FC Dallas Re-Claims Top Spot in West with Crucial Late-Game Sub to Beat Vancouver

VANCOUVER - FC Dallas is back on top of the West.

After a weekend of results breaking their way, FCD went on the road and won it’s sixth away match of the season - tying a modern-era franchise record - with a 2-1 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place.

“I thought it was a great game, from our side. Not only was it one of the most important games and victories on the year, but the whole performance was very correct and complete,” head coach Oscar Pareja said after the match. “The discipline, the organization, the response that the players have toward the game plan—it was excellent and I’m very proud to see these guys get those three points against a good side. It was a very, very good performance.”

Dallas didn’t control the lion’s share of possession, but the made the most of their chances from set pieces en route to the win.

In the first half, it was Santiago Mosquera connecting on the end of a Maxi Urruti set piece from the far side of the field.

Late in the match, after Kei Kamara equalized, it was Matt Hedges off of one of Dallas’ season-high 12 corners, played to the near by Urruti to Michael Barrios, then flicked on with a header to the back post for the Captain.

“Everyone’s work on the field tonight was important,” Mosquera said after scoring his fourth goal of the season and third in his last four matches. “It’s important that we continue to fight. These three points were very important to put us on top and that what makes us happy.”

"We played well. We needed to win to demonstrate we are fighting to be on top,” Maxi Urruti added after a two-assist performance. “It was an important game and now we move forward.”

The goals were important, but the possible game-winning move, though, came in the 81st minute when Maynor Figueroa entered the 1-1 game.

All night long, Vancouver was exploiting the flanks of the field all night, trying to get behind Reggie Cannon and Marquinhos Pedroso and send crosses into the box for the sizable Kamara. Pareja brought on Figueroa to create a five-man back line and, to the casual observer, put numbers at the back to earn an important road point.

What the move did, however, was shore things up at the back, and in-turn allow the Dallas attackers to open up the game on the other end of the field as the Whitecaps looked for a needed go-ahead goal sitting on the outside of the playoff picture. It was even a Figueroa clearance that earned the game-winning corner off the ensuing counter. 

“It helped a lot. Kei is obviously very strong in the air and it seemed like they were trying to send a lot of aerial balls to that side of the field. Bringing Maynor on to contest with him and help us solidify a bit towards the end of the game was very helpful.”

“Maynor has the experience and discipline tactically —and that model of three at the back, he knows well. He knows what it takes to get points at that stage of the game. For us it was a big help because I thought our defensive line was getting exposed in the last 15 minutes because Vancouver was throwing bodies in there. With Figueroa we solved that problem.”

There’s little time to celebrate for FCD, though, with another important road match looming just south of BC next Saturday.