Although this game came at an awkward timing right in the middle of another FIFA international break which left most of the teams in the league in action this weekend short-handed, not least these two particular teams, FC Dallas still managed a 3-1 victory over current MLS Cup holders Portland Timbers at Toyota Stadium on Saturday night.
Goals from Mauro Diaz, Victor Ulloa, and Walker Zimmerman allowed FCD to race out into a comfortable lead and despite Diego Valeri’s late strike for the Timbers, Dallas held on for the win to make it nineteen consecutive unbeaten home games for the team and allowed them to complete a clean sweep of three wins from three for the year against the rival that knocked them out of the MLS Cup playoffs last November.
Even in the absence of starters Kellyn Acosta, Carlos Gruezo, and Maynor Figueroa, as well as Aubrey David and Tesho Akindele, Dallas earned a well deserved victory over a strong opponent who won the MLS Cup last year and is contending to be in the playoffs this year as well. It was a win that further continued to underline the strength in depth available in this team with a few players who haven’t seen much MLS action this year stepping up to the plate and playing their part in yet another FCD triumph.
The team was equally as good on both ends of the pitch in this encounter. Offensively, goals came from all kinds of sources and angles, while the creation of thirteen shots with nine being on target was a solid return against a decent Portland defense. Defensively things were just as good if not better with Portland being restricted to just a single shot on target which, unfortunately, resulted in a goal and denied Chris Seitz his ninth clean sheet of the year.
Not many negatives to report from this one aside from the inability to keep a deserved shut out at the very end with Portland scoring off their only shot on goal. The game itself was mostly physical, highlighted by the thirty-two fouls that were committed and the six yellow cards handed out, but otherwise, there wasn’t really any bad to point out considering the circumstances with both teams missing several key players.
Dallas will now look forward to regaining the players away on international duty this week ahead of a crucial week with a vital home game against Colorado Rapids in the race for the Supporters’ Shield next Saturday, followed by the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final against New England Revolution the following Tuesday, which will also take place at Toyota Stadium.