Sixth-seed FC Dallas (9-6-7, 34 points) visits third-seed Portland Timbers (11-6-6, 39 points) in the first round of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs tonight at 9:00 pm CT at Providence Park.
Gameday Social: #PORvFCD
TV: 9:00PM on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
Streaming: 9:00PM on ESPN.com/watch and the ESPN app.
Radio: 9:00PM CT on FCDallas.com/Radio (English) and 1270AM (Spanish).
Pregame Show: 8:30PM CT on FCDallas.com/Stream.
FC Dallas has struggled on the road in 2020, right up until the very end of the season. Coach Luchi Gonzalez will be looking to replicate the success at Nashville SC in both tactics and mentality.
So I’m predicting the same Nashville game tactics will be used: a mid-block with a somewhat defensive mentality to try and keep the game tight.
I got Ryan Hollingshead at left wing and Johnny Nelson at left back. Andres Ricaurte will continue at the 8 with Jesus Ferreira at the higher 10. Bressan maintains his spot at left center back.
FC Dallas is as healthy as they have been in some time so everyone but Paxton Pomykal is available. Phelipe is scheduled to be back but not out of quarantine so Kyle Zobeck should be on the bench.
On with the show…
More Game Info, Stats, and Bits
FC Dallas earned 10 of a possible 15 points to end the season.
The Portland Timbers went 2-1-2 over their final 5 games.
This is the 6th postseason in the last 7 years for FCD and they have missed the postseason only 7 times in franchise history.
The teams last met during the 2019 season. In Texas, Jesus Ferreira and Reto Ziegler scored for FC Dallas in the 2-1 win (on April 13). Brian Fernández scored in the Timbers 1-0 win on June 30 at Providence Park.
When FC Dallas won 3-1 at Portland on April 13, 2016, it is their only victory ever at Providence Park. The Timbers had won 4 of the prior 6 meetings, with 2 ties.
The Timbers have qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs for each of the last 4 seasons, now 6 times in their 10 years in MLS.
FC Dallas has reached the postseason for a 3rd consecutive year, now having qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs 18 times in the club’s 25 seasons.
The teams are meeting in the postseason for a third time.
Dallas‘ most recent postseason win came in 2016 over Seattle. A 2-0 in the 2nd leg of conference semi.
SUSPENDED: Dairon Asprilla
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
OUT: Sebastian Blanco (M) – right ACL injury
OUT: Julio Cascante (D) – left ankle injury
OUT: Jaroslaw Niezgoda (F) – left ACL tear
QUESTIONABLE: Jeremy Ebobisse (F) – concussion
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: Phelipe (technically back but in quarantine)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
OUT: M – Paxton Pomykal (hip)
- FCD vs. POR all-time: 8-7-7 (37 GF, 28 GA)
- FCD vs. POR all-time postseason: 0-2-1 (4 GF, 7 GA)
- FCD vs. POR away: 1-6-3 (10 GF, 16 GA)
- FCD vs. POR away postseason: 0-1-0 (1 GF, 3 GA)
REFEREE: Armando Villarreal.
AR1 (bench): Cameron Blanchard;
AR2 (opposite): Matthew Nelson;
4th: Victor Rivas;
VAR: Timothy Ford;
AVAR: Joshua Patlak
Villarreal MLS Career:
Villarreal MLS Cup Playoffs:
Season Goal Leaders
|Portland Timbers||Goals||FC Dallas||Goals|
|Diego Valeri||7||Franco Jara||7|
|Felipe Mora||7||Santiago Mosquera||4|
|Jaroslaw Niezgoda||6||Fabrice-Jean Picault||3|
|Jeremy Ebobisse||5||Ryan Hollingshead||3|
|107||Shots on Target||104|
G: 8 Ebobisse/Valeri
A: 8 Y Chara
SHT: 39 Valeri
SOG: 17 Mora
FC: 48 D Chara
FS: 38 D Chara
OF: 6 Mora
C: 8 D Chara
E: 1 Zuparic
G: 7 Jara
A: 5 Barrios
SHT: 37 Jara
SOG: 20 Jara
FC: 41 Thiago Santos
FS: 47 Thiago Santos
OF: 11 Jara
C: 8 Thiago Santos
E: 1 Acosta
CURRENT TIMBERS GOALS
VS. FC DALLAS
Sebastian Blanco – 2
Diego Valeri – 2
Diego Chara – 1
Jorge Villafana – 1
Cristhian Paredes – 1
CURRENT FC DALLAS GOALS
Michael Barrios – 3
Jesus Ferreira – 1
Ryan Hollingshead – 1
Reto Ziegler – 1
TIMBERS RUN OF FORM SINCE BLANCO WENT DOWN. In their last 15 matches played dating back to a 2-1 win on the road over Seattle Sounders FC on Sept. 6, Portland holds a record of 8-3-4. During that stretch, the Timbers rank tied first in MLS in goals scored (32), rank tied for second in the league in games won (8), and rank second behind only Philadelphia (+21) in goal differential (+14).
FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez was the fifth FC Dallas coach to reach the playoffs in his first season in charge (Oscar Pareja 2014, Steve Morrow 2007, Mike Jeffries 2001, Dave Dir 1996) last season.
FC Dallas coaches are 4-5-2 in their second playoff season. Dir and Pareja made it to the semifinals in 1997 and 2015, respectfully, while Mike Jeffries’ 2002 team and Colin Clarke’s 2006 team both lost in the first round.
Since 1996, FC Dallas has a .400 winning percentage and 14-23-8 record for games played in the postseason. When it comes to the first playoff match, FC Dallas has a .441 winning percentage and a 7-9-1 record.
Jimmy Maurer finished the regular season leading the league with a 0.84 goals against average (GAA). Maurer also ranked first among goalkeepers with more than 10 appearances with a 79.4 saves percentage, saving 54 out of 68 shots faced, and recorded seven shutouts this season (tied for third in the league).
Portland’s Steve Clark tied for 18th in the league with a 1.45 GAA, finished seventh in the league with 10 wins and ranked sixth in the league with 64 saves.
FC Dallas (9-5-7) had a 0.900 winning percentage (8-0-2 record) when scoring the first goal of the match and a 1-6-1 record (0.188 winning percentage) when conceding the first goal in 2020.
FC Dallas has a 5-3-0 record and 0.625 winning percentage in games
decided by one goal.
Since 2015, FCD is 72-5-17 when scoring first.
Since 2015, FC Dallas has a 0.898 winning percentage and 73-3-12 when
scoring at least two goals.
When Michael Barrios scores or assists, FC Dallas is 39-9-10 in regular-season league games. FC Dallas is 19-3-4 when Barrios scores.
Jason Kreis — 65
Oscar Pareja — 47
Michael Barrios — 44
Mauro Díaz — 44
Mauro Diaz — 10
Kenny Cooper — 9
Reto Ziegler — 8
Jorge Rodriguez — 7