FC Dallas is off to a flying start in 2014, winning twice and drawing once in its opening three games of the season. Wins over Montreal and Chivas USA sandwiched a draw with Sporting Kansas City, helping FCD put to rest the bad memories of a down year in 2013.
Dallas' opponent Saturday, the Portland Timbers, has not had the same kind of start. After ending the 2013 season as one of the hottest teams in the league and a hot pick to continue that form into the new season, the Timbers have come out of the gates with two draws and a loss, and have failed to find their scoring boots.
A 1-1 draw with Philadelphia to open the season was followed by the same result against Chicago a week later. A 2-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids followed, and the club was left with just two points, and two goals, from three matches.
Still, Portland coach Caleb Porter thinks his team will be able to turn things around soon.
“It’s not coming easy, but this locker room is a tight locker room,” Porter told the club's website. “They’re not happy, but they’re not questioning themselves. I believe in them, they believe in themselves and we’ll figure it out.
"We’re going to get back to work, we’re not going to dwell too long, and will move on quickly. This is one where you want to have a pretty short-term memory.”
With Dallas leading the Western Conference, a win on the road would certainly go a long way in getting Portland's season back on track.
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