FC Dallas has spent this week recuperating after a tough stretch of their schedule had them play eight games in 29 days - ending with a 1-1 draw against Colorado last Saturday - before they gear up to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps at home on Sunday. FCD (12-6-5) kept Colorado goalkeeper Tim Howard on his toes for much of Saturday's game, but Victor Ulloa finally broke through with a late equalizer, earing Dallas a point on the road. On the other side, Vancouver (8-8-6) is coming off a 0-0 draw against the Houston Dynamo last Saturday. The Whitecaps are currently sixth in the Western Conference with 30 points.
HOME SWEET HOME
Dallas' most recent matchup against the Whitecaps was a 3-0 loss in Vancouver back in April, but home-field advantage shifts this time around. Dallas is still unbeaten at home - for 16 consecutive matches now - and they'll be looking to extend that record. Besides having the home fans and the familiarity of playing in their home stadium, Dallas will also have the distinct advantage of the weather. Sunday's kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. - so the players will have to battle through thick Texas heat.
KEY PLAYER FOR VANCOUVER
Pedro Morales: The Chilean midfielder has been a consistent starter for Vancouver since signing with them in 2014 and has established himself as one of the team's top leaders this season - he currently leads his team in goals (6) and assists (6), ranks fourth in shots (33) and second in shots on goal (18), and he also finished 2014 as his team's top scorer with ten goals and 12 assists. As an older, well-experienced player, he could prove to be a nasty opponent for Dallas' defense.
Maxi Urruti vs. Kendall Waston: Maxi had scored goals in his last two MLS starts before missing Saturday's match against Colorado. Watson, on the other hand, has been a top defensive threat for Vancouver, starting every game he's played this season and logging two goals. He's also notched six yellow cards and two red cards with 31 fouls this season.
Maynor Figueroa vs. Christian Bolaños: Figueroa has been a valuable asset to an already strong backline, fitting right in on the left side with Walker Zimmerman and Matt Hedges in the middle. He's played in almost every game for Dallas this season, but scored an own goal in the April meeting against Vancouver. He looks to go head-to-head with Bolaños, who is second on his team in goals (5) and assists (4).
PROJECTED LINEUP (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: David Ousted; Defenders: Jordan Harvey, Tim Parker, Kendall Watson, Cole Seiler; Midfielders: Matias Laba, Andrew Jacobson; Pedro Morales, Nicolas Mezquida, Christian Bolaños; Forward: Masato Kudo.
KEYS TO THREE POINTS
Dallas has outscored their opponents 7-1 in their last two home games and the offense will look to capitalize on Vancouver's defense, given the Caps' negative goal differential - as long as players like Mauro Diaz, fresh off his first All-Star game, and Urruti can create chances. If they can take advantage of their first full-week break in over a month, they should put their home unbeaten streak to 17 games.