C Seitz; K Acosta, M Hedges, JV Watson, Z Loyd; Michel, F Castillo, A Escobar, V Ulloa; D Teixera, B Pérez
D Ricketts; L Ridgewell, J Villafaña, P Modou Kah, A Powell; D Nagbe, D Chara, R Wallace, D Valeri. B Zemanski; F Adi
M Hernandez, T Akindele, A Moffat, M Díaz, J Gonzalez, C Craft, W Zimmerman
K Alhassan, J Jewsbury, J Gleeson, M Urruti, M Harrington, G Fernandez, R McKenzie
Both teams took the field in Frisco Saturday night with big goals and everything to play for. FC Dallas came in needing a win to secure third place in the Western Conference while Portland were fighting for their playoff lives needing a victory to have a chance at the final seed. The Timbers have been playing very well of late and are currently on a three game unbeaten streak and wwere more than capable of making it a long night for the home team.
The game started and Dallas were lively, but they were also sloppy. FCD keeper Chris Seitz was forced to make two saves early on as Portland started knocking on the door. The team from Oregon sliced up the Dallas defence with a fine knife for most of the first half, Chara and Nagbe were responsible for this. The only thing the team in Red could hope to do was play down Castillo's side and hope he pulled an ace out of his pocket, because the Dallas attack looked more than lacklustre.
In the 43rd minute Dallas got punished by Darlington Nagbe as he bagged his first goal of the season. The ludicrous amount of shots that the Timbers took payed off with a goal and FCD could only muster three shots that helped nothing. Halftime- Portland 1-0 Dallas.
Second half got underway and it seems to be a new FC Dallas team coming out because they started off with some form of control and purpose, unlike the first half. Portland did make a change at halftime by taking Valeri off and putting on Gastón Fernández. Ten minutes into the second half and Castillo puts the ball on a golden platter for Teixera, but Big Tex decides to sky his shot and waste the golden opportunity to even things up.
In the 63rd minute FCD looked to have equalised, but the goal is called back since Castillo scored it with his hands and not with his head and thus receives a yellow card. Two minutes later Dallas boss Oscar Pareja takes Acosta out of the match and in comes Mauro Diaz to try and salvage something. One minute after Diaz comes on Teixera scores, but yet again the goal does not count; however, this time it's because of gutsy offside call from the linesman.
Needless to say that by now both the FCD players and fans were getting livid. In the 69th minute the Timbers decide to make their second change of the match by substituting in Urruti for Adi. Four minutes later Dallas also make their second change by putting rookie of the year candidate, Tesho Akindele, in for Big Tex, a man who has not lived up to Pareja's expectations tonight. During the second half Portland seemed to have lost all the control that they had had during the first, maybe taking Valeri off was not such a good idea for Porter's team, but if the Timbers want to go to playoffs with a healthy squad then they cannot risk having Valeri get injured...badly.
But that would not make much of a difference in the end because somehow Urruti manages to unleash a shot into the back of Seitz's net. Both teams then make their last substitutions of the match: Coy Craft for Blas Perez for Dallas and for the Timbers Alvas Powell comes off and Michael Harrington takes his place. Full time- Portland 2-0 Dallas
Although Dallas did come out in the second half with a lot more determination and control they could not put the ball into the back of Rickett's net (legally) and will have to settle for a loss vs the Timbers and fourth place in the Western Conference. Now Oscar Pareja's side will have to face a wildcard game next weekend against either Vancouver or this Prtland team again.