FRISCO, TEXAS – Vancouver Whitecaps FC have never earned a point in the state of Texas.
In Frisco, the location of Wednesday’s rematch with FC Dallas (6 p.m. PT on TSN/TSN 1410), the ‘Caps are 0W-6L-0D. But as Carl Robinson put it: “Sometimes, records are there to be broken.”
This would be a good time to end the drought.
Just one point currently separates first-place FC Dallas and third-place Whitecaps FC in the Western Conference standings. Both teams have already clinched a playoff berth. Now, it’s about trying to secure a top two finish (which comes with a bye to the conference semifinal), and/or a home playoff game.
Safe to say this one has some playoff implications.
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VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
All odds are stacked against Whitecaps FC heading into Wednesday’s contest.
Their record in Texas is one thing. The bigger storyline right now is Vancouver’s various absences due to injury and international duty. Midfielders Pedro Morales (hamstring) and Nicolas Mezquida (hamstring) have both been ruled out for Wednesday – as has striker Darren Mattocks (international duty).
Costa Rican centre back Kendall Waston is also a big question mark, as he went 90 minutes for Costa Rica Tuesday in a friendly against the U.S.
So will this change the team’s approach on Wednesday?
Not so fast, says Jordan Harvey.
“Having made the playoffs already, I think our goal now is to get a couple wins,” he told reporters on Monday. “I don’t think we want to just coast into the playoffs. We want to build some momentum. Going in, we’re without a doubt going for three points. Are we disappointed if we get a draw? Probably not. But the goal is to get three points and build momentum.”
If there’s a team in the Western Conference driver’s seat, it’s FC Dallas.
Oscar Pareja’s side are tied with LA Galaxy for the top spot in the West – and they have a game in hand over both LA and Vancouver. For Dallas, a win on Wednesday would clinch a home playoff game and all but secure a top two finish as well.
Dallas, who boast one of Major League Soccer’s best home records (11W-2L-2D), will once again be without winger Fabian Castillo on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old is currently away with the Colombian national team.
Vancouver’s record against FC Dallas in MLS is 3W-8L-3D (including last year’s playoff loss).
Most recently, the two teams played to a scoreless draw last week at BC Place, which had many commenting on their similar styles of play. Both teams typically play a 4-2-3-1 formation and have similar philosophies (defend first, strike on the counter), which doesn’t leave a lot of room out there either way.
“I think [last] Wednesday showed how similar these two teams are in almost cancelling each other out,” said Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted. “It was just two teams that couldn’t really find a way through two strong defences. We’ll see what happens on Wednesday in Frisco, but we’re definitely going to try to find a way to change that.”
This will be Vancouver's first match in Frisco since last year's heartbreaking playoff defeat.
DID YOU KNOW?
No team has conceded fewer goals (34) than Whitecaps FC this season.
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DAL: Atiba Harris … VAN: Sam Adekugbe, Pa-Modou Kah, Cristian Techera, Kendall Waston
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