Whitecaps/ FC Dallas Game Intro
The gradual and painful slide by the Whitecaps towards the depths of non-playoff status takes a possibly ominous turn with this crucial third encounter of the season between the Vancouver side and FC Dallas.
Each time has managed a win apiece in the season series, 1-0 first time out for the ‘Caps with a 2-0 payback victory for the Texans last month.
The Texans were absent key midfielder Brek Shea (US) and recent acquisition Julian de Guzman for the last game between the teams, but both are back and only striker Blas Perez will be a very significant absence this time.
Vancouver continues to miss Omar Salgado, but is otherwise at full strength.
Dallas will push hard all game long for a victory that would shrink the Vancouver advantage in the Western Conference standings to a measly single point. This team has confidence now following a hesitant start to the season but is gathering steam rapidly.
Brek Shea as the previously mentioned young, talented centrepiece of the team is a rapidly rising star in the USA set-up who drives this team with his strength on the ball, patience and fine shot.
Canadian de Guzman provides more offensive push alongside the young American star.
The rest of the team is a little short on big names, but the back line is a solid cast of players.
For a long stretch, Vancouver looked to be a sure thing for the post-season, but the deterioration in the team’s performance proves the necessity of stability in personnel, and the west coast team has suffered due to the seemingly never ending shift in the line-up.
If the team misses out on the playoffs there could be serious negative repercussions into the next year and beyond, as the team becomes a potentially less successful attraction for drawing other talent.
A record of no goals in three of their past four matches starkly indicates the lack of confidence in the Whitecaps current mentality.
Coach Martin Rennie needs to re-establish the pedigree of positive play that he instilled earlier this season.
The only result these teams have yet to share is a draw, and that’s where I see this game landing for two teams who look to produce a fiercely competitive match.
Whitecaps FC prepare for Saturday’s match against FC Dallas.