The Portland Timbers will take the field for the first time in 16 days when they host FC Dallas on Saturday night.
The match couldn’t arrive fast enough for the Timbers, who were pounded 4-1 by Austin FC on July 1.
“The last game was very difficult,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese told reporters. “Not a good performance by us or the type we want to see. The game in Austin was not a good show.
“… We’re in a much better position now than we were before.”
Portland (4-6-1, 13 points) is 0-2-1 since beating Sporting Kansas City on June 19, and it will attempt to avenge a 4-1 road loss to FC Dallas on May 1.
That easy victory 2 1/2 months ago represents the best performance of the season for FC Dallas (2-5-5, 11 points). Since that win, the club is just 1-4-4.
FC Dallas has struggled on the road, losing all five matches while being outscored 12-2.
Goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer has a 1.96 goals-against average in nine matches this season. The 32-year-old agreed to a contract extension through 2023 with a club option for 2024 in a deal announced Friday.
“I’ll be demanding more from myself, from teammates and really just pushing things along anyway I can,” said Maurer, who is in his fifth season with FC Dallas. “We got to get the team going on the field and start pushing for trophies at the same time.”
Forward Ricardo Pepi is enjoying a fine season for FC Dallas with five goals in 11 matches. Nobody else has more than two.
Midfielder Dairon Asprilla has a team-best three goals for Portland. However, long-time Timbers star Diego Valeri has struggled with one goal and two assists in 11 matches (seven starts).
The 35-year-old Valeri has 85 goals and 90 assists in nine seasons with Portland. He scored 21 goals in 2017 when he won MLS MVP honors.
–Field Level Media
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