FC Dallas 2-1 Portland Timbers

FC Dallas gave up an early goal to Portland in the fourth minute when Darren Mattocks played a long cross to the back post. The club got after a pair of goals from two defenders in a two-minute span in the second half to defeat the defending MLS Cup Champion Portland Timbers FC, 2-1, tonight at Toyota Stadium.

Quotes for the game:

FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja

Overall thoughts…
I thought this game was a must win after what happened in the last few games, so pursuing the three points today was obviously really important, and we did it. In the first 30 minutes, it was very difficult for us to get the rhythm and bring energy to the game. After they scored, our team probably went to a very deep spot, and that made it ever more incredible the way they worked after that to tie the game and win it. The second half was different. We had more energy. I thought we had more ideas in the middle. The first half we had some options. The second half we had more options, and the game just went back and forth. I thought it was a game we needed to win. We got the three points today, and the soccer is just now coming back to our team. We’ll get there.

On Ryan Hollingshead filling in for injured GK in Toronto and scoring a goal tonight…
(Tonight’s match) showed the character of the team, and Ryan (Hollingshead) is a good representation of that. It was not easy for him to take the (goalkeeper) gloves and change the gear in Toronto. In front of 30,000 people, he had the courage to do it, and he did it well. That energy transmitted to his teammates, and tonight he stepped up in a moment that was critical for us and he scored to equalize the game. I give credit to Ryan’s performance tonight. It was great to see him taking the game on his shoulders, taking the team on his shoulders. I thought he did great today.

On lack of goal production from forwards and midfielders…
It’s one of those moments. I said during the week, it’s one of those dry moments for forwards that happen. We need to carry on and sort it out. I have confidence in the players. I thought the number of options we had tonight just gives us hope because they are putting themselves in good spots. We’re not finding the last third, but we’re creating options and they will bounce back into it.

Portland Timbers FC head coach Caleb Porter

On tonight’s game…
I think, specifically, in the first half we were excellent. Maybe our best half of the year in terms of positive play, certainly on the road playing against a really good FC Dallas team. We played well because we kept the ball and we developed a rhythm, made them defend, controlled the tempo and dictated the game. Also, we played well because we pressed at times. For some reason at the start of the second half, we stopped doing that. Part of it was that first goal was a little fluky. It was three, four little bounces and deflected. We’re having some of that happen this year. You look at the first goal we gave up in our last game versus Vancouver, it was very similar, a deflection that bounced off (Diego) Chara right into the guy’s dribble, and it was the same this game. That’s not an excuse, but it’s unfortunate, and those things happen. I thought it gave them life and turned the game again, similar to Vancouver. It’s eerily similar (to the) second half in Vancouver, second half this game. I thought our first half this game was better than Vancouver, and like I told the guys, we have an example of one half and how we played and what can happen; and we have an example of a second half, of how we played, and what happened. It’s tough sometimes to be positive when you’re in a position to win games; and we’ve been in position in four road games in a row in the second half, up, in a position to take three points in the game and we haven’t. Two points in two games and zero points in two games. Sometimes that makes you feel worse because you’re in that position, that close. The good news is we’ve been in that position, the bad news is we haven’t been able to put the complete 90 minutes together to get three points, but we need to build on that first half, play that way moving forward, and we need to put together, obviously, a complete performance.

On Walker Zimmerman’s goal off of a corner kick…
Going in to the game we knew he was the No. 1 target so we put Jermaine Taylor on him, who’s one of our best markers. Set pieces are always hard to swallow for a coach because you work on them so much, you know it’s so important, and a lot of games are won and lost in those moments, and we just lost the mark. There was a little bit of a pick on the play, and we have to do a better job fighting through it, but we have to make those plays. I told the guys ‘I can’t sort that out. I give you the marks and the organization, but we need guys to make plays in those moments.’ Otherwise, we continue to give up goals and points. I’m confident it will be sorted, but I’m disappointed to give up that second goal two minutes later, and now we compound the first goal with us having to chase the game 2-1. We’ve been in that position before, chasing FC Dallas here, and it’s not a position you want to be in because they will absolutely open you up on the counter with their pace. If you’re chasing the game against them, you’re getting into a transition game, and that’s not the type of game we wanted to be in, and you saw what happened.

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