Preview: Dallas, Vancouver square off in critical West clash
FC DALLAS vs VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
FC DALLAS STADIUM, Frisco, Texas
September 15, 2012 (WEEK 28, MLS Game #268)
7:30 p.m. CT (KTXA-21; SNET Pac)
A massive six-pointer in the Western Conference is ahead on Saturday evening when FC Dallas play host to Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Frisco. The teams come into the match separated by just four points in the standings. Whitecaps FC still hold fifth place in the conference and the final playoff spot, despite losing their fourth in a row last time out in a 2-0 defeat by the LA Galaxy. FC Dallas reside in sixth entering the match, following a 1-1 home draw with Seattle Sounders FC in their last match.
REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): C.J. Morgante; AR2 (opposite): Matthew Kreitzer; 4th: Mark Declouet
MLS Career: 9 games; FC/gm: 20.3; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 1; pens: 1
- FC DALLAS – OUT: DF Ugo Ihemelu (concussion symptoms); DF Alex Lee (lower abdominal strain); QUESTIONABLE: FW Fabian Castillo (R hamstring strain); MF Ricardo Villar (R foot strain); FW Blas Perez (R foot sprain); DF Zach Loyd (lower back strain)
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC – DOUBTFUL: FW Omar Salgado (R foot fracture); PROBABLE: DF Andy O'Brien (R adductor strain); MF Gershon Koffie (R adductor strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DAL: George John … VAN: Darren Mattocks, Dane Richards, Alain Rochat
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DAL: Jair Benitez, Fabian Castillo, Julian de Guzman, Daniel Hernandez, George John, Zach Loyd, Blas Perez … VAN: Jun Marques Davidson, Jay DeMerit
- ALL-TIME (4 meetings): FC Dallas 3 wins, 6 goals … Whitecaps FC 1 win, 2 goals … Ties 0
- AT DALLAS (1 meeting): FC Dallas 1 win, 2 goals … Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 0 goals … Ties 0
4/21: VAN 1, DAL 0 (Camilo 11)
8/15: VAN 0, DAL 2 (Castillo 60; Top 70)
- The teams are meeting for a third time this season. A Camilo goal was all Whitecaps FC needed for a 1-0 win April 21 at BC Place, while goals from Fabian Castillo and Jonathan Top gave FC Dallas a 2-0 win Aug. 15 in Vancouver.
- The victory in the first meeting was Vancouver’s first ever vs. FC Dallas. FCD won both meetings last year in Whitecaps FC’s inaugural season, including a 2-1 win April 23 at Empire Field.
- Coaches record: Schellas Hyndman vs. VAN: P4 W3 L1 D0 … Martin Rennie vs. DAL: P2 W1 L1 D0
- FC Dallas finally broke the deadlock in the 60th minute. Zach Loyd sent a throw-in to the corner of the penalty area, where David Ferreira flicked it on to Fabián Castillo. He then juked past a couple of ‘Caps defenders before doing well to get off his shot despite falling, slotting the ball in off the post.
- Ten minutes later, FCD made it 2-0 through substitute Jonathan Top. Ferreira made the play once again, holding off Andy O’Brien after racing onto a Jair Benitez ball over the back line, before setting Top up for an easy tap-in into a wide open goal.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): Joe Cannon - Lee Young-Pyo, Andy O'Brien, Martin Bonjour, Alain Rochat - John Thorrington (Matt Watson 76), Jun Marques Davidson - Atiba Harris (Michael Nanchoff 65), Barry Robson, Camilo - Kenny Miller (Caleb Clarke 81).
- FC DALLAS (4-4-1-1): Kevin Hartman - Hernan Pertuz (Bryan Leyva 78), George John, Matt Hedges, Zach Loyd - Fabian Castillo (Bruno Guarda 83), Andrew Jacobson, Daniel Hernandez, Jair Benitez - David Ferreira - Ruben Luna (Jonathan Top 64).
FC Dallas returned home following a three-game road swing last time out, playing to a 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC on Sept. 2 in Frisco. FCD is in sixth place in the Western Conference with 33 points from 29 matches.
HIGHLIGHTS: DAL 1, SEA 1
- Sounders FC opened the scoring in the 20th minute. Steve Zakuani received the ball on the left wing and rounded FC Dallas right back Zach Loyd, before driving a low cross to the back post for Mauro Rosales to tap home.
- FC Dallas got their response in the 32nd minute. Blas Pérez controlled a cross from Zach Loyd before firing the ball across the goal, and it found Jackson unmarked at the far post to easily slide home the equalizer.
- FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made one change to the team that dropped a 2-0 decision to the LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center. Blas Perez came into the team in place of Fabian Castillo.
- FC DALLAS (4-4-1-1): Kevin Hartman - Zach Loyd, George John, Matt Hedges (Hernan Pertuz 58), Jair Benitez - Brek Shea (Carlos Rodriguez 86), Andrew Jacobson (Daniel Hernandez 63), Julian de Guzman, Jackson - David Ferreira - Blas Perez.
FCD TV: Previewing Dallas vs. Vancouver
- The draw with Seattle kicked off a two-game homestand for FC Dallas, who will have just one game in Frisco remaining after this weekend – the season finale vs. Chivas USA. They embark on a three-game trip to San Jose, Chivas and Seattle in between.
- “We thought having home-field advantage with this kind of weather would be more advantageous than it was but it also affected us a little bit,” said Blas Pérez. “This was an important game for us, knowing we had an opportunity in our hands to gain some points on Vancouver and we didn’t get it done.”
- Returning to a wide midfield role, Jackson scored his third goal of the season, his first since July 21.
- “Jackson has that explosive speed, something that you really can’t teach players and as the game wears down he’s got the high level conditioning,” said Hyndman. “I thought he started running a little bit more on … their defenders, but he gave us everything he had. He’s more of a flank player. He’s not the kind of player that is going to score from outside of the box very often.”
- For the first time all season, FC Dallas had striker Pérez and midfielders David Ferreira and Brek Shea on the field together for the full 90 minutes.
- Perez chipped in his fourth assist of the season, his first since April 14. It was the first time he’d been involved in a goal for FCD since May 26 – the last time he started and played 90 minutes for the club.
- “It gives me confidence,” Pérez said. “I’d missed time with my injury and then with what happened with [the passing of] my dad, but I felt good. I felt a desire to play hard for my team and I felt like I did that today.”
- Making his 17th consecutive start in central defense, rookie Matt Hedges was forced to depart before the hour mark.
- “Sometimes when you are playing, you get an elbow or knee, we’ve all been there when we get shots to the solar plexus and it hurts,”said Hyndman. “Matt is such a competitor. He kept fighting and started to make some uncharacteristic types of mistakes, giving balls away, tripping over the ball, almost felt like he was going to create a goal for them.”
- On their weekend away from league play, FC Dallas drew 3-3 with Mexican CSD León at FC Dallas Stadium. George John, Jackson and Bobby Warshaw scored for FCD, which lost a post-match penalty shootout 4-3.
- Here’s the FCD team: Chris Seitz, Jair Benitez, Matt Hedges George John (Victor Ulloa 78), Hernan Pertuz, Daniel Hernandez (Bobby Warshaw 46), James Marcelin (Bruno Guarda 71), Jackson, David Ferreira (Matias Jara 63), Bryan Leyva (Ricardo Villar 46), Jackson (Jonathan Top 68), Scott Sealy.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC saw their losing slide stretched to four games in their last match, a 2-0 loss to the LA Galaxy on Sept. 2 at The Home Depot Center. Whitecaps FC are in fifth place in the Western Conference with 37 points from 28 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: LA 2, VAN 0
- The Galaxy took the lead just before halftime. After Robbie Keane slightly redirected a low cross from Hector Jimenez on the right flank, Juninho had time to settle the ball and look up before delivering a signature dipping strike that sailed into the top right corner.
- Not to be outdone, David Beckham made it 2-0 in the 79th minute on a signature strike of his own, hitting the upper left corner directly from a free kick from 25 yards out, bending it past Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Brad Knighton.
- Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made five changes to the team that dropped a 2-1 decision to the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field. Brad Knighton came in between the posts for Joe Cannon, Martin Bonjour and Jordan Harvey came into the back four for Lee Young-Pyo and Andy O'Brien, and Matt Watson and Russell Teibert came into the side for Alain Rochat and Camilo.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): Brad Knighton - John Thorrington, Jay DeMerit, Martin Bonjour, Jordan Harvey - Matt Watson, Jun Marques Davidson (Camilo 85) - Dane Richards (Michael Nanchoff 71), Barry Robson, Russell Teibert (Etienne Barbara 87) - Kenny Miller.
Taking the Lead: Jay DeMerit, Vancouver Whitecaps
- Whitecaps FC’s four-game losing slide matches their longest in their MLS history, first set last June 25-July 9.
- “It’s not uncommon to have a bad spell in a season. In fact, I don’t really remember many seasons where there hasn’t been at least one spell which wasn’t as good as we would have liked,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. “What’s always happened with those cases in the past is that we’ve improved, we’ve got better. The most important thing in MLS is to get better at the end.”
- The trip to Dallas also concludes a four-game road swing for Whitecaps FC, who haven’t played at BC Place since Aug. 15 – their last meeting with FC Dallas.
- “It’s a huge game, both teams are very close in the standings, and then of course we go on a run of games where almost every game is at home until the end of the season. So that’s a positive thing,” said Rennie. “The game against Dallas will be our ninth game in our last 13 on the road, which is a lot, but we must put together a good performance.”
- Whitecaps FC have been shut out in three of their last four games, having scored just once in the four-game losing skid. Their 29 goals scored are third-fewest in the league.
- Brad Knighton came in to play goal in place of Joe Cannon, his second start in the last four games. Knighton’s previous start came when Cannon was out through suspension.
- John Thorrington made his third start in the last four games, but his first of the season at right back, as Rennie changed three of the four defenders from the Portland match.
- After not featuring in any of the previous four matches at all, Jordan Harvey made his first start since July 18, coming in at left back.
- “We’ve got good players,” Rennie said. “They’ve not become bad players overnight. We’ve got a good spirit within our group and there’s a lot of positives we can take from it despite the loss. I’m confident we’ll get it turned around. It’s always difficult when you lose a few games – to lose four games [in a row] is something I’ve never been involved in before. It’s a good challenge, it’s a good test. It’s a good test of character, a good test of how you bounce back.”
- Matt Watson made his first start since May 9, the last of six starts he made over the opening nine league games of the season.
- “Right now there may be a bit of a lack of confidence,” Watson told Vancouver radio station TEAM 1410. “It’s something we’re working on and trying to stay positive but you take a couple of losses and in the back of your head, you’re thinking, ‘what happens if we lose today, what happens if we lose today?’ That’s something we need to get rid of so we can play with some freedom. I think when you play with freedom you play the best, you know? I think we came out a little bit tame tonight. Maybe offensively we didn’t get forward enough and create enough chances.”
- Russell Teibert made his first start of the campaign, playing 87 minutes in a wide left role. Teibert did not figure in any of Vancouver’s Canadian Championship matches.
- “The last couple of games we haven’t played very well and I think the manager’s right in giving other guys a go, and to be fair to the guys that came in tonight I thought they did a good job,” said Jay DeMerit. “I thought Russell [Teibert] showed great energy, I thought he kept the ball for us, I thought he defended well, and for somebody, a young kid, to come in on a big stage like this, it’s a credit to him. We’ll continue to try to work hard for each other and give the manager a hard decision.”