FC Dallas Media
August 18, 2013, PORTLAND, Ore. (ISN) – Mauro Diaz notched his first career MLS goal, but the tally wasn’t enough as FC Dallas (8-7-9, 33 points) fell, 2-1, to Portland Timbers FC (9-3-11, 38 points) in front of 20,674 fans at JELD-WEN Field Saturday night.
Although FC Dallas has been touted throughout the season for its set piece prowess, it was Portland that found the back of the net on a corner kick early on in the contest when Diego Valeri picked Ryan Johnson out of the crowd in the 26th minute. Johnson rose above his marker to power a header past goalkeeper Raul Fernandez for a 1-0 Timbers lead.
Two minutes later FC Dallas answered in quality fashion with a series of quick passes ending in an icy finish by Diaz to knot the score at one. Jackson gave the ball to Blas Perez at the center of the top of the 18-yard box with his back to goal and the Panamanian striker quickly found Fabian Castillo who received the one-touch pass mid-stride and delivered an expertly timed through ball to a streaking Diaz for the score.
Unfortunately, the draw was short-lived as five minutes later Darlington Nagbe put the host Timbers back on top. Valeri once again assisted on the play, this time with a perfect feed through the defense. Nagbe rewarded Valeri’s quality service with a rocket to the top left corner and a 2-1 Portland lead.
FC Dallas had chances early, testing Rickets from distance and sending a few opportunities high or wide of goal. Meanwhile, Portland had similar trouble, most notably in the 21st minute when Valeri played a little give-and-go with Ben Zemanski, earning an open look at goal from the penalty spot. With time and opportunity, however, Valeri shanked the shot wide of goal.
Dallas had a chance to equalize in the 75th minute when second-half substitute Ramon Nunez turned and fired, catching Ricketts off guard with the shot. However, his attempt sailed inches wide, keeping the result in Portland’s favor.
FC Dallas continues its West Coast road swing with a mid-week game at Chivas USA Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. CT.
POR – Ryan Johnson (Diego Valeri) 26
DAL – Mauro Diaz (Fabian Castillo, Blas Perez) 28
POR – Darlington Nagbe (Diego Valeri) 33
FC Dallas – Raul Fernandez, Michel, Matt Hedges, George John, Kellyn Acosta (Kenny Cooper 83), Erick, Mauro Diaz (Ramon Nunez 73), Fabian Castillo, David Ferreira, Jackson (Je-Vaughn Watson 77), Blas Perez.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Jair Benitez, Stephen Keel, Walker Zimmerman.
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Ramon Nunez 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Mauro Diaz 2); FOULS: 12 (Jackson 4); OFFSIDES: 2 (Fabian Castillo 2); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Michel 4); SAVES: 4 (Raul Fernandez 4).
Portland Timbers – Donovan Ricketts, Pa-Modou Kah, Alvas Powell, Michael Harrington, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Diego Chara, Diego Valeri (Kalif Alhassan79), Ben Zemanski, Rodney Wallace, Ryan Johnson (Jose Adolfo Valencia 73), Darlington Nagbe.
Substitutes Not Used: Ryan Miller, Jack Jewsbury, Rauwshan McKenzie, Milos Kocic, Sal Zizzo.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Ryan Johnson 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Ryan Johnson 3); FOULS: 10 (Jose Adolfo Valencia 3); OFFSIDES: 1 (Michael Harrington 1); CORNER KICKS: 11 (Diego Valeri 9); SAVES: 3 (Donovan Ricketts 3).
POR – Ben Zemanski (caution) 53
DAL – Jackson (caution) 54
DAL – Blas Perez (caution) 58
POR – Diego Valeri (caution) 59
Referee: Allen Chapman
Referee’s Assistants: Chris Strickland, Colin Arblaster
4th Official: Ricardo Salazar
Time of Game: 1:53
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman
Thoughts on the match:
“I thought it was a good match. We felt good about playing here and did some nice things. It’s always such a difficult place to play, with the artificial surface and the fans. I thought the goals were good goals and, even though we didn’t win the game, we were pleased with our progress.”
On the goal scored by Díaz:
“I thought the offense was playing quite well. The Timbers had a lot of opportunities to control the ball and where we struggled tonight was where they break out. There wasn’t anything we weren’t expecting with the way Portland plays.
“I think it was Díaz, settling things down and making good penetrating passes. This is the first game that he has really played for us. The coordination and the feel of what is going on the pitch at that moment really showed us good soccer.”
Thoughts on the physical play in the second half:
“I thought the way the game played kind of took a turn to where you saw all those fouls happen. It’s just something that comes with the way the game is played these days.”
FC Dallas defender Kellyn Acosta
Overall thoughts on the match:
“It’s always a tough atmosphere to play in Portland. The crowd that shows up is crazy. They are a very possession oriented team, which always makes it difficult for teams to gain control of the ball.”
On the team’s thoughts after conceding the opening goal:
“We just needed to find ways to create chances. We talked on the field about keeping our same game plan that we had when we started the match. Defensively we had to remain strong and keep attacking.”
On the quick response after Portland’s opening goal:
“We just had to stay confident and believe we could score the goal.”
On what they’ll take from the match:
“I feel like we’re on the comeback. We were on a scoreless drought, but the last few games we’ve been scoring the goals. If we continue to remain confident and continue to push forward we will earn those three points.”
FC Dallas forward Kenny Cooper:
On the physical play in the second half:
“When you see both teams on the field wanting to win the game, it makes these points at the end of the season much more valuable. Obviously, in-conference games you want to take three points away from your opponent and keep them for yourself, but I give Portland credit for what they did to secure the victory tonight.”
Thoughts on the match:
“There are positives to take. We scored a great goal by a young player who continues to improve himself. Of course the score line isn’t one we wanted, but we will look back at the tape and find the positives to take from tonight.”
Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
Overall thoughts on the match:
“I thought it was a very professional performance for the 95 minutes. Part of that was, I think, the mentality and how we started the game, for sure. That was something that we wanted to do better. I thought we did. That was one of our better first halves of the year, not the best, so that got us off to a good start. Second half, a lot of times, it’s about managing a game, and I thought we managed it brilliantly the last 20 minutes, especially. The guys who went into the game, Jose [Valencia] and Kalif [Alhassan], I thought did a nice job for us, and everybody else, just did what they needed to do to get the three points. In MLS, that’s sometimes what it takes. It’s not always going to be pretty, you got to grind through it and get it done. And these guys did it tonight.”
On the team’s performance against FC Dallas:
“We’ve never gone away from playing the way we play. But, I think it was us just tightening the screws a bit more on both sides of the ball. And again, just making sure we make plays in the box. But I thought the start of the game, we were flying; that’s the way we want to be. We gave up the goal to go 1-1, when they tied, and a lot of teams, again, would have started getting wobbly and scrambling, and we just went right back and scored again. So again, this team has got the mentality, I’ve never questioned that, and I don’t know why anybody else would, but this is one game down. This [one] is over. Next game’s [Real] Salt Lake. We’re in the last stretch here. And we want to hit the last stretch running, sprinting. We don’t want to wait for the last three or four games to now sprint, we’re going to start sprinting now, and I thought we showed how hungry we are to make the playoffs tonight.”
On getting a result against a talented FC Dallas side:
“That’s a talented team. We didn’t underestimate them. We certainly knew how good they were. They were maybe the best team the first half of the year. They’ve got as much talent on that team, individually, as any team in the league, and a ton of team speed and athleticism. They have the ability to open you up 1v1 with [Fabian] Castillo, and Jackson, and [David] Ferreira, and [Mauro] Diaz, [Blas] Perez is a handful. That’s one of the most talented teams in the league, right there. I know they’ve not been in good form recently, but that’s a great result; a great result. It was a month ago, we were facing that team and they were on top of the table. So I’m pleased with what we did tonight.”
Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts
On the team’s performance:
“When you get to this stage of the season, it’s all about getting points on the board. It doesn’t matter how you play, but you just need to get results. And that’s what we did tonight.”
On getting off to a good start:
“It was good, because the first five minutes, we played in their half, and we pressured them. They had a couple turnovers, and we picked our momentum up and we controlled the game from there. I think it’s important to get good starts and not fall down.”
On the team’s response after allowing the equalizer:
“We were determined that we were going to get a positive result tonight. When we went up and we gave away a goal, we knew we had to score again, and it was important that we score again early, so they didn’t have enough life in them to give us a fight, and that’s what we did. I think we did well tonight. We played like we did at the beginning of the season in the first half and we showed gritty determination in the second half just to get a result.”
Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri
On the team’s quick response to find the game-winning goal:
“We are an attacking team, and maybe sometimes, we were not as smart, because we want to attack every time. They scored a goal very quickly after our goal, and we tried to keep calm, give them pressure, attack. We were lucky, because we got the goal [back] very fast, too.”