FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Date and Location
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 8:30 pm ET, FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas
The game will air live on Sportsnet Pacific, starting at 5:30 pm PT/8:30 pm ET.
Setting the scene
Games don’t come much bigger than this one for the Whitecaps.
Not so long ago, they were riding high and looked a sure bet to qualify for the ML playoffs. But a four-game losing streak has put Vancouver’s post-season aspirations in serious doubt.
The Whitecaps currently hold the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 37 points, just ahead of Dallas (33 points). Vancouver also has a game in hand on the Texas club.
But a loss on Saturday would close the gap and give Dallas the momentum down the season stretch.
Dallas is catching Vancouver at the perfect time, as the Canadian outfit has just two wins in its last 11 matches. The Whitecaps have also lost a franchise record six in a row.
One of the major problems for Vancouver has been scoring, as it has just one goal during its current four-game losing skid.
“Hopefully we can get a better attacking edge to our team, from midfield in terms of supply, and from the strikers in terms of chances and goals,” striker Kenny Miller told the Vancouver Province.
News and notes
This is the third match this season between the two teams, having already split two contests in Vancouver… Saturday’s match marks the end of a four-game run on the road for Vancouver. Their next four consecutive matches are at home… American youngster Omar Salgado is back in training for the Whitecaps after suffering a foot injury back in June, but he is listed as doubtful for this game. Defender Andy O’Brien and midfielder Gershon Koffie (both adductor strains) might not play… Speedy Colombian winger Fabian Castillo will be available for Dallas after overcoming a recent hamstring problem… Dallas will be without centre back Ugo Ihemelu (concussion) and fellow defender Alex Lee (lower abdominal). Defender Zach Loyd (lower back) and midfielder Ricardo Villar (foot) are questionable… The Whitecaps’ only previous visit to Frisco saw them lose 2-0 last October…
Player to watch for Vancouver
Darren Mattocks: The Jamaican striker is one of the fastest players in the league and leads Vancouver in scoring this season with seven goals. They badly need him to find the net, in light of their current scoring problems.
Player to watch for Dallas
Fabian Castillo: The speedy Colombian scored in Dallas’ win in Vancouver last month, but has ben recently sidelined with a hamstring strain. His return to the lineup is bad news for Vancouver’s defence.
The Vancouver perspective
“We want to try and get back into the win column, and at the very least pick up a point, which would mean they couldn’t close the gap. A loss would be disappointing, but we’re still in a pretty good place in that we’re (with) a game in hand and we’ll still be a point up on them.” — Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi told the Vancouver Sun.
The Dallas perspective
“This is the kind of game that every soccer player wants to play in, a tough game and very competitive. Hopefully we get the result. We know Vancouver is going to be a tough team.” — winger Fabian Castillo told MLSsoccer.com
Vancouver returns to MLS action on Sunday, Sept. 23 when it hosts the Colorado Rapids (watch it live on Sportsnet Pacific and Sportsnet ONE at 4:30 pm PT/7:30 pm ET.