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What to watch for against the Portland Timbers

Do you hate Fanendo Adi as much as I do?

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas is back out on the road this weekend as they kick off a three-game road trip. Here are a few key items to keep an eye out for as they take on the Portland Timbers.

Watch the Kids

No Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman, Maynor Figueroa, Kellyn Acosta, and Tesho Akindele for this game. Pareja is going to have to turn to the youth, and realistically missing five starters away against Portland, you can’t expect to win. This game will probably get pretty ugly. For Aaron Guillen, Walker Hume, and possibly Carlos Cermeno, this game could get out of hand, but this is an important game nonetheless. The fans and Pareja get to see how these young players will deal with the stress of this game. Make sure to watch their body language to see if they get flustered or their effort drops by the end of the game, although I’m sure these young players are professionals and will make the most of any opportunity they are given.

Diego Valeri is Hot

Isn’t this guy always on fire? Maybe he just heats up before he plays Dallas, or maybe that’s just part of being a perennial MVP candidate. Either way, he’s scored three goals in his last three matches. Carlos Gruezo has a knack for neutralizing opposing number tens, but he has his work cut out for him this week. Valeri will do what he can to grab thee points for Portland this week, which would move them ahead of FCD in the Western Conference standings.

A Villain is Born

I’m not sure there is a bigger bad guy in the MLS, certainly for FC Dallas fans, than Fanendo Adi. Every game against Dallas he finds a way to score or piss someone off. Whether it was throwing Zimmerman down in the playoffs, late challenges, or just being good at his job, Adi is easily one of an FCD fan’s least favorite players. The worst part is, he isn’t going anywhere soon. He’s only 26 and Dallas will play Portland at least twice a season. If he isn’t already one of your most hated players, then there’s still plenty of time for him to change your mind.