The Portland Timbers traveled to Texas to play FC Dallas in the first road game of the year for the Rose CIty side, and managed to earn a draw and get a point out of it, in spite of going down an early goal. Portland opened a little flat, but were able to bring more of a coordinated attack later, actually beginning in the first half.
It was similar to what happened in the season opener at Jeld-Wen Field in the season opener March 12, when the Timbers played a slower at first but came on strong after being scored against. At home, the Rose City side rallied to come from a goal down at get a 3-1 win. That wasn't to be in Dallas, but the draw on the road was still a positive result.
"Anytime you come on the road and come from a goal behind against a quality team, it's definitely a good point," Timbers' head coach John Spencer said. "In the second half, I thought we dominated the game. I honestly think we were very unlucky not to get three points."
That's a sentiment it's hard not to share. The Timbers did set the pace for most of the second half. If not for hitting the crossbar, there would have been three points to add to Portland's tally. It's encouraging that the team got points for two weeks in a row after conceding first. Last season, an opponent finding the back of the net first was bad news. Portland never won after conceding the first goal all of last season.
Perez first MLS goal put Timbers behind early
Blas Perez scored in the 22nd minute off a cross from Carlos Rodriguez that went to Bryan Levya. His shot on goal was knocked away by Timbers' goalkeeper Troy Perkins, but not cleared. The ball went back to Perez, who was gifted with a wide open shot.
A nice header from Lovel Palmer off a Jack Jewsbury free kick almost leveled things in the 36th minute, but the ball hit the crossbar. Kris Boyd saw a couple of good chances in the game that were stopped as well. It really was close to a 2-1 upset on the road of Dallas, but the Hoops held on and escaped with the draw of Nagbe's goal.
The second-year Timber found the back of the net six minutes after intermission. He reacted to a Dallas turnover and scored unassisted, his first goal of the season. A road win would of course had been better, but a draw in Frisco, Texas isn't too bad. The last time the Timbers were there it was a 0-4 loss.
The early standings have Portland at third place in the Western Conference on four points, but the Galaxy, Seattle, and the Rapids have yet to play their second game. Up next for Portland is a trip to New England to take on the Revolution March 24.
Jeff Musall has been a fan of the Portland Timbers since moving to the area in 2001. He is excited about the second MLS season and wants to see a playoff run.
- Portland Timbers
- the Timbers