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FC Dallas, Timbers aim to get back on winning track

Mar 25, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; FC Dallas defender Nkosi Tafari (17) and Los Angeles FC forward Carlos Vela (10) go for the ball in the first half at BMO Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Both FC Dallas and the Portland Timbers will look to regain their winning ways when they square off on Saturday in a Western Conference match in Frisco, Texas.

FC Dallas (2-2-1, 7 points) head home after a 2-1 loss at Los Angeles FC last Saturday. Dallas gave up an early goal and then went down a man in the first half when defender Ema Twumasi was sent off. It rallied to tie the match on a goal by Nkosi Tafari in the 73th minute but later succumbed to the defending MLS Cup champions.

“We talked about having a special group of players with special characteristics,” FC Dallas coach Nico Estevez said. “We had to go out there and recognize that those first 15 minutes of the half were poor. We had to believe that even with 10 men, we can still attack, connect, counter and even score.”

Twumasi will miss Saturday’s match because of his red card against LAFC, with his right-back spot likely being manned by Geovane Jesus, the 21-year-old Brazilian who has seen action in five matches this season as a substitute.

FC Dallas has not lost to the Timbers over a stretch of eight games at home (6-0-2) and has won the past three matches in Frisco against Portland, outscoring the Timbers 10-3.

Jesus Ferreira leads FCD with three goals this season, with all three coming at home.

The Timbers (1-3-1, 4 points) have not tasted victory since an opening-week win when they beat Sporting Kansas City 1-0 at home. Portland dropped three straight matches (and was outscored 10-4) before producing a scoreless draw against the LA Galaxy at home last weekend.

Portland has struggled with injuries over its first five matches of the year, with Felipe Mora, Sebastian Blanco, Yimmi Chara, Dairon Asprilla and Evander all having been sidelined at times.

“The good thing is that there is a great, positive vibe internally, and all the players and everybody’s on the same page,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said. “And always when you have that, it is a lot easier to be able to put everything in the right direction for the goals that we are looking for.”

Portland has dropped three straight road matches dating back to last season and has allowed three or more goals in six of its last eight games away from home.

–Field Level Media

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