Timbers MatchDay: FC Dallas at Portland

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter



FC Dallas at Timbers

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Wednesday at Providence Park.

TV: ESPN2, channel 36.

Radio: 750 AM.

Tickets: www.timbers.com

Timbers (4-4-7, 19 points): This is another chance for Portland to climb among the top five in the Western Conference, which is the line that determines playoff berths. The Timbers will be one match shy of the midway point after this game, and will have played more matches than any other Western Conference club except Dallas (17th game today). Portland has won its last three games on the road, but on June 1 saw a 22-match unbeaten string of MLS regular-season home matches end with a loss to Vancouver. Not that the team has been particularly good at home this season. Portland has one win, six draws and one loss this season at Providence Park. Coach Caleb Porter said he noticed some things from the three recent road wins he hopes to replicate in this home match, but the coach would not elaborate. … Portland has scored two or more goals in five consecutive matches and the Timbers average of 1.73 goals per game is third best in MLS. … Porter said one player won’t be available due to injury, though he declined to name the player. … The Timbers do not play another league match until June 27, but does host the Orlando City under-23 team on June 17 in U.S. Open Cup play.

FC Dallas (6-7-3, 21 points): As was the case a season ago, Dallas started the season fast but hit a rough patch. Saturday’s 3-2 win over Colorado was its first in eight matches. A run from the right wing by Fabian Castillo provided the winning goal in that match. Dallas has been hit hard by injuries. Defenders Kellyn Acosta and George John, and midfielders Mauro Diaz and Hendry Thomas are out. Midfielder Michel missed the Colorado game with a hamstring injury, and central defenders Walker Zimmerman and Matt Hedges both suffered injuries in the home win over Colorado. Dallas beat Portland 2-1 on March 29 at Frisco, Texas, on a late goal by Blas Perez. Portland has three wins and a draw in four MLS home matches against Dallas.