FRISCO, Texas (Saturday, Sept. 3) – Despite missing five regulars out on international duty, FC Dallas (15-7-6, 51 points) cruised past
Portland Timbers FC, 3-1, at Toyota Stadium tonight behind goals from Mauro Diaz, Victor Ulloa and Walker Zimmerman to further distance itself from the rest of Major League Soccer, standing seven points clear of second-place New York City FC.
Michael Barrios earned a penalty for FC Dallas in the 13th minute after a quick combination play at the top of the box led to a through ball played into the area for the winger. Barrios arrived at the ball an instant before Portland goalkeeper Jake Gleeson, who clipped the feet of the Colombian. Referee Ted Unkel was in good position and emphatically pointed to the spot.
For the second week in a row, Diaz found the back of the net with a penalty kick shot low, and into the corner of the net, giving Dallas a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute.
Dallas struck again just before halftime when Ulloa won the ball back for the home side at midfield and got the ball to the feet of Diaz. The Argentine split a pair of Timbers FC defenders with a cutting pass played to Barrios. Barrios delivered a cross into the area for Mauro Rosales, but the pass was cut out by a Portland defender. Having continued his run forward, Ulloa was in perfect position to capitalize on the attempted clearance. The Wylie-native buried his second MLS goal of the season in the top left corner of the goal, putting FCD up, 2-0.
Dallas opened up a three-goal lead in the 53rd minute, when Maxi Urruti earned a free kick on the right flank. Diaz took the set piece, bending a ball to the penalty spot, where Zimmerman rose above the crowd to nod a header past Gleeson. The assist was Diaz’s 11th of the season, a career high for the Argentine and the most by an FCD player since David Ferreira in 2010.
Portland broke up the clean sheet in the 87th minute when Zarek Valentin came free on the right flank and slipped a cross into the area for Diego Valeri. The Argentine finished nicely, catching the half volley with his right foot and lining a shot just inside the post to goalkeeper Chris Seitz’s left side.
Vernon Hadnot is the Owner, Director, Editor and Producer of D210SPORTSTV. D210SPORTSTV became the first Texas independent producer to contribute programming to Spectrum Sports in 2010 and currently airs on Spectrum Cable Channel 15. D210SPORTSTV is your all access sports credential to the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Wings, FC Dallas and SMU Athletics the in Dallas, Texas Metroplex Area. D210SPORTSTV is a cutting edge and fast paced 30 minute sports video magazine show. D210SPORTSTV provides viewers with an all-access credentialed sports pass and is produced in Dallas, Texas. Hadnot has worked as a Director for Fox Sports Networks on The Drew Pearson show and won numerous national awards for public service announcements, commercials, movie theater ads, training videos and live on air television broadcast.