Coming into the week, FC Dallas sit in second place in the division while Vancouver is holding down a tie for fourth - but the teams are separated by just two points. Whitecaps FC return home following a successful road trip that ended with a 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake, while FCD extended their undefeated run to five games last weekend with a 2-0 home win against the New England Revolution.
FC Dallas is looking to extend their five-game unbeaten run in league play but also end a seven game winless streak on the road.
FC Dallas Notes:
Out: Kellyn Acosta (knee), George John (knee), Jair Benitez (ankle), Hendry Thomas (ACL tear), Chris Seitz (quad strain)
Suspended: Fabian Castillo
Run of play goals. According to the club's game notes, FC Dallas began the season with Michel and Mauro Diaz setting up goals via on set pieces. The superior service helped free kicks account for eight of Dallas' first 12 goals. Without the duo (both were lost to injury during the month of May), FC Dallas relied on goals from the run of play. FC Dallas' last 18 goals have come from the run of play (including U.S. Open Cup matches).
Keel effect. FC Dallas center back Stephen Keel has been in the lineup for seven of Dallas' eight wins this season (7‐3‐4). The only win FC Dallas recorded this season with Keel out of the lineup was opening day - a 3‐2 win over the Montreal Impact. The Wake Forrest product is closing in on his career high for appearances (16 in 2011), games started (13 in 2011) and minutes played (1,226 in 2011). Keel currently has appeared 15 times, started 13 times, logged 1217 minutes and has one assist (a game‐winning assist on a Blas Perez goal in a win against Toronto FC on April 19).
Homegrown depth. FC Dallas Homegrown players have accumulated 2,402 minutes so far this season (31GP, 27GS). Danny Garcia, the ninth FC Dallas Homegrown player to see time with the first team, has logged 282 minutes in central midfield. Moises Hernandez (512 MP) and Victor Ulloa (1,113 MP) have also seen increased minutes. Kellyn Acosta (412 MP) is recovering from an injury suffered in training. Against Philadelphia on July 4, Victor Ulloa became only the second Homegrown player in franchise history to log more than 1,000 minutes in a season.
REFEREE: Kevin Stott. AR1 (bench): Ian Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Marco Arruda; 4th: Juan Guzman MLS Career: 251 games; FC/gm: 25.5; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 61; pens: 59
SUSPENDED: DAL: Fabian Castillo (through July 27)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: VAN: Gershon Koffie, Sebastian Fernandez, Matias Laba ... DAL: Fabian
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: VAN: Andy O'Brien, Pedro Morales, Nigel Reo-Coker
DAL: Matt Hedges, Michel, Blas Perez, Je-Vaughn Watson, Victor Ulloa ... NE: Lee Nguyen, A.J. Soares, Chris Tierney
DISABLED LIST: VAN: Calen Clarke (season-ending injury)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (8 meetings): Whitecaps FC 1 win, 5 goals ... FC Dallas 6 wins, 14 goals ... Ties 1
AT VANCOUVER (5 meetings): Whitecaps FC 1 win, 4 goals ... FC Dallas 2 wins, 6 goals ... Ties 1
RETURN MATCHES: 9/13: FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 7:30 p.m. CT; 10/4: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. FC Dallas, 4 p.m. PT
Coaches record: Carl Robinson vs. DAL: first game ... Oscar Pareja vs. VAN: P6 W2 L3 T1
Definitely a tough game for FC Dallas as BC Place has never been kind place for the club. I think this one all comes down to the midfield and how FCD does in this area. As long as FC Dallas bottles up Pedro Morales and doesn't allow Darren Mattocks or Ketuka Manneh space to roam free, I think there is going to be a good enough chance for them to get out of there with at least a point. This will be a physical game for sure, so not playing a part of that side of things will be key too. I think a fair result is a draw, which I would be alright seeing them earn that on the road in this one.
FC Dallas 1, Vancouver 1
What is your prediction for tonight's game? Let's hear it below.