Saturday, July 17: Timbers 1, FC Dallas 0
Goals: Jeremy Ebobisse ripped a 16-yard left-footed shot from the left side of the penalty area. The play developed with a Diego Valeri header and Yimmi Chara flick pass sending Ebobisse running at FC Dallas defender Bressan (1-0 Timbers, 84th minute).
What it means: Portland is 5-6-1 (16 points), sixth in the Western Conference. Dallas is 2-6-5 (11 points) at the bottom of the conference.
Takeaways: This was a big three points on the night full capacity was again allowed at Providence Park (announced attendance was 23,25). The Timbers struggled to get a foothold on the game until a formation shift and substitutions energized the team in the last half hour of the match. … Coach Giovanni said it was nice to have lineup alternatives with the return of Yimmi Chara and Felipe Mora back from Copa America and Sebastian Blanco supplying game-changing energy and skill off the bench. … Quality scoring chances were few for either team. Yimmi Chara pulled an excellent chance wide moments before helping to set up Ebobisse's goal. Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark was credited with two saves and came up big in stoppage time by beating Dallas' Jadar Obrian to a loose ball. Dallas had the best chance over the first hour of play, but Ricardo Pepi hit the post from close range in the 39th minute. … Diego Valeri again was effective as a second-half substitute, this time replacing Mora. With a fresh Valeri on the field Portland was able to consistently possess the ball in attacking spots for the first time all night. When Blanco was added to the mix, Portland became much more confident and dynamic with improved movement and purpose off the ball as well as with it. … The possession change to a 4-4-2, with Ebobisse shifting from the wing to join Mora up top shortly after halftime, helped the Timbers by giving the Dallas centerbacks more to worry about.
Notable: Ebobisse's goal was the 300th MLS regular-season goal at Providence Park for the Timbers, who are in their 11th season in the league. It was Ebobisse's second game in a row with a goal and his third in four games.
Ebobisse on the shifting to forward in second half: "Going to that 4-4-2 really put two pieces that (FC Dallas) had to focus on at all times, and then trying to find the right move in between Felipe (Mora) and myself obviously becomes a challenge for the defenders that we're playing against. Unfortunately, (Mora) had to come out with a small problem and we weren't able to maximize our dual threat, but it's definitely another look that our team can give anyone at any moment in the game."
Up next: The Timbers play host to LAFC at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 21 (FS1).
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