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Second-half rally lifts Timbers past FC Dallas, into first U.S. Open Cup semifinal

Darlington Nagbe


On the final kick of regulation, David Ferreira of FC Dallas sent a curling shot around the outstretched arm of Portland’s Donovan Ricketts. If the ball goes in, the match heads to a 30-minute extra time period. If the ball doesn’t find the back of the net, the Timbers advance to their first U.S.Open Cup semifinal in franchise history.

Luckily for Portland, the shot clanged off the post and back into the field of play. The final whistle came next and gave the Timbers a 3-2 victory over host FC Dallas in a hotly-contested U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match Wednesday night at FC Dallas Stadium.

Second-half goals from Darlington Nagbe, Diego Valeri and U.S. Open Cup scoring leader Freddy Piqiuonne helped erase a first-half deficit and push the Timbers into a U.S. Open Cup semifinal showdown vs. Real Salt Lake on August 7th at Rio Tinto Stadium.

After a slow-paced first half that saw FC Dallas take the lead on a Je-Vaughan Watson goal, the match sprang to life in the second half. Nagbe continued his stellar play against FC Dallas this season, scoring on a magnificent individual effort in the 61st minute. Nagbe tore his way through multiple Dallas defenders before beating Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz at a tough angle.

The goal marked the third straight game against FC Dallas that Nagbe has scored. Nagbe wasn’t done torturing the host club, either. Two minutes after his goal, Nagbe played a diagonal ball through to a streaking Diego Valeri. With no defenders in sight, Valeri calmly nutmegged Seitz to give Portland the lead.

Despite playing their sixth match since June 8, the Timbers didn’t appear fazed the 100-degree heat in Dallas. When Walker Zimmerman botched a back pass midway through the second half, second half substitute Frederic Piquionne had little trouble stepping in and giving Portland a two-goal lead. The goal was Piquionne’s competition-leading fifth in the US Open Cup this season.

However, FC Dallas was given life when Donovan Ricketts flubbed an attempted punchout, giving Blas Perez an easy header goal in the 85th minute. It was Perez’s second goal of the competition and set up the dramatic finish.

Despite both teams having played over the weekend, the club’s had top-flight starting lineups. While Seitz is not the regular starter for Dallas, he had recorded two shutouts in the team’s earlier US Open Cup matches this season.

FC Dallas has a quick turnaround as they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Union Saturday in league play. Portland, meanwhile, will not play another league match until taking on Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium on July 7.


  1. Didn’t see the game but how did Zimmerman look? Was the gift back pass an anomaly? Where are all those u20 fans of his calling for him to be playing in Turkey?

  2. But, you are right. Its a great tournament (some will argue not) and it should get better coverage. One day, perhaps it will be looked at in the same vein as March madness. In fact, why not take a break in the summer for qualifiers etc, and play the entire tournament out in the summer with two games a week? …. I’m on the phone now with US Soccer.

    • That is actually a great suggestion. I think the current protracted format makes it impossible for excitement to build and difficult for casual fans (of which the US has many) to get into or even follow the USOC.

  3. Wish these games were on tv. I have no idea how the rights work but surely fox soccer, bein, or what’s left of goltv could show these instead of Europa league reruns or team handball.

  4. Dallas dominated the first 40, then after that, it was all Portland. Even after Perez scored the second goal, Portland still dominated chances and possession. Will Johnson fluffed a 3 v 1 opportunity that should’ve been a goal, and Valeri missed an open net.

  5. I have begun to hate Dallas as much as I hate San Jose. Dallas is a strong mix of players who aren’t afraid to put in a hard challenge and players who aren’t afraid to go down in and around the 18 when a gentle breeze comes in. They aren’t very good at soccer and rely heavily on the ref to help them win games.

      • Bulls***t they just as entertaining soccer as anyone in the league. Why because their Latin American contingent exaggerates challenges? They aren’t good at soccer, really, stfu if u don’t know what ur talking about

      • Lloyd is one of the worst at persistently fouling and Jacobson is not much better. Nagbe called his own foul against Jacobson last night, stopped and picked up the ball before the ref made any signals or blew a whistle because the kid wouldn’t stop riding him. The team relies scoring by creating set pieces through simulation.

      • That’s funny. Being that’s the only response u’ve offered on the this article I wouldn’t talk about being taken seriously. Post when u have a something legitimate to say about the topic

    • It was a first for me to see Nagbe play with a little anger. Shortly before is zig zagging run in the box resulted in a goal. Nagbe was being fouled from behind for a good ten yards before finally getting his legs taken out. I have never seen him react but pulling his arms away from the lame ass attempt by a Dallas player to help him up re-assure him everything was cool after hammering him. I think yellow was pulled on the Dallas player. Anyway, the foul made Nabge see a bit of red and eventually score and make the long pass assist to Valeri. I’m not sure why Nabge continues to beat Dallas FC’s left side like a drum game in and game out?

      By the way the possible tying shot near the end of extra time Ricketts did not even move! He was frozen and no dive occurred!


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