FC Dallas is trying to end the longest home winless stretch in franchise history. A matchup with the only MLS team without a road victory could make that happen.
Dallas goes for its first home win in eight tries Saturday night when the Portland Timbers try to avoid matching a club-record four-game losing streak.
After losing 2-1 to San Jose on Wednesday - and failing to build on a 2-1 victory at Colorado on July 14 that ended a franchise-record 13-game winless streak - FC Dallas (4-10-7) opens a stretch of three of four at home.
Dallas hopes this stretch will provide a good opportunity to improve its spot in the standings - it is tied with Portland (5-10-4) and Toronto with a league-low 19 points - but the club has totaled three goals during its 0-5-2 home skid.
Dallas has earned one point in each of its last four at Frisco, but returning home may not be enough to solve the problems Brek Shea is having. With three goals, the young midfielder is well off the pace from last season when he finished with a career-best 11.
With Dallas trailing 2-0 on Wednesday, Shea had words with coach Schellas Hyndman as he was taken out in the 64th minute.
“I thought (Shea) was very disrespectful, not only just to Schellas, but I thought to the rest of the team,” Dallas captain Daniel Hernandez told MLS’ official website. “He’s a young guy still, but this shows the immaturity there in him, and I think a lack of professionalism that right now, at this point in the season, the way things have been going for us, we can’t have.”
Shea, with the U.S. Under-23 team when the Timbers were last in town - a 1-all draw March 17 - found the back of the net once in both matchups with Portland in 2011. One of those was a 4-0 home win June 25 that was the most lopsided loss in Timbers history.
A second-half equalizer by Darlington Nagbe helped Portland open its road schedule with a point March 17, but it is 0-7-2 on the road this season and 0-7-4 in its last 11 away from home overall.
The Timbers, 0-2-0 since general manager Gavin Wilkinson took over for the fired John Spencer, have been shut out in six straight outside of Portland.
“It’s a matter of self-belief and getting those opportunities and hitting the target, and hitting the target with a purpose,” Wilkinson said Wednesday after a 1-0 road loss to Chivas USA.
The Timbers would like to break through early against Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, but they know they need to pace themselves with Saturday forecasts calling for triple-digit temperatures in Texas.
“Playing there for a year and a half, I know if we go and press the game for the first half we’ll be dead at halftime,” Timbers midfielder Eric Alexander told the club’s official website. “I know what it’s going to take to win there, especially as a road team and it’s going to be really tough.”
The Timbers dropped a team-record four in a row from March 24-April 14.