What is a Goal?
Vancouver are having a very difficult time finding the back of the net in their last few matches, having failed to score in three straight games. The Whitecaps have only managed eight shots on target in that time, about half of which have come from outside the 18 yard box or acute angles. Their difficulty scoring seems to have manifested itself in a desire to shoot when any opportunity is presented.
Home is where the wins are
Unfortunately for Vancouver they don’t have a great record at home to fall back on like many teams do. This year Vancouver have 1 win, 1 draw, and 1 loss at BC Place. This is not just a problem this year. Vancouver had the worst home record of any team that made the playoffs last season with 9 wins, 6 losses, and 2 draws. Dallas had the best record last season with 13 wins, 2 losses, and 2 draws at Toyota Stadium.
Vancouver is missing a big player which is key to their recent difficulties. Pedro Morales, their creative playmaker and engine of the Vancouver team will be missing this weekend, as will defender Christian Dean. Vancouver tend to like the 4-4-2 formation.
GK: David Ousted; RB: Fraser Aird CB: Kendall Waston, Tim Parker; LB: Jordan Harvey; CM: Matias Laba, Andrew Jacobson; RM: Christian Techera; LM: Kekuta Manneh; F: Blas Perez, Nicolas Mezquida.
Fabian Castillo vs. Fraser Aird. Fabian Castillo and Michael barrios have both come into form over the last week. Fraser Aird is a solid young Canadian Right Back, but this introduction to the speedy Colombian will be a real test for the youngster. On loan from Rangers in Scotland, Aird has been a part of a challenged Vancouver defense this season. Vancouver’s inability to score certainly is not helping that back four maintain itself and Aird will he be key in attempting to shut down Castillo.
Keys to Three Points
Ignore Super Raton. Former FCD striker Blas Perez will likely play some part in this match. We all know what he is like. A guy you love to have on your team and hate on anyone else’s. The Hoops will need to be smart and ignore Perez’s tricks. Don’t let him get in your head.
Closing Down. Vancouver has been taking more speculative shots recently, not surprising considering the lack of scoring. The midfield needs to close down outside of the 18 yard box and prevent Vancouver from scoring off one of those long shots. A single long goal could change the confidence for that team. Dallas need them to continue to feel low.
Defensive Rhythm. Dallas needs to continue to gel with the absence of Matt Hedges. The team held out against SKC last week and while it was a good win, the defense can be more convincing. Hopefully the time together will have given Loyd and Zimmerman time to work out their roles in the back.
Dallas goes on the road and continues its great form against a Vancouver side that finally finds a goal, too little too late.
My Prediction: 4-1 FC Dallas.