FRISCO - As FC Dallas continues its search of a postseason return, Sunday’s meeting with the Vancouver Whitecaps is one that could go a long way to officially punching their ticket to November.
The visitors are looking to stay, at the very least, in a top-two position in the West and perhaps re-take the top spot they held from early July until last weekend. The home side is in a fight for its season, where every dropped point widens the gap between them and sixth-place Portland with time running out on the regular season.
There’s a potential six-point swing on the table at BC Place. A Dallas win could put them in a position to mathematically clinch the following weekend in Portland. A draw or Vancouver win keeps their hopes alive and would postpone the postseason berth at least two matches for FCD.
“We have six positions that go to playoffs and we want to be in first,” Marquinhos Pedroso said. “We are fighting for first place. They are fighting for the playoffs. We have to give everything to win this game.”
“If anything, they want it bad. They have a lot to prove finishing off the season strong,” forward Dominique Badji said. “We’re going to go in looking for three points and we’re definitely motivated because we let a couple slip this past weekend.”
The Whitecaps are fresh off a loss to the red-hot Seattle Sounders FC last weekend, but it was the Canadians’ first loss since mid-July - and one they’ll look to rebound from against FCD.
During that six-game unbeaten run, Vancouver scored multiple goals in every game, with seven players scoring their 14 goals. Yordy Reyna has led the attack with two goals and six assists, but they’ve also seen an uptick from attackers Kei Kamara, Alphonso Davies, Nicholas Mezquida and Cristian Techera, each with multiple goals of their own.
“Vancouver is a very physical team. They have a lot in transition and players with pace, basically what we saw from them [in May’s meeting],” head coach Oscar Pareja said. “It’s a team we respect, but we’re trying to see what the aspects are where we can have a certain advantage.”
“We can see that they don't press too much and they like to give long balls for the big guys in the front,” Pedroso said. “We worked on this today, with the long balls, and they want to take the second ball after the big guy has attackers from the sides. That’s what they like.”
Kickoff is at 6PM on TXA 21, the FCDTV Network, FCDallas.com/Radio and 1270AM in Spanish