Know Your Enemy: Vancouver Whitecaps FC

FCD must shut down creative Vancouver midfield

Enemy: Vancouver

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USA Today Sports Images

FRISCO, Texas -- FC Dallas remains at home for another weekend of play as they square off against Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the first of two straight meetings with the Canadian side.

FC Dallas is unbeaten in two games at home against Vancouver. Whitecaps FC is 1-4-0 all-time against FCD. That lone win came last season at BC Place thanks to a Camilo goal.

Dallas enters this game on a five game unbeaten streak with shutouts in three of its last four matches. Vancouver comes to Frisco with a 2-2-2 record on the season, with draws in its last two matches. Vancouver’s last win came at home against Columbus back on March 9 in a 2-1 victory.

Injury Watch

The biggest injury happened back at the start of the season for Vancouver when veteran defender and captain Jay DeMerit went down with a torn Achilles tendon. The other potential big miss for Whitecaps FC could be Designated Player Kenny Miller, who has been sidelined recently with a hamstring strain.

Corey Hertzog is also listed by the ‘Caps as questionable for this game due to concussion symptoms.

Key Matchup

Camilo vs Jair Benitez – The veteran Benitez will have his hands full on Saturday when he goes up against the Brazilian Camilo. Benitez has done well so far this season at locking down quality midfielders and attackers, but Camilo’s skill on the ball could cause trouble if Benitez isn’t careful. Last week against Real Salt Lake, Camilo had a team-high seven shots, with five of those being on goal. He also scored the game-tying goal on a penalty kick late in that match.

Key Player for Vancouver

Daigo Kobayashi – The Japanese international has started all six games for Vancouver this season. He brings a special amount of technical ability to the attack and his long range shot ability is something that cannot be ignored.

Projected Lineup

Rennie has the group that can play a 4-3-3 style of attack. Sometimes his formation will resemble something a little closer to what Schellas Hyndman uses here in Dallas, a 4-2-3-1 with Kobayashi aligned more centrally behind Mattocks.

Goalkeeper: Joe Cannon; RB: Lee Young-Pyo; CB: Andy O’Brien, Brad Rusin; LB: Alain Rochat; DM: Jun Marques Davidson; LM: Nigel Reo-Coker; RM: Russell Teibert; LW: Daigo Kobayashi; RW: Camilo; FW: Darren Mattocks.

Keys to three points

Vancouver has been a tricky team to figure out early on this season. They’ve looked great at times while other times they’ve looked like a team that will struggle throughout the year.

The thing about the ‘Caps is they are a talented group that, once injuries get sorted out and players get on the same page, they will be a playoff contending team. Rennie has a crop of young talent in the form of guys like Darren Mattocks, Erik Hurtado and Ketuka Manneh.  All three are contributing minutes this season while Mattocks should return to the starting lineup after being on the bench in the last two matches.

FC Dallas will want to continue going to their bread and butter in the attack by spreading out the Whitecaps and making them chase the game. Vancouver’s formation opens them up to give up space on the wings.

Andrew Jacobson and Michel will need to remain compact in front of the back line in order to keep the speed up front from Mattocks and the skill from Kobayashi at bay.

FC Dallas has done well in the past against Vancouver and it has come down to the speed of guys like Fabian Castillo and Jackson that have made the difference, but a big game out of someone like Blas Perez could also go a long way in keeping the unbeaten run going for another week.