The road has been unkind to FC Dallas this season but can they find their way against a good Vancouver Whitecaps team?
FC Dallas notes:
Last time they met. FC Dallas defeated the Vancouver, 2‐1, in 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs at Toyota Stadium on Oct. 29, 2014. Mauro Diaz setup Tesho Akindele to open the scoring in the 40th minute before Vancouver's Erik Hurtado tied the game in the 64th minute. Michel scored the game‐winner via penalty kick in the 84th minute after Kendall Waston was called for a handball in the box.
First goal. According to the club's game notes, FCD has a 10‐1‐2 record this season when scoring first. Dallas' last match, a 2‐1 loss to the LA Galaxy, was the only game in which FCD didn't pick up a win after scoring first (Barrios 33).
Playing the kids. Dallas' Homegrown players logged a league high 4,607 minutes or 14% of the team's total minutes in 2014 (61GP, 50GS). Dallas is leading the charge in MLS again this season with 4,199 minutes (18.4%) played by Homegrown players Victor Ulloa, Moises Hernandez, Kellyn Acosta and Alejandro Zendejas. The New England Revolution rank second with 3,288 minutes played. Dallas' HGPs have logged 1,000 more minutes than any other team in MLS this season.
Key player for FCD: Kellyn Acosta. The Dallas HGP needs to have a monster game in the middle of the park in this one to slow down the Vancouver attack, as well as keeping the ball on the Dallas end to help facilitate the attack. If he can be big in the middle of the park against the likes of Pedro Morales, then Dallas could see a good shot at taming the Whitecaps.
Biggest question: Can the club figure it out on the road?
The road has been super unkind to FCD this year and given how this one is on turf, I don't like their chances nearly as much. No Mauro Diaz also means that the team will be without their main link in the attack. Fabian Castillo and Michael Barrios have been good over the last couple of months but each will need a special performance in this one to help get any sort of points on the road. The defense will also need to have an extra strong game against what is a good attack from Vancouver.
Given the road form and the lack of Diaz, I really don't like the chances in this one. Sure, Vancouver has the schedule congestion that could cause problems but between the turf, the travel and the lack of Diaz, I just don't know if the guys have enough in the attack at the moment to stay with a team like Vancouver.
FCD 0, VAN 2
How to watch
Match date/time: Saturday, 8/22, 9:00PM
Venue: BC Place, Vancouver, CA
TV: TXA 21
Online: MLS Live
Look out for our game thread, which will go up an hour before kick off.