Dallas Soccer: Darlington Nagbe

FC Dallas Head Coach Schellas Hyndman

General thoughts on the game…

I felt we started off well, thought the first 20-25 minutes we did a lot of things right. Ricardo was getting a lot of touches on the ball. At halftime we talked about how Portland would try to add a little more steam and play rough. It was a good result for us considering we were without three of our most important attacking phase players: Fabian Castillo, Brek Shea and David Ferreira. I was really pleased with the effort the boys put in. I was very happy we fought all the way to the last second.

Thoughts on midfielder Bryan Leyva…

He’s a Homegrown player. He has been with us three years and this is the first time he played any minutes. We all felt like he did a very good job, but we may not be able to dodge that bullet if we did not get George John on the field.

Thoughts on the second half…

I just think we are very thin right now. I didn’t want to put a player late in the game and have him try and get into the rhythm of the game. That is why we only used one substitution.

FC Dallas midfielder Bryan Leyva

On his first start…

I felt great. I was happy and excited to get the start. It's something we all look forward to and I was ready and focused. It wasn't expected. I was in the training room getting treatment and coach came up to me and said to be ready and that I was going to start.

On the shot that led to Blas' goal...

I was running forward and I saw Carlos [Rodriguez] was going to cross it early. Since the field was wet, I knew there was a chance the ball might slip and come back to the second post. I was able to get there. I shot it first time across and really thought it was going to go in because the field was wet and it was bouncing. Fortunately, the keeper saved it towards Blas [Perez] and he put it away.

FC Dallas midfielder Andrew Jacobson

General thoughts on the game…

It was a tough game. They are a much-improved team, especially on the road. They have a lot of athleticism. They know what they do well and they come in and do it. They make things difficult. I don't think we had our best game. We played a little bit into them and started playing their game a little bit, but we were missing some big players and we needed other guys to step up. There's a lot to take away from that for sure. Guys worked really hard. Everyone gave their all and no matter what happens, that's something that will drive you throughout the season because you're not going to play well every game.

On the team's defensive effort...

Even when we make adjustments, guys just have a really good understanding of what we're doing defensively. Everyone did a good job defensively.

FC Dallas Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman

On battling against the wind…

We were playing against the wind the entire time. We were trying to clear it, trying to get more possession-oriented and they continued to step up. They have some big guys in the back, so anything that we were knocking long, they were able to win those balls. They have some ridiculous athleticism in the midfield. They were picking up a ton of second balls and they continued to come at us. We battled. We had a couple of opportunities there. They probably had more of the opportunities in the second half and I hate to blame it all on the wind, but certainly, we had more of the opportunities in the first half. So, probably that had a bit to do with the wind as well.

Portland Timbers Head Coach, John Spencer

General thoughts on the game…

We dominated for a long period of time in the second half. The difference between the first half and the second half was that we started to believe in ourselves. We started to play a little more up tempo, but then I also think our guys got a little fatigued at the end.

Thoughts on the season so far…

It has been a good start to the season. We played two quality teams and if our guys believe in themselves as much as me and my coaches do, we’ll make it two playoffs.

Portland goalkeeper Tony Perkins

General thoughts on the match…

The last 15 minutes of the first half we really started getting possession and momentum for us. We had a lot of chances on goal and maybe on a better day it goes our way. The second half with the wind at our back, especially with that kind of wind, it helps. You are able to get out of your own half with a long ball.

On playing against FC Dallas…

We knew they were going to come right at us and we wanted to turn it right back around and take it back at them. Obviously, we didn’t do that at the beginning, but we weathered the storm pretty well at some times at other times we did not.

On the difference between the team last season and in 2012…

There is a big maturity level increase this year as compared to last year. Last year we had almost the same start. They come flying at us and we walk into the half you know not even having touched the ball really. If they are pressing and pressing you don’t want to play the ball right back to a guy who’s been running for the last 15 minutes. It’s just taking the wind out of the play putting your foot on the ball and getting it up.

Portland midfielder Darlington Nagbe

General thoughts on the game…

Everyone came out with a lot of energy. It’s as simple as that. The first half we didn’t has as much energy. When we play with energy we play well as a team. We had more energy the second half. Guys were buzzing around a little bit more after the first 30 minutes. We just came out there with more energy with them and we controlled the game.

On the goal…

I just saw the ball go up while I was dropping back. Once it hit the other team I knew I was onsides, so then I just tried to finish. I was in the right place at the right time. It was nothing special. There was no one in front of me it was just me and the goalie.

On team this year…

Guys are more mature. Before we even came on the road, guys are playing more together. We are a better team this year.

Portland midfielder Eric Alexander

On the team this year…

The focus is a little higher [than last year] as well as our belief in each other. We have a talented group of guys who can get it done on the road. There are still better games to come.

On the season so far…

We took four points from teams that made the playoffs last year, so we’re pretty happy. It would have been nice to win. It’s a good result for being on the road.

FC Dallas settles for tie with Portland

March, 17, 2012

FRISCO, Texas -- Darlington Nagbe scored in the 51st minute to lift the Portland Timbers into a 1-1 tie with FC Dallas on Saturday night.

Blas Perez posted his first MLS goal in the 22nd minute for Dallas, which beat New York 2-1 in its season opener last Sunday. Perez had two assists against the Red Bulls.

Kris Boyd, a Scottish star playing just his second MLS game, had two good chances to give Portland the lead, but was denied by FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman in the 59th and 71st minutes.

Portland also rallied in its season opener, scoring three unanswered goals in an impressive 3-1 victory over Philadelphia on Monday.

"We started the game in a similar fashion last week," coach John Spencer said, "and started in the second half again believing in ourselves, trying to play our game, a little more up-tempo and I think they struggled to contain us at times."

The 21-year-old Nagbe capitalized on an FC Dallas mistake to collect his first goal of the year. After Hartman's high clearing attempt died about 20 yards out, it was inadvertently knocked back into the penalty area by midfielder Daniel Hernandez and Nagbe pounced on it, slotting a low shot just inside the left post.

"I just saw the ball go up and I was jogging back and once it hit the other team, I knew I was onside, so I just went there and finished it," Nagbe said. "There was no one in front of me, just me and the goalie."

Said Hartman: "The ball was cleared and then all of a sudden, to have it come back through the middle and have it be a breakaway situation, was disappointing to say the least."

Portland outshot Dallas 7-1 over the final 45 minutes. While the Timbers attributed the margin to playing with more energy, Dallas cited the strong wind blowing in their direction.

"We were going against the wind, which was kind of difficult for us," said Dallas defender George John, who entered the match to start the second half. "But they definitely brought a lot of pressure on us, the back four, and we had difficulty just keeping the ball and passing."

Hernandez nearly got another one for Dallas in the 73rd minute, but his 25-yard blast was punched over the crossbar by Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins.

"I was really pleased with the effort the boys put in," Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said. "I thought they matched the intensity that Portland brought and I think Portland's a very good team. I'm very happy we fought all the way down to the last second."

Dallas was without star forward Brek Shea for the second straight game after he was called to the U.S. under-23 men's national team training camp.

Scoring Summary:
DAL – Blas Perez 22
POR – Darlington Nagbe 51

FC Dallas – Kevin Hartman, Zach Loyd, Ugo Ihemelu, Hernan Pertuz, Jair Benitez, Carlos Rodriguez, Andrew Jacobson, Daniel Hernandez, Bryan Leyva (George John 45), Ricardo Villar, Blas Perez.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Matt Hedges, Bobby Warshaw, Bruno Guarda, Andrew Wiedeman, Luis Perea.
TOTAL SHOTS: 6 (Daniel Hernandez 2, Andrew Jacobson 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Bryan Leyva 1, Blas Perez 1, Daniel Hernandez 1); FOULS: 13 (Andrew Jacobson 4); OFFSIDES:0; CORNER KICKS: 7 (Ricardo Villar 7); SAVES: 2 (Kevin Hartman 2)
Portland Timbers – Troy Perkins, Eric Brunner, Rodney Wallace, Lovel Palmer, Hayner Mosquera, Kalif Alhassan, Jack Jewsbury, Eric Alexander (James Marcelin 77), Diego Chara, Kris Boyd, Jorge Perlaza (Darlington Nagbe 45).
Substitutes Not Used: Joseph Bendik, Mike Chabala, Bright Dike, Freddie Braun, Andrew Jean-Baptiste.
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Jack Jewsbury 3, Eric Alexander 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Kris Boyd 2); FOULS: 16 (Kris Boyd 4); OFFSIDES: 1 (Jorge Perlaza 1); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Jack Jewsbury 2); SAVES: 2 (Ryan Meara 4)
Misconduct Summary:
POR – Rodney Wallace (caution; reckless challenge) 9
POR Jack Jewsbury (caution; reckless challenge) 13
DAL – Jair Benitez (caution; reckless challenge) 66

Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Referee’s Assistants: Greg Barkley, Matthew Kreitzer
4th Official: Edvin Jurisevic
Time of Game: 1:58
Weather: Cloudy, 78 degrees