Image: FC Dallas via Twitter
FC Dallas earned their second win of the season thanks to an early Jesus Ferreira hat-trick and a goal from USMNT winger Paul Arriola. Unfortunately Dallas wasn't able to keep a cleansheet as Portland Timbers striker Jaroslaw Niezgoda scored his first goal of the season.
Ferreira secured the win for Dallas early on with his first half hat-trick. His first goal came in the 26th minute after a beautiful bit of passing beginning in Dallas' own half. The final part of the passing sequence saw Paxton Pomykal play a high, long ball to Alan Velasco. Velasco opted to cross the ball, where Arriola and Ferreira are waiting. Arriola with Timber goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic in front of him, played a dummy and Ferreira slotted it into the goal to open the scoring. The sequence leading to the goal is a thing of beauty and showcases the style Nico Estevez has established so far.
The second goal came just minutes later at the 30th mark. Arriola finds Ferreira at the top of the box. With a man on him, Ferreira chooses to turn and play the ball to Nanu on the side of the box. Nanu volleys the ball back to a waiting Ferreira who heads it into the goal.
Ferreira finished his hat-trick in the 36th minute. Pomykal, surrounded by Portland players, manages to play in Brandon Servania. Servania passed to Ferreira, who took a few steps with it and then slotted it past Ivacic, giving Dallas 3-0 lead into halftime.
FC Dallas has named it the fastest hat-trick in their history. (https://www.fcdallas.com/news/jesus-ferreira-scores-first-career-hat-trick-in-4-1-win-vs-portland-timbers)
The last hat-trick scored by an FC Dallas player came from Ricardo Pepi last season. Pepi wasn't able to do it as quickly as Ferreira, he scored a brace before halftime and finished his hat-trick in the 50th minute. (https://www.mlssoccer.com/news/ricardo-pepi-dedicates-historic-hat-trick-to-his-grandfather-on-anniversary-of-h)
Jaroslaw Niezgoda ruined Dallas' chance at a second clean sheet this season with a chip over Dallas' goalkeeper Maarten Paes. His goal came in the 61st minute. Dallas unfortunately slowed down on that play by the Timbers. Three defenders were near Niezgoda as he received a pass from teammate Sebastian Blanco. Blanco had replaced Santiago Moreno at the beginning of the second half.
FC Dallas answered Portland's goal with their fourth of the night. Arriola scored his first goal for the Toros in the 77th minute. Ferreira received a pass from a teammate deep in Portland's half. (It's hard to tell who passed to the Ferreira in the clip, I think it's Paxton Pomykal but I am not certain). Ferreira played in Arriola just outside the top of the box. Arriola, with two defenders closing in on him, slotted it just under Ivacic, securing the 4-1 win.
Ferreira and Arriola's performance in that game was not only good for FC Dallas, it could bode well for the USMNT as they play their final games in the World Cup Qualifiers. Both were called up last week for international duty. (https://www.fcdallas.com/news/paul-arriola-and-jesus-ferreira-called-into-national-team-duty)
Ferreira's performance earned him the "Player of the Week" award, making him the first Dallas player to win the award so far. Carlos Vela of Los Angeles FC, Lewis Morgan of the New York Redbulls, and Dayne St. Clair of Minnesota United have also been named the "Player of the Week" so far this season. (https://www.fcdallas.com/news/fc-dallas-homegrown-jesus-ferreira-voted-mls-player-of-the-week-presented-by-con)
FC Dallas will travel to Soldier Field to play the Chicago Fire next weekend on Saturday, April 2nd. The game is listed for 2:30PM. For longtime supporters of the club, it marks the return of the Brimstone Cup, a trophy played for back when Dallas was known as the Dallas Burn.