Frisco, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The playoffs hang in the balance for the Portland Timbers as the club hits the road to face FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on Saturday.
Portland enters the final weekend of the season trailing Vancouver Whitecaps FC by one point in the race for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, while Saturday's game also holds importance for Dallas, which has already clinched a postseason berth.
The Timbers need a win over FCD on Saturday and must hope for a Vancouver loss or draw against Colorado in order for Caleb Porter's team to return to the playoffs.
But Dallas has its own situation to take care of with the team needing a win over the Timbers to finish third in the West and avoid the knockout-round match.
A 0-0 draw for Portland against Real Salt Lake last Friday kept the team in the playoff hunt, and with just one loss in the last seven games, the Timbers are hoping for a strong finish to put pressure on the Whitecaps.
Portland created a number of chances against Salt Lake but ultimately came away with nothing to show for it, and forward Fanendo Adi feels that his team must bring the same approach to the Dallas match and that it will see the rewards.
"We came into the game believing that we were going to win the game," Adi said of his team's approach to the Salt Lake game. "We had a couple of very good chances, but we didn't convert our chances and sometimes it works this way. I believe if we come out the same way in the away game against Dallas we're definitely going to get those goals."
Dallas is eyeing a third straight win to close out the campaign and secure a place in the top three in the West after struggling to a 1-0 victory against Colorado last weekend.
Blas Perez supplied the lone goal in the 56th minute of the contest, and defender Matt Hedges was just pleased to get the win despite his side not playing up to par.
"We did what we came here to do. We got the three points but it wasn't pretty," Hedges said. "We didn't play that well. At the end of the day, we're walking out with three points in third place and that was our goal. We didn't really care how it looked."
A loss for Portland on Saturday would cap a miserable week for the club and would bring a bitter end to a season that failed to live up to expectations.
The Timbers were bounced from the CONCACAF Champions League in cruel fashion on Tuesday as the team lost 3-1 to Honduran side Olimpia, leaving the two teams level on points and goal difference, with Olimpia advancing on away goals.
Failure to reach the postseason would be a big step back for the Timbers, who finished on top of the Western Conference last year.