Major League Soccer - Providence Park
04/04/2015: Clear, 10C/50F
Pre-game records: Portland Timbers (W0-D3-L1) vs. FC Dallas (W3-D1-L0)
Portland Timbers – GLK Adam Larsen Kwarasey, DEF Alvas Powell, DEF Liam Ridgewell, DEF Nat Borchers, DEF Jorge Villafana, MID Rodney Wallace, MID Diego Chara, MID George Fochive, FWD Darlington Nagbe, FWD Maximiliano Urruti, FWD Fanendo Adi. Formation: 4-4-2.
FC Dallas – GLK Chris Seitz, DEF Matt Hedges, DEF Atiba Harris, DEF Walker Zimmerman, DEF Zach Loyd, MID Michel, MID Victor Ulloa, MID Fabian Castillo, MID Ryan Hollingshead, MID Tesho Akindele, FWD David Texeira. Formation: 4-2-3-1.
Game 5 of the MLS season:
After a beautiful, dry day in the Rose City, the Portland Timbers and FC Dallas took to the field staring at different ends of the MLS league table early doors with the Timbers only mustering 3 points from their first 4 games despite 3 goals already from Fanendo Adi and FC Dallas looking strong atop the Western Conference with an unbeaten record and 10 points already on the board.
Many would argue that the Timbers have been unlucky in their first few games with injury time despair at home to the LA Galaxy (to snatch away a Timbers victory) and away to the Vancouver Whitecaps (whom the Timbers dominated in terms of possession and passing but just could not get the result). Caleb Porter had plenty of confidence in his team going into this game, firmly believing that they could get the 3 points and he went with the 4-4-2 formation used at Vancouver as it worked extremely well in terms of possession. Coach Porter said in the run up to this game after a frustrating start to the season that “The best medicine for what we are feeling is a win”.
FC Dallas came into this game brimming with confidence with their somewhat surprisingly lofty position atop the MLS league standings after impressive wins against San Jose (1-0), Sporting KC (3-1), and the Philadelphia Union (2-0), plus a decent draw against the Seattle Sounders. Preseason form did not point to such a good start but this side has performed well and 24 year old Blas Perez had already netted 3 goals in 3 games. FC Dallas had scored 6 goals in their first 4 games and were looking to poach another victory at a place where away wins are hard to come by.
7 mins: With the Timbers looking comfortable in possession, Darlington Nagbe dribbles his way through a 40 yard run and knocks it wide left to Rodney Wallace who, with Urruti and Adi waiting in the penalty box, wastes the chance to put in a good cross and FC Dallas clear. 5 minutes later, Wallace chests the ball done nicely and hits a volley but it deflects of the Dallas defense through to the keeper safely.
15 mins: David Texeira appears to throw an elbow to the nose of Liam Ridgewell and Texeira is booked as Ridgewell receives treatment. Texeira to be fair appeared to have his eyes on the ball and it was more clumsy than malicious.
19 mins: The first real chance to FC Dallas as Castillo puts a ball through for Akindele but Kwarasey read the play brilliantly and comes out to grab the ball from the midfielder’s feet.
GOAL 23 mins: The Timbers win a corner and Jorge Villafana swerves in a fine cross from the right hand side and Nat Borchers nets his first goal for the Timbers! Portland Timbers 1-0 FC Dallas.
Offside 25 mins: Fernando Adi breaks free through the FC Dallas defense and strikes low at goal and Chris Seitz pulls off an excellent save and sprays the ball to his right and Urruti is there to convert but is offside from the original shot.
GOAL 30 mins: FC Dallas score themselves from a corner kick as Michel crosses from the left side an out swinger and it is met by Tesho Akindele to slot it home from close range and make the game all square at 1-1. Portland Timbers 1-1 FC Dallas.
42 mins: From an FC Dallas corner, Fanendo Adi heads the ball clear to Diego Chara who breaks and gets the ball wide to Darlington Nagbe who then scuffs his shot wide of the left hand post. Excellent work by Chara. Nagbe might usually show more composure there.
45 mins: Some excellent footwork from Alves Powell as he cuts in from the right at the edge of the penalty box and he is fouled by Ryan Hollingshead. It’s an excellent position for a left footer but Rodney Wallace’s free kick is fired just over the bar.
Half Time Score: Portland Timbers (Nat Borchers 23) 1-1 FC Dallas (Tesho Akindele 30)
Shots: Portland Timbers 7-4 FC Dallas
Possession: Portland Timbers 54%-46% FC Dallas
50 mins: Urruti is through but it’s a very tight angle and he fires the ball straight to the hands of the Dallas keeper. The Timbers started the 2nd half with some extra zeal in an attempt to regain the lead.
56 mins: A poor and accidental back pass from Diego Chara slips through Ryan Hollingshead for FC Dallas but he is unable to get the ball under control and Kwarasey sprints out to collect the ball from the feet of the wide man.
GOAL 63 mins: Some excellent work from George Fochive as he wins the ball and Nagbe goes on a mazy run toward the penalty and slips it through to Asprilla who crosses to Maximiliano Urruti who volleys it high into the net from close range. Portland Timbers 2-1 FC Dallas. Darlington Nagbe once again carving a way through the FC Dallas defense and causing them all sorts of problems.
84 mins: As FC Dallas push people forward with little real threat, the Portland Timbers are breaking well and often and this time its Fochive driving through the midfield and his pass cannot quite reach Adi who would have been through on goal.
85 mins: FC Dallas win a corner and Zach Loyd climbs all over Nat Borches and gets a decent header onto it and Kwarasey gets a hand on it and tips it onto the crossbar.
GOAL 87 mins: As FC Dallas file men forward Diego Chara steals the ball close the halfway line a prods it to Adi who returns the favor and Chara runs through on goal and slides the ball to the left of Chris Seitz and the home side go 3-1 up to the delight of the majority of the capacity crowd. Portland Timbers 3-1 FC Dallas.
The Portland Timbers have played better than their 3 points from 4 games had eluded to but tonight they came out and played the 4-4-2 like they had been playing it for years. Borchers and Ridgewell looked solid at the back, if a little war scarred from the game, Chara and Fochive were excellent in the center of midfield as the engine of the team and Nagbe and Wallace threatened often throughout the game supplying some good chances to Urruti and Adi.
The 3-1 score line was not flattering to the Timbers who had more possession and more shots on goal and Caleb Porter deserves credit for going again with the 4-4-2 formation that dominated Vancouver away, even though they were unfortunate to lose that game. With Valeri and Captain Johnson yet to come back from injury, things are looking positive for the Portland Timbers who finally got their first win of the season tonight.
Full Time Score: Portland Timbers (Borchers 23, Urruti 63, Chara 87) 3-1 FC Dallas (Akindele 30)
Possession: Portland Timbers 49%-51% FC Dallas.
Shots: Portland Timbers 12-8 FC Dallas.