With just an eight-game sprint standing between FC Dallas and their Western Conference playoff aspirations, the Dallas defense knows they’ll have to be in top shape for FCD to reach their lofty goals.
As the offense has roared back to life with nine goals in the last four games, the defensive form has dipped a bit recently and they’ll be looking to turn that around on Saturday night in a huge Western Conference matchup in Frisco against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
“I think any team that makes a serious run is going to be strong in the back and then move its way forward,” said goalkeeper Chris Seitz. “Teams always build from the back and we have a really strong back line and goalkeeping situation that I think we can build off of and hopefully continue that through and make a run late.”
HIGHLIGHTS: FC Dallas 2, VWFC 0
It’s not necessarily a coincidence that as FCD pushes men into the attack that more opposition goals have found the back of the net, and head coach Schellas Hyndman says finding the right balance is what they’re looking for as the 2013 season reaches the business end.
“What you’ve got to do is find the balance,” said Hyndman. “I think when we go with one holding midfielder, it makes it tough on the defense because we’re a team that likes to attack out of the back and get a fullback forward so now we’re playing with three defenders and a holding midfielder. If the holding midfielder is occupied and two people come running through we’re in trouble. We’re trying to make that better and also trying to get into more fluid patterns of attack.”
While some opposition goals have leaked in over the past few games, the Dallas defense has done a good job recently at limiting chances with San Jose registering just one shot on goal after Steven Beitashour’s 16th minute goal in their last match and Chivas USA failing to put a shot on goal in the second half of FCD’s 3-1 victory.
There’s further positive signs for this weekend as FC Dallas has found plenty of success against Saturday’s opponent with a 3-0-0 home record against the Canadian side who has yet to score a goal in three games played at FCD Stadium. A fourth straight home shutout vs. the Whitecaps is exactly what FCD is aiming for in Saturday’s crucial showdown.
“We know how they play, this isn’t our first time playing them and we’re well aware of their threats,” said Seitz. “We just have to get out there and put a complete performance together. Our number one goal is to win the game and that’s what we’re going in there thinking.”