VANCOUVER, BC – If you like drama, you’re in for a treat.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC host FC Dallas on Wednesday night at BC Place in the first of back-to-back matches between the Western Conference foes.
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. PT TICKETS: http://ow.ly/T2vdY TV: TSN RADIO: TSN 1410
Not only has Dallas become one of Vancouver’s biggest rivals (see last year’s playoff defeat), they are also the team directly ahead of Whitecaps FC in the always competitive Western Conference. The ‘Caps trail second-place FC Dallas by one point – and first-place LA Galaxy by two – with three games to go.
Pass the popcorn.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
The ‘Caps enter Wednesday’s contest third in the Western Conference with 49 points. They need just one point to clinch a playoff berth and two to set a new club record in points.
Carl Robinson’s side are now winless in three league matches, but they picked up a valuable road point in a 1-1 draw with San Jose Earthquakes this past weekend. Cristian Techera, one of five nominees for Whitecaps FC BMO Player of the Year, provided the scoring in that one. The 5-foot-2 Uruguayan is now second on the team with seven goals – in just 15 starts.
Robinson will be forced to make at least two changes to his starting lineup on Wednesday with centre back Kendall Waston (international duty) and right back Steven Beitashour (caution accumulation) both unavailable. Attacking midfielders Pedro Morales and Nicolas Mezquida are also question marks with hamstring injuries.
“It is what it is,” Robinson told reporters. “No point crying over spilled milk … we have enough quality in there that we believe we can go out and win that game.”
“A series that tastes like playoffs.”
That’s how FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja described the upcoming matches vs. Vancouver, which says it all about how his team is approaching them. Like Whitecaps FC, FC Dallas control their own destiny in the Western Conference. If they win out, the top spot is theirs.
Pareja’s side are coming off a big 4-1 win over Houston Dynamo on Sunday, which should give them some confidence heading into this one. They’ll be missing an important piece on Wednesday, though, as Fabian Castillo is away on international duty with Colombia.
The key players to watch in his absence are attacking midfielder Mauro Diaz, winger Michael Barrios, and striker David Texeira, who scored twice in Dallas’ weekend win.
Vancouver’s record against FC Dallas in MLS is 3W-8L-2D (including last year’s playoff loss). At BC Place, however, the ‘Caps have a 3W-1L-2D advantage. That includes a 1-0 win back in August.
The two teams will meet again next Wednesday in Texas.
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