It's been awhile since FCD has had a 33rd matchday in a season. FC Dallas plays their final MLS home game of the regular season as Vancouver travels to town. The Whitecaps come into this one a point ahead of New England for bottom of the table in MLS, though they have won their last two games. For FC Dallas this is a chance to get further back on track after winning in Chicago on Wednesday.
Is the swagger back? This is probably the biggest question we will learn about Dallas tonight. They got back to FCD soccer on Wednesday with the relentless, high pressure, speed-driven counterattack strategy and we will know on Saturday if the old FC Dallas is back. Vancouver is probably the perfect team for Dallas to play as they've allowed the 3rd most goals in the league this season and average nearly 2 GA on the road this year. Vancouver has shutout just one opponent on the road this year.
Will Shea start? With Tuesday's big Champions League game looming, it will be interesting to see if Brek Shea starts tonight. Fabian Castillo was certainly decent on Wednesday, but you've got to think Schellas will want to start Shea to gel with the rest of the team. With Castillo suspended for Tuesday's CCL game, you would expect him to hopefully start though.
Whitecaps Road Woes Dallas ended Houston's winless season on the road a few weeks ago and Vancouver comes into this last road game 0-11-5 away from home. As I mentioned earlier, they've allowed an amazing 29 goals on the road this year while Dallas has allowed just 7 goals in 15 home games against teams not named Sporting Kansas City.
Full lineup available Ferreira is basically the only one out for Dallas tonight. They've got everyone available and ready for selection. I expect Schellas to roll out the starting lineup for the playoffs save maybe one or two spots. For Vancouver, you won't have a chance to boo Jonathan Leathers, the player who broke Ferreira's ankle, as he is listed out for the game.
Keys to the game
Clean Sheet The goals will come for Dallas tonight, that is almost assured. What I'm focusing on for this one is can the defense pitch their first shutout since the Chivas USA game way back in August. They'll need to get back the lockdown defense if they want to go anywhere in the playoffs and Vancouver, a team that has scored 5 goals in their last two games, is a great test.
Speed Speed Speed It's the name of the game for FC Dallas. It's what won the game for them at Chicago and it's the main asset that will give them a chance in the MLS Cup playoffs.
Andrew Jacobson Watch Jacobson tonight and see what kind of passes he's playing out of the midfield. He nearly had an assist on Wednesday on an over-the-top ball to Jackson and I see signs that he's starting to get back to being comfortable again. I think he's due for a breakout game and tonight could be it.
REFEREE: Alex Prus.
SAR (bench): Adam Garner; JAR (opposite): Claudio Badea;
4th: Mark Kadleci
I really liked what I saw on Wednesday and as I said, I think Vancouver is the perfect team for Dallas to play right now. The Whitecaps will not come to defend and earn a point so tonight should be a very open and entertaining game. I really feel like tonight is the breakout game for Dallas as they regain their swagger heading into the playoffs. I hope they can get a shutout, but the combination of Camilo and Hassli should get at least one goal for Vancouver.