Dallas cruises to win against Portland
Defenders Zach Loyd and George John scored off corner kicks 5 minutes apart in the first half to help FC Dallas rout the expansion Portland Timbers 4-0 on Saturday night.
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Brek Shea and Jackson Goncalves also scored for Dallas.
''Excellent performance tonight, I think our players all stepped up tonight,'' FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said. ''I think when you look across the field, you can't find anyone who was not very good. I think everybody had a good game and I think we need those types of performances to continue to get those three points.''
Captain Daniel Hernandez had two assists, setting up both first-half goals with almost identical corner kicks.
''I think we have very dangerous players on set pieces that we just haven't taken advantage of, so I was just glad to get them some good services tonight,'' said Hernandez, who took over corner kick duties from forward Fabian Castillo, who left the squad to join Colombia's U20 team. ''I thought we could have had even a couple of more.''
Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman made two saves for his MLS-leading eighth shutout of the season.
''I thought we really possessed the ball well today, created opportunities and really kept them on their heels,'' Hartman said.
FC Dallas, 9-4-4 overall and 8-1-3 in its last 12 games, moved into sole possession of second place in the Western Conference. The Timbers, making their first trip to North Texas, dropped to 5-7-3. They are 0-4-1 in their last five and 0-5-2 on the road. Portland has been outscored 15-3 away from home.
''I don't think anybody that pulled on a green jersey tonight was a threat to Dallas,'' Portland coach John Spencer said. ''They handled us pretty well, manhandled us and that's what happens when you're not ready to play. I was very disappointed towards the end with the effort, because at times, it just looked like we laid down and died.''
With Dallas ahead 2-0, Shea connected in the 58th minute for his team-leading seventh goal of the season, which tied him for third in the league. Eric Alexander's point-blank shot from 5 yards out slid past goalkeeper Troy Perkins, ricocheted off the left goalpost and out to the charging Shea, who drilled it home.
Goncalves' second goal of the season put the exclamation point on the victory in the 86th minute, booming a 22-yard blast that Perkins got a hand on, but the ball bounced down and over the goal line.
Loyd's first career MLS goal opened the scoring in the 34th minute, coming in the 23-year-old's 40th career game and 33rd start. Hernandez chipped the corner from the left side over the goalie box just past the far goalpost, where Loyd headed it down past Perkins.
John's goal, his second of the year and third of his 57-game MLS career (56 starts) came off a corner from the left side again. This time, Hernandez lofted the ball into the middle, where John leapt up for an 8-yard header that found the back of the net.
''I was just fighting for position and I was able to get my head on the ball,'' John said. ''It's nice. Part of the game for us is to work hard on set pieces and try to get some goals and I've been trying to improve on that this year.''