Although FC Dallas hasn’t won in almost three months, coach Schellas Hyndman’s club remains just behind the Portland Timbers in the Western Conference playoff race.
Picking up three points could be difficult in Portland, where the Timbers have proven nearly unbeatable.
Dallas tries to snap a 10-game winless stretch Saturday night against the Timbers.
Since beating San Jose 1-0 on May 25, Dallas (8-6-9) has gone 0-4-6 in league play. The club had gone five consecutive matches without a goal before playing to a 3-all draw versus Los Angeles on Sunday.
Blas Perez scored the game-tying goal in the 86th minute, his second of the game and team-leading eighth of the year.
“It’s important that the goals were scored and that bad run is finished,” midfielder David Ferreira said through an interpreter. “But at the same time, there is sadness and the feeling in the locker room is that this was a game that the team could have taken the three points. That didn’t happen, so the feeling is kind of mixed.”
Dallas sits in seventh place in the highly competitive West with 33 points, one behind Seattle and Los Angeles and two in back of the fourth-place Timbers (8-3-11).
“I think the glass is definitely half full,” Hyndman told the team’s official website. “We’re going in the right direction.”
Dallas has scored one goal in going 0-1-1 against Portland this year, including a 1-0 road loss on June 15. The Timbers are 2-0-1 in the series at home.
Portland has mostly dominated opponents on its own field, going 8-1-3 in all games. The Timbers have outscored MLS foes 13-2 during a 6-0-2 stretch at home.
Portland, though, is mired in an 0-2-2 stretch, including non-league games. Diego Valeri scored the team’s lone goal in stoppage time of a 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake in U.S. Open Cup play Aug. 7.
“We’re disappointed, but at the end of the day we still have everything to play for in the league,” coach Caleb Porter said. “This loss doesn’t change that.”
In its last league match, Portland played to a 1-all draw versus Vancouver on Aug. 3. The Timbers took the lead on Ryan Johnson’s goal in the 49th minute before surrendering the equalizer 20 minutes later.
“We’re obviously disappointed in the draw,” Porter told the club’s official website. “For me, the fact that we are so disappointed says everything about how far we’ve come as a club, and the culture we’ve created and the standards that we have. … If we don’t win, we’re not happy, we’re not pleased.”
Portland has been limited to four goals in its last five league games after scoring two or more in five of its previous seven.
“Both ends of the field, we’ve got to start taking a little more responsibility,” midfielder Will Johnson said. “I think attacking-wise we’re not hungry enough. I think there’s decent service in the run of play as well as on set pieces. Box defending, box attacking, if we execute that well we’ll make the playoffs. If we don’t, we won’t.”