Portland tries to end slide against FCD

6:03 PM, Aug 3, 2012   |    comments
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Portland, OR (Sports Network) - The Portland Timbers will be out for revenge against FC Dallas on Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field as the club tries to erase a 5-0 defeat suffered at the hands of the Hoops two weeks ago.

The match in Dallas was clearly one to forget for Portland interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson and his team, but in order to get back into the win column and try to turn around an increasingly dismal season, the Timbers simply need to start scoring goals.

Portland was held without a goal for the third successive match in a 1-0 defeat against Chivas USA last time out, and although Wilkinson felt as though his side showed signs of improvement, it's hard to escape the fact that they can't find the back of the net.

"I think right from the start, we were pressing," Wilkinson said after his team's 1-0 defeat to Chivas. "We played the three up top, and it was an honest three up top. Part of that was to stop them from playing out, and I think that the numerous chances that we did create in the first half were from us winning the ball in their half and looking to break quickly. I think we were pressing the entire game. The urgency was definitely there, and they feel the responsibility just like I do, just like the other coaches do. Something has to change. You can't fault the effort, you can't fault the mentality ... It's about putting your chances away, I think."

The Timbers will bring a scoreless streak of 292 minutes into the match, but they will also try to keep Dallas from running wild offensively once more as the five goals that FCD scored in the match was the highest total for the club since September 2009.

All five of Portland's wins have come at home this season, and with the club sitting on the bottom of the Western Conference it would be easy to forgive the players for packing it in.

But goalkeeper Troy Perkins feels that there is a good attitude at the club despite the struggles the team has endured.

"I think it's the overall attitude of the guys. The guys are upbeat, they're giving everything they have," Perkins said. "At this point, many teams would just hold it and say forget about it, let's just see what we got. But the guys are fighting every day, and we're constantly working to get better and better."

Dallas has faired just marginally better in recent months, entering the contest with two losses from its last three games and sitting only three points clear of Portland.

The club is coming off of a 1-0 defeat against the Los Angeles Galaxy, and acknowledged that it was a bit tougher than the previous contest against the Timbers.

"They [Los Angeles] pressed us pretty high whereas Portland gave us a little more space to work with," said defender Zach Loyd. "They did a great job of closing us down quickly. We had a little bit of success, but not what we expect to have on a regular basis. Going forward, we just need to be able to say that we improved each week."

Portland should offer Dallas the chance to get back on track with three points. But another thing that would help is the return to action of winger Brek Shea, who was held out of the lineup for the second straight match against the Galaxy in an effort to help him clear his head.

"The decision is no different than the decision we made last week," Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said. "We feel the best thing we can do with Brek is to give him a chance to remove himself from the pressure and kind of let him figure things out. We're having almost daily conversations with him. So, we will see how this week goes. I can say that I feel like he's making great progress."

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