Competition: Major League Soccer – FC Dallas vs. Portland Timbers
Venue: Toyota Stadium – Saturday, September 3 – 21:00 ET (02:00 BST)
Match Odds: Dallas 4/6 – Draw 11/4 – Portland 15/4
Dallas are on an incredible run of form at home, unbeaten in their last 20 – winning 15, so Toyota Stadium is the last place any side wants to be visiting at this stage of the season.
Oscar Pareja’s side top the Supporters’ Shield standings and they’ll be feeling of going all the way this season, they need to continue their current form and they’ll have a great chance of doing so.
Dallas have a number of first choice players out through either injury or international duty ahead of this one so the pressure is on them to prove squad depth isn’t an issue.
Portland Timbers have failed to win in their last 13 games on the road in Major League Soccer, they’ll go some way to end that run here against Dallas considering their home form.
Caleb Porter’s side are sitting 6th in the West just above the red line. They have to at least finish in the top six to ensure this season isn’t seen as a complete failure and give themselves a chance of defending their MLS crown.
Portland have struggled for large parts of the season and their away form is preventing them from getting on a decent run of form. They do have a boost ahead of this one knowing how many Dallas regulars are away, but that by no means gives them a significant advantage.
A win here could be a turning point in The Timbers’ season, there are still 21 points up for grabs in their remaining fixtures, so anything is possible.
FC Dallas have just one injury concern heading into this tie as Zach Loyd is out with concussion. While Pareja doesn’t have a selection headache from injuries, he has an addition six unavailable as Tesho Akindele, Carlos Gruzeo, Moises Hernandez, Maynor Figueroa, Aubery David and Kellyn Acosta are all on international duty.
Portland Timbers have two players out in the form of Nat Borchers and Zarek Valentin. Portland have an additional three missing as Alvas Powell and Jermaine Taylor are on international duty with Jamaica, while Darlington Nagbe is with The USMNT.
FC Dallas’ last five: D/W/D/L/W
Portland Timbers’ last five: L/W/L/L/W
Key Stat: FC Dallas on a staggering 20 games unbeaten run at home in MLS.
Key Player: Mauro Diaz – The Dallas playmaker will be expected to open up the Portland backline, he has enjoyed a solid season so far.
FC Dallas 2-2 Portland Timbers – Given Dallas have seven players unavailable for this one a draw wouldn’t be the worst result, they’d remain top of the West and maintain their unbeaten home run. Portland would take a draw in this tie but a win would be a real confidence booster. Stalemate.