Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. FC Dallas | 2017 MLS Match Preview
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. FC Dallas
2017 MLS Match Preview
BC Place – Vancouver, B.C.
Saturday, June 17 – 10 p.m. ET
WATCH: TSN1/4; MLS LIVE in US
After successfully advancing their title defense in mid-week U.S. Open Cup play, FC Dallas return their focus toward an MLS opponent, traveling to challenge Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place on Saturday.
The mid-week win could well serve as a springboard for FCD, who have logged only a single victory in their last six league matches, a 6-2 pounding of hapless Real Salt Lake. Their opponent has been alternating wins and losses for four matches, but overall has been rising steadily in the Western Conference after a slow start – a victory against Dallas positions Vancouver in the "contenders" group ahead of the pack.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
If you give the 'Caps a scoreless draw instead of that controversial, penalty-decided loss to D.C. two weeks back, we're looking at a team cruising to a 4-1-1 mark in its last six and riding a three-game unbeaten run. That is to say, Carl Robinson has Vancouver playing pretty, pretty well right now – despite a slew of injuries that grew longer during the international break.
Center back Kendall Waston – the brace-heading hero of last week's win – and playmaking winger Christian Bolanos each took a knock that will sit them on the sideline Saturday, and perhaps the way is paved for Brek Shea to take another run at the starting spot, this time while lining up against his former club.
- Suspended: Sheanon Williams (SABH program)
- Int’l Duty: NONE
- Injury Report: OUT: M - Christian Bolanos (right shoulder sprain), D - Christian Dean (foot injury), D - David Edgar (PCL, MCL tear), F - Erik Hurtado (left foot contusion), D - Brett Levis (ACL tear), M - Nicolas Mezquida (right high ankle sprain), M - Yordy Reyna (foot surgery), Kendall Waston (left hip injury); QUESTIONABLE: F - Bernie Ibini (right hamstring strain)
Projected Starting XI (4-1-4-1): GK: David Ousted – Jake Nerwinski, Cole Seiler, Tim Parker, Jordan Harvey – Matias Laba – Cristian Techera, Andrew Jacobson, Tony Tchani, Brek Shea – Fredy Montero
Notes: Vancouver has won four of their last five games at home (4-1-0). In all four wins they have scored two or more goals.
The ol' squad rotation merry-go-round was in full effect for FCD on Wednesday, and though Oscar Pareja likely would've rather held the substitution cards he cashed in on Michael Barrios and Tesho Akindele, their insertion swung the tide in a 2-1 victory.
But the bigger takeaway was a pair of clean, healthy shifts logged by string-puller Mauro Diaz and defender Ryan Hollingshead, each of whom has spent much of the calendar year rehabilitating a serious injury. Diaz has steadily been working back into the rotation, and his accelerated return to a Dallas squad that seemed untouchable early in the season could prove a 2017 pivot point for all of MLS.
- Suspended: NONE
- Int’l Duty: NONE
- Injury Report: OUT: D - Walker Zimmerman (left knee MCL strain)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): GK: Jesse Gonzalez - Hernan Grana, Atiba Harris, Matt Hedges, Aaron Guillen - Carlos Gruezo, Kellyn Acosta - Michael Barrios, Mauro Diaz, Roland Lamah - Maxi Urruti
Notes: Hernán Grana is averaging 71.6 touches per game, the most on FC Dallas. Only one other player has more than 56 touches per game (Maynor Figueroa; 63.3).
- All-time: FCD leads, 9-4-3, with a plus-8 goal differential (22-14)
- At Vancouver: The 'Caps have generally held serve at home against Dallas, with a 4-2-3 mark and a plus-4 differential (12-8).
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Jeffrey Hosking
Fourth Official: Younes Marrakchi