VANCOUVER - FC Dallas has a chance to not only re-gain the top spot in the West, but to set themselves up well in the race for a first-round bye tonight as they face Vancouver Whitecaps FC for the second and final time in regular season play.
Let’s dive into tonight’s Starting XI for head coach Oscar Pareja.
CHANGE UP TOP
The only change from last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Columbus is Cristian Colman replacing Dominique Badji atop the 4-2-3-1 formation. Pareja will look to use Colman’s more direct physical presence against a Whitecaps back line that is tall and physical, where Badji is more adept to use his speed in behind the back line.
Colman’s last MLS start came in a 3-2 win over the LA Galaxy on the road on May 30, while appearing in a win over San Antonio FC on June 6 in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play. His last appearance north of the border resulted in his first two MLS goals in a 2-1 win over Montreal in July 2017.
THE CAPTAIN RETURNS
After coming out of last week’s game at halftime with concussion-like symptoms, defender Matt Hedges is back in the Starting XI after clearing concussion protocol this week. Maynor Figueroa filled in for the second 45 in his absence as FCD earned its first clean sheet since a 2-0 win over Minnesota on Aug. 18.
GOING FOR THE TOP
Dallas will look to win its first match at BC Place since Aug. 15, 2012, posting a 0-3-4 record since that 2-0 win. Maxi Urruti leads the current FCD roster with three goals in his last four meetings against the Whitecaps, including the lone tally and five shots in last year’s 1-1 draw.
A win in BC for the first time in six years would vault the visitors back to the top of the Western Conference - a place they held for nine straight weeks until last weekend. With five games remaining after tonight, the playoff race is heating up and losses by SKC, RSL and Portland so far in Week 30 all went in FCD’s favor.