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What to watch for as FC Dallas hosts the Portland Timbers

Photo: Mollie Mayfield/Dallas Sports Fanatic

What to watch for as FC Dallas hosts the Portland Timbers

FC Dallas (0-1-1) will host their second home match of the season when they face their Western Conference rivals,  thePortland Timbers (1-0-1) on Saturday at Toyota Stadium. FCD is looking to get their first three points after their stump on the road against San Jose Earthquakes (1-0-1) last weekend.

FC Dallas currently sits at the bottom of the Western Conference standings with just one point. The season has just started, but they need to quickly gain positive results if they want to finish among top seeds. Their upcoming schedule is critical for FCD to accumulate points that will move them up. Following the game against Portland, FCD must face Houston Dynamo, which will feature former FCD players Maxi Urruti and Fafa Picault—playing against Minnesota United twice, facing Colorado again, and hosting Real Salt Lake.

FCD had a few chances in both games so far this season but have been unsuccessful in their numerous attempts. Ricardo Pepi, 18, opened up his MLS career coming in as a sub against the Quakes. Argentine striker Franco Jara will be looking to connect better with both Jader Obrian and Freddy Vargas. Their connection wasn’t as fluid as their home opener, and they will seek to perfect those flaws against a much more formidable opponent.

The task won’t be easy as FCD has yet to win this 2021 MLS season. With the attacking front not finding the target, it’ll be difficult to beat a team that defends itself well. In the last ten head-to-head clashes, FCD has defeated the Timbers only four times, having a positive record (4-3-3) against the western conference foes. The Timbers sit two spots above FCD in the Western Conference standings; regardless of their position, it’ll be a tough match for both teams to secure the three points.

Predicted Line-up

Based on the previous line-ups that we saw early this season, we could expect minor changes against Portland. This is my predicted line-up for this Saturday’s game:

Goalkeeper: Phelipe Megiolaro (If Jimmy Maurer is unable to play due to his injury substitution against San Jose)

Defenders (From left to right): José Martinez, Matt Hedges, and Bressan.

Midfielders (From left to right): John Nelson, Andrés Ricaurte, Bryan Acosta, and Ryan Hollingshead.

Forwards (Form left to right): Jáder Obrian, Franco Jara, and Freddy Vargas.

Words from Luchi

Luchi, in an interview with Garrett Melcer with FC Dallas, mentioned his team would be able to respond positively to get the desired result.

“It’s really important and we’re looking for our first win,” said Luchi Gonzalez. “We weren’t able to do so here at home against Colorado and it wasn’t going to be easy against San Jose, although I thought we could’ve scored first but it didn’t go that way. This is a group, since I’ve been the coach, that responds and I know they want to show a response this Saturday in front of our home fans, against a team that we’ve got a rivalry with. We’re excited and looking forward to doing so and executing on Saturday.”

This game, just like any other, will be tough to get all three points, but the home crowd chanting them on may give them the momentum that they need to get the job done.

Credentialed Media Reporter covering FC Dallas and Dallas Sidekicks. Current University of North Texas student majoring in Digital and Print Media. Richland College Graduate with a Broadcast Media Associates Degree.

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