Timbers at FC Dallas
Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Toyota Park, Frisco, Texas.
TV: Root Sports, cable Channel 34.
Radio: 750 AM.
Timbers (0-1-2): The Timbers have struggled to finish scoring opportunities in their first three games as new attackers work to develop chemistry. Gaston Fernandez has scored the only two goals, both coming late in games. “I think it’s understandable that you’re not going to be as sharp as you can be,” Will Johnson said about adjusting to new teammates. “But that excuse has to stop now.”
The Timbers hope a better start — an early goal would be welcome — can inject some confidence into the attack. On the back end, Andrew Weber will start in goal for Donovan Ricketts, who is suspended for this game and next week’s game against Seattle, because of the red card that led to Colorado’s first penalty kick last week. Three of the four goals against Portland this season have come on penalty kicks.
FC Dallas (2-0-1): With two wins and a draw, Dallas is off to the best start of all the teams in the Western Conference. Dallas will be without three midfielders who started last week as Hendry Thomas is suspended and Adam Moffat and Andrew Jacobson left that match with injuries. Portland’s strength in midfield could be the key if the Timbers are to win. Fabian Castillo has two of Dallas’ league-best seven goals, and will try to pressure Portland’s fullbacks with his speed. Oscar Pareja, who played eight seasons for Dallas is in his first season as Dallas’ coach after leading Colorado for two seasons.