Dallas Soccer: Kris Boyd
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.
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)
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
Finding success on the road would be a welcome change.
Portland opens its road schedule Saturday night when it visits FC Dallas for the first time since being handed its heaviest defeat in MLS.
The Timbers (1-0-0) scored three unanswered goals to rally for a 3-1 victory over Philadelphia on Monday, opening the year with a strong effort at a sold-out JELD-WEN Field, where they went 9-5-3 last year as an expansion club.
Success away from their raucous home was fleeting in 2011, as they posted a 2-9-6 record that was a major reason they finished four points out of a playoff spot.
That discrepancy was clear in Portland's two meetings with Dallas (1-0-0), a 3-2 home win April 17 and a 4-0 road loss June 25 that was its most lopsided defeat of the season.
"We've got to play well on the road," coach John Spencer told the team's official website. "I think we're a little bit more mature this year, hopefully, and I'd like to see us go down to Dallas and put on a similar type of performance."
After a stop in Dallas, the Timbers visit New England next Saturday.
Continued production from Kris Boyd may be just what Portland needs to find that road success. The star forward scored the winner against the Union, heading in a cross from Kalif Alhassan in his Timbers debut.
He's expected to be a force up top, having finished his career in his native Scotland as the Premier League's all-time leading scorer with 164 goals with Kilmarnock and Glasgow Rangers.
A newcomer also has Dallas looking to build on an impressive start, as Blas Perez assisted on goals by Zach Loyd and Ricardo Villar in a 2-1 victory over New York on Sunday.
The Costa Rican forward will be relied upon again since Dallas is dealing with the extended absence of star midfielder Brek Shea, who is with the United States Under-23 team as it prepares for the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament later this month.
Shea had a goal in each of the two meetings with Portland last season.
Fabian Castillo's status is also unclear after the forward exited in the first half Sunday with a knee injury.
"He got a pretty good hit on the inside of his knee. My first thoughts are a knee contusion or maybe a strained ligament," Hyndman told the team's official website. "He's a very good young player. As he continues to mature, he'll make better decisions."
Dallas made three signings this week, inking forwards Luis Perea and Scott Sealy and defender Alex Lee, a supplemental draft pick out of Maryland.
Perea is expected to have a more prominent role than Sealy -- a journeyman -- and Lee.
The son of former Colombian national team defender Luis Carlos Perea, Perea was most recently with Peru's Universidad San Martin de Porres before the club folded earlier this month.
His most successful spell came in 2010, when he had 22 goals in 36 games for Leon de Huanuco in the Peruvian Primera Division.
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