After 34 matches, the postseason is finally here. FC Dallas will host the Portland Timbers as the No. 4 seed in the knockout round of the 2018 MLS Cup playoffs.
FC Dallas is making a return to the playoffs after a disappointing 2017 season, when the team was on the outside looking in after Decision Day. The 2018 edition of Decision Day also ended poorly for FC Dallas. The team looked in prime position to clinch a top-two seed in the conference and a first-round bye, with a 1-0 lead against the Colorado Rapids. However, two late goals from the Rapids shocked FC Dallas. That, along with Raul Ruidiaz from the Seattle Sounders scoring a stoppage-time winner over San Jose, dropped FCD to fourth place.
It’s the third straight loss for Dallas. The team also fell to D.C. United 1-0 on Oct. 13 and lost to Sporting Kansas City 3-0 on Oct. 20. The Kansas City loss knocked FCD out of first place and the team has struggled to find the finishing touch in its last few matches.
The Timbers come into the match after a 2-0 loss against Vancouver on Decision Day. However, the loss was a sacrifice coach Gio Savarese was willing to take, resting his starters for the upcoming playoff match. Key players Diego Valeri and Diego Chara did not play in the match against the Whitecaps. The No.5 seed was more of a lock for Portland, with destiny out of its control.
Portland started the year strong but also has floundered in its last few matches, which included a scoreless home draw against Dallas on Sept. 29. To secure its playoff spot, the Timbers knocked off Real Salt Lake twice, beating them 4-1 on Oct. 6 and 3-0 on Oct. 21.
Dallas and Portland have met twice this season. Dallas performed it’s gameplan to perfection on the road, attempting to hit Portland on the counter and hold the ball — something other teams have found works against the Timbers. The other meeting was March 24, a 1-1 draw at Toyota Stadium.
The winner of Wednesday’s match will host a home game on Sunday against either Sporting Kansas City or Seattle, depending on who wins the other matchups.
Where: Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Texas)
When: Oct 31, 8:30 PM CST
Broadcast: Unimas; Radio- FCDallas.com/Radio (English), 1270 AM (Spanish)