all‐time to Frisco, which came last fall in the season finale.
When Portland scores. FC Dallas and the Portland Timbers have both allowed 24 goals this season. Portland has scored 23 times this season but 10 of its 23 (43.4%) have come in the final 15 minutes.
Playing the kids. Dallas' Homegrown players logged a league high 4,607 minutes or 14% of the team's total minutes in 2014 (61GP, 50GS). Dallas is leading the charge inMLS again this season with 3,510 minutes (17.7%) played by Homegrown players Victor Ulloa, Moises Hernandez, Kellyn Acosta and Alejandro Zendejas. The LA Galaxy rank second with 2,812 minutes played.
Atiba at right back. You may not like to hear this but since acquiring Atiba Harris in the Re-Entry Draft and converting him to a right back, FCD is 8-1-2 on the season with a goals against average of just 0.55. FCD has eight shutouts in those games as well.
Key player for FCD: Victor Ulloa. Last week I singled out Kellyn Acosta and it turned out that the Dallas Homegrown would have a banner night so I am hoping the same will apply to Victor as he faces Portland. Ulloa will be tasked to keep the pressure off the back four for Dallas and find ways to free up Mauro Diaz in the midfield so he doesn't have a swarm of players on him every time he receives the ball.
Biggest question: Will the physical nature of this one cause issues for FCD?
We know Portland will bring the physical play to this one and likely look to get Dallas out of their comfort zone. The Timbers have no fear about coming into Frisco and picking up a win either. Dallas has to be on their game in this one if they want to hold off what Portland is able to do in their attack with Darlington Nagbe and Diego Valeri. The fact that they won't have a Will Johnson out there will help Dallas out in the middle of the field but Portland is talented enough to make up for his absence.
I always say that you win your home games no matter what and FCD has been doing that as of late. I could see them stumble in this game but I can also see them winning comfortably as well. The heat will be a factor that helps Dallas out in this one and I think as long as Fabian Castillo and Mauro Diaz continue their impressive form, we'll see another three points go in the pocket.
FCD 2, PTFC 1
How to watch
Match date/time: Saturday, 7/25, 8:00PM
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
Online: MLS Live
Look out for our game thread, which will go up an hour before kick off.