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Hat trick of items to watch for as FC Dallas visits Vancouver

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The team heads north to face the upstart 'Caps.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Two losses in a row — a rare one at home — sends FC Dallas on the road badly needing points. It's time for the hat trick leading into Saturday's game.

Fast Then Furious

Of Vancouver's 25 matches this season, they've scored first 16 times. FC Dallas has done that 13 times in their 23 games, also respectable. Vancouver comes out fast and usually, when they score first, that lead stands winning 13 of those 16 games.

Inversely, FC Dallas has conceded first seven times this year, and they're 1-6-0 in those games. In road games, going down early is tough to come back from, especially against a team that holds leads well. If FCD goes down early, I don't see them coming back from that.

No Mauro, No Problem?

Last week, against a ferocious Los Angeles attack, FC Dallas did not look as anemic as people might have suggested as a result of missing Mauro Diaz. Rolando Escobar took the role nicely, playing as a modified forward, acting as the main distrubuter for the attacking players.

While he's no Mauro — no one is — the team has a viable fill-in when Mauro can't go, something the team didn't have earlier in the season or even last year. If Escobar can continue to develop some chemistry with the team, missing Mauro might not be the death sentence it once was.

Familiar Foes

FC Dallas and Vancouver will face off three times as the season's end nears, and it's important to keep that in mind as FC Dallas looks to get back into he Supporter's Shield mix. While 7th in the race currently, the team is 5th in Points Per Game and has three games in hand behind Shield leaders D.C. United, trailing by six points.

After this weekend, FC Dallas will play a home-and-home series against the 'Caps on October 7th and 14th. Much doesn't need to be said on the importance of conference road games, but against one of last year's playoff teams, FC Dallas certainly is on the 'Caps radar as much as they are on FCD's and winning at BC Place is never easy to do. FCD has only won their twice in six tries.

That's all I have, I hope you enjoy Saturday's game!