The Portland Timbers went toe-to-toe with the best team in the MLS Western Conference on Wednesday, May 8 and came away with another result.
The Timbers and FC Dallas played to a 1-1 draw in Dallas, as the Timbers stretched their unbeaten streak to eight games. The Timbers are currently in third place in the Western Conference with 3 wins, 1 loss and 6 draws.
The Timbers and Dallas played an exciting match with up and down the field play, several excellent scoring opportunities for both clubs, and stellar goalkeeping.
Darlington Nagbe started the scoring in the match, giving the Timber the lead in the 70th minute. Rodney Wallace floated a pass to the far post, which Nagbe nicely volleyed past a diving Raul Fernandez.
Dallas quickly equalized in the 77th minute when Timbers defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste was called for a foul off the ball in the box resulting in a penalty call. Former Timber Kenny Cooper buried his kick in the netting to tie the match.
The Timbers return to Jeld-Wen Field for their next match on Sunday May 12th to host Chivas USA.
Timbers coach Caleb Porter rested a couple of starters in anticipation of the of the teams upcoming second game this week. Striker Frederic Piquionne started in place of Ryan Johnson and Kaliff Alassan in place of Rodney Wallace. Piquionne was very effective and created several good chances when he snuck behind the Dallas defense. Piquionne recorded three shots on the game and was unlucky when Fernandez tipped one shot which went off the post. Wallace came on early in the second half and got the first assist on Nagbe’s goal. It was also nice to see Sal Zizzo return to the Timbers bench; Zizzo has been out since early in the season after suffering a knee injury.
Young defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste had a rough night as he took the starting spot vacated by the season ending injury to Central Defender Mikael Silvestre. Baptiste was clearly beat on several plays, had a bad give-away in the Timbers box and got called for a sloppy foul that led to the Dallas penalty goal.
Diego Charra had another excellent game for the Timbers pushing the ball forward from his deep midfield position, making several great passes into space-twice finding a wide-open Piquionne- and also playing outstanding defense and making several key tackles.
Donovan Ricketts was once again a monster in goal for the Timbers making several huge saves. Rickets stopped Dallas’s Blas Perez twice and Cooper in the 89th minute to preserve the point for the Timbers.
Man of the Match
Once again it has to be Ricketts, as he dove, tipped and batted the ball away from his goal all night. The only goal he gave up was the excellently taken penalty by Cooper. Ricketts helped the Timbers earn the point on the road against one of the leagues most explosive teams.