So another 2-2 draw in Canada eh?
FC Dallas went up 2-0 on the Vancouver Whitecaps early in the second half only to see that lead slip away midway through the second half after a red card to Jackson Goncalves. Yikes. Still, silver lining folks, the draw is a point and not a loss but I'll discuss more of that shortly.
Two injuries paved the way for this one as well. Vancouver came out with loads of pressure and physical play early on and that did a number on a couple players. George John made it to halftime only to get subbed out by London Woodberry. Andrew Jacobson looked to be able to go on his own after a tackle but he was subbed out before halftime in favor of Je-Vaugh Watson.
The physical play doubled with the artificial surface at BC Place made it for a long afternoon in Vancouver. Thankfully FC Dallas held their own and once things settled down after the first 10 minutes of the match, Dallas was creating chances and getting their opportunities on goal. Once again that paid off on a Michel corner kick early in the match. Just like the week before, a Vancouver defender ended up getting credited with the own-goal. At first it had appeared that Kenny Cooper got a foot or something on the ball but the official ruling was that Andy O'Brien knocked it into his own net.
Vancouver pushed hard after the early goal to get one back from Dallas. Raul Fernandez held his own for the majority of the game, making stop after stop.
But once half hit, the two injuries already forces Schellas Hyndman to use two of his three subs, something you know he didn't want to have to do. That changed the game for Dallas but as the second half opened they found themselves on the right end of another Michel free kick. Matt Hedges took a good bounce on the turf and slotted home the game's second goal.
All looked well for Dallas at that moment. A 2-0 lead, but a whole lot was about to change. Vancouver elected to go with speed up front and Martin Rennie added rookie Ketuka Manneh to the attack. That change created a lot of issues in the back for Zach Loyd and FC Dallas. His speed gave way as he scored in the 72nd minute to bring Vancouver within one. The Whitecaps had numbers in the box and made Dallas pay on the first goal.
Vancouver would get another back with Manneh using his speed to drive at the defense, his ball into Camilo was perfect and the Brazilian didn't have any problem tying the game up.
Then disaster struck for FC Dallas again. While Jackson was going for a ball with Alain Rochat, the two got tangled up and Jackson hand met Rochat's face. Dallas played the final 22 minutes with a man down.
70 strong, 20 off. We've seen this before but I'll give the boys a little more credit than I have in the past. For 70 minutes, it looked as though they were going to move the needle a little further away for some clubs in the league to catch them. A 2-0 lead, on the road. Doing that for 30 minutes without two of their starters. You really couldn't have asked for more in that situation.
But as we've seen, things can change just like that for Dallas. The turf could be an excuse. Playing on the road another. Add in Vancouver's style of play up front and in the midfield and it was going to happen eventually, especially with 10 men on the field for the last 22 minutes.
However, I give the guys a little more credit on this one. It was rough, a bit dirty in how Vancouver played and they still came away with a point.
Dealing with speed. We've talked about teams with speed before on here and how Dallas managed to hold their own. Yesterday's speed out of Vancouver was a whole new thing though. Darren Mattocks created some challenges for Matt Hedges and George John. Ketuka Manneh was a handful for Jair Benitez and Zach Loyd. You do have to give Vancouver credit for adding speed late in the manner that they did. It was effective and it nearly turned into three points had it not been for Raul Fernandez.
The injuries. Two early injuries in this one but thankfully the schedule works out nicely to where FC Dallas has next weekend off. That give Jacobson, John and others like Fernandez, Benitez, Loyd, Michel time to get back to 100% here. Dallas has been damn lucky not to have to deal with injuries in the manner that they did last year. This was truly the first game that we saw more than one guy go to the ground and need a sub. The fact that it was early didn't help either but I do think that London Woodberry and Je-Vaughn Watson held their own. I'll have to review the game a little more to see exactly how good or bad they did but I wasn't sitting there in the second half going "damnit Watson!" so there is that.
Set pieces. It is the bread and butter of this club now. While I love some run-of-play goals and those have to come as well, getting the most out of your set piece chances are huge in this league. So far Dallas is doing their part with seven of their 15 goals this season coming from a set piece. That is absolutely huge.
Fernandez. For all of his issues and blunders that he had yesterday, I really came away with thinking he was the man of the match for FC Dallas. Seven saves overall and he was under consistent pressure in the second half. Hard to save shots in the manner that he did too, with Vancouver coming at him from all angles.
Jackson red. Okay so I have six thoughts from this. Re-watching the Jackson red card and boy I hope nothing else gets added on to that one. To me Rochat should have gotten a yellow for his involvement as well. He was basically holding Jackson's neck for a couple seconds before Jackson swung his arm around and hit him in the face. I'm trying not to be biased here but as ugly as the hand to the face of Rochat looked, I kind of think that would have been a yellow card if it were at home and away from the team benches. Vancouver made it look much worse than it really was in my book.