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FC Dallas-Timbers Preview
After displaying some depth earlier in the week, the Portland Timbers could have more of their top contributors back on the home pitch Sunday night.
That's when the Timbers look to bounce back from their latest defeat and try to prevent visiting FC Dallas from extending its season-high unbeaten run to five games.
This contest will be Portland's fourth over all competitions in a 12-day stretch. So, it probably was not too surprising that the Timbers coaching staff opted to rest the likes of stars Diego Valeri (four goals, 10 assists) and Brian Fernandez (five goals in four MLS games), All-Star midfielder Diego Chara and Sebastian Blanco for what turned out to be a 2-1 loss at Montreal on Wednesday.
"We have to do this rotation," coach Giovanni Savarese told the Timbers' official website. "It was very important. We still believe that we could have gotten a little bit more from (the Montreal) game. (But) now, we have the guys in there ready to be able to battle this weekend."
Though Portland (5-8-2) managed just 44 percent of the possession, it put forth a gritty performance at Montreal. The Timbers actually equalized the match in the 53rd minute when Tomas Conechny recorded his first MLS goal to stun the home faithful. However, the Impact went back ahead for good 13 minutes later.
"Unfortunately, we didn't get a point, which is at least what we wanted," Savarese said. "But, we saw a lot of good things from the players that are emerging and most likely going to give us a lot this season."
Portland did not have Fernandez and Valeri came on as a 70th-minute substitute during a 2-1 loss at FC Dallas (7-6-5) on April 13. Cristhian Paredes scored in the 67th minute for the Timbers en route to their first loss to Dallas over a six-game stretch (2-1-3).
FCD is amid a 2-0-2 run, but knows it gave away two points with Wednesday's 2-2 home draw against Vancouver. After a scoreless first half, Jesus Ferreira scored on 55 minutes and Ryan Hollingshead four minutes later to give Dallas a 2-0 edge. However, the Whitecaps pulled one back in the 81st and equalized in the fourth minute of stoppage time to eventually share the spoils.
"We have to win this game," a severely disappointed and agitated coach Luchi Gonzalez told FC Dallas' official website. "It's unacceptable. We know that. A hard lesson. A growing pain. It's a game we tied, but it feels like a loss."
Dallas is winless in four straight league road matches since winning 2-1 at Atlanta United FC on April 20. However, it did snap a three-game road slide with a 2-2 draw at San Jose on June 8.
Ferreira, who has a team-leading five MLS goals, scored along with Reto Ziegler in the April win over Portland.
Updated June 28, 2019