Sunday MLS soccer action offers one game as the Portland Timbers welcome FC Dallas to Providence Park in the Rose City. The Timbers have had a downright bizarre scheduling setup this season due to construction to expand and modernize their home field. As a result, Portland has played only two games at home this season. That’s extremely significant as the Timbers have been one of the best home teams in the league in recent years. Portland has lost only two games at home during each of the previous two seasons.
This is a very unique challenge for any team but the end result is that Portland is in last place in the Western Conference. The Timbers are 5-2-8 on the season with a road record of 4-2-7 and a home record of 1-0-1. The road record isn’t that bad considering the situation as the Timbers have taken points in 6 of their 13 games. Even with their road heavy scheduling this year the Timbers are just 5 points out of the playoffs–they have 17 points with the 7th place San Jose Earthquakes in the final playoff spot with 22 points. The playoffs are a very realistic goal for the Timbers but they need to start winning games.
The Timbers looked excellent in their last action at home, beating Houston 4-0. Portland has lost only once in their last 9 home matches and that came to LAFC in the grand re-opening of the renovated Providence Park earlier this Summer. As noted before, Portland has been a nasty home team in recent years which isn’t surprising if you’ve seen the absolute madhouse the Timbers play in. The bad news, however, is that the Timbers have only one victory in their last four home games against Dallas.
Dallas hasn’t been a great road team this year (2-1-5) but have a decent home record at 5-4-1. They’ve taken points in 4 of their last 6 matches overall (2-2-2) but in only one of their last three road games (0-1-2). On the road, FC Dallas has scored 11 goals while conceding 14. Dallas has been a very competitive road team even in their losing efforts. They’ve lost by 2 or more only once in 8 road games. This should be a tough battle and Dallas could keep this game close. We’ll look for the Timbers to get the ‘W’ in a low scoring affair.