FC Dallas looked strong in defeating New York last week, but Brek Shea was off with the U.S. U-23's this week, George John was still trying to reintegrate himself with the team and David Ferreira and Fabian Castillo were out injured.
It wasn't exactly shaping up to be a sterling Saturday evening when they took on the Portland Timbers, and it wasn't, but it wasn't awful either. The Timbers had several opportunities to take down Dallas, but in the end settled for just one goal from Darlington Nagbe in a 1-1 draw.
The scoring started in the 22nd minute when Bryan Leyva's shot from a tight angle down the right was saved by Troy Perkins, but not controlled by the goalkeeper. He left the rebound sitting in the box and Blas Perez got there first, knocking the ball in for his second goal in as many matches since signing with Dallas over the winter.
After Dallas went in front, Portland pushed hard for an equalizer, and five minutes after the break they got it with some help from the home side. Kevin Hartman has never been very good with his feet and it showed when he just popped a clearance up in the air 30 yards from goal. It fell to Daniel Hernandez, but he was under pressure and couldn't do much except let it hit him, which it did. The problem is that it then bounced into the path of Nagbe, who was in alone on goal and slotted home the equalizer.
Nagbe's goal wasn't Portland's only chance. Lovel Palmer hit the post once and Kris Boyd made a nuisance of himself on several occasions, but they couldn't find a winner. That is not to imply that Dallas were inept, as they created some chances as well, but they were clearly missing some of their better players and had to accept the home draw.