FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas began fine-tuning for what they hope will be a long playoff run, riding goals in each half by wingers Marvin Chavez and Brek Shea to a 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night at Pizza Hut Park.
After clinching a berth in the postseason by virtue of a 2-1 win in Chicago during midweek, FC Dallas is still in the running for one of the three automatic playoff berths in the Western Conference. They currently occupy one of four wild card spots but are tied on 52 points with Real Salt Lake entering the final match of the season. RSL owns the tiebreaker.
The result ended the Whitecaps’ two-game winning streak and ensured they would become just the fourth team in MLS history to go an entire season without a win on the road.
Dallas took control of the match early on, setting the tempo with their fluid possession. Vancouver, with little but pride to play for, looked out-of-sync and could not find a way through the Dallas defense.
In the 35th minute, a clearance from Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman found the head of Shea near midfield and the in-form winger was able to redirect the ball into the path of Chavez. The Honduran international dribbled on goal, cut inside Vancouver captain Jay DeMerit and curled a shot to the back post for the opener.
WATCH: Chavez gives FC Dallas the lead
Chavez found the back of the net again at the start of the second half but was judged to be offside on the play.
Vancouver came out stronger after the break but still offered little in the way of offensive thrust and, in the 54th minute, Shea put the game out-of-reach. A free kick from FC Dallas captain Daniel Hernandez was headed around in the box before falling to Shea, who volleyed in from close-range. It marked his team-leading 11th goal of the season and capped what was another impressive night for the FCD star.
WATCH: Shea nets his team-leading 11th of the season
Vancouver finishes their inaugural campaign at home next Saturday night against the Colorado Rapids, who have already qualified for the postseason.
Dallas also close out their season on Saturday night in San Jose, but will host Toronto FC in a decisive CONCACAF Champions League group stage match on Tuesday night (7 p.m. CT).
DAL -- Marvin Chavez (Brek Shea 4, Kevin Hartman 1) 35'
DAL -- Brek Shea (unassisted) 54'
Vancouver Whitecaps -- Joe Cannon, Jeb Brovsky, Jay DeMerit, Michael Boxall, Jordan Harvey, Nizar Khalfan, Gershon Koffie, Mustapha Jarju (Long Tan 57), John Thorrington, Shea Salinas (Alain Rochat 52), Camilo (Eric Hassli 69).
Substitutes Not Used: Philippe Davies, Omar Salgado, Peter Vagenas, Jay Nolly.
FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Zach Loyd, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Jair Benitez, Marvin Chavez (Fabian Castillo 70), Daniel Cruz (Andrew Jacobson 70), Daniel Hernandez, Ricardo Villar, Brek Shea, Jackson (Maicon Santos 79).
Substitutes Not Used: Bruno Guarda, Jeremy Hall, Jack Stewart, Chris Seitz.
DAL -- Marvin Chavez (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 38
DAL -- Jackson (caution; Reckless Tackle) 77
Referee: Alex Prus
Referee's Assistants: Adam Garner, Claudio Badea
4th Official: Mark Kadlecik
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Clear and 77 degrees