VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC defeated league-leading FC Dallas 3-0 on Saturday night in front of a sold-out crowd of 22,120 at BC Place.
Here are three things that stood out to me.
THE OUSTED SHOW
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
David Ousted was lights out again on Saturday night. The Danish ‘keeper made four saves against the high-powered Dallas attack and none of them were easy.
In the first half, he dove to his right to stop Tesho Akindele in the early going and then leaped at full stretch to stop a Maximiliano Urruti half-volley. In the second half, he denied Michael Barrios with a point-blank reaction save with his left palm before capping off the night with another diving save off an Akindele strike from distance.
“He had a couple of saves that I’ve not seen in a long time,” FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja told reporters. “I thought he had a tremendous night.”
More on Ousted here.
‘CAPS WIN WINGER BATTLE
As I wrote about in the build-up to Saturday’s match, one of the keys to Vancouver’s success in this game was always going to be their ability to contain FC Dallas wingers Michael Barrios and Fabian Castillo, who had combined for six goals and two assists coming into this one.
Barrios and Castillo each had their chances, but for the most part fullbacks Fraser Aird and Jordan Harvey managed to keep them at bay – no easy task. Harvey even added his second goal of the season for good measure, continuing his impressive start to the season.
In the end, it was Vancouver’s wingers who made the bigger impact.
Cristian Techera was buzzing throughout the match and was rewarded with an assist, and Kekuta Manneh had his best game of the season. His cross from the left led to Vancouver’s first goal (Techera was also right in the middle of the action) and he scored the third one, before nearly setting up a fourth a little later.
Here’s a telling stat about Manneh’s performance.
He attempted a game-high nine dribbles (defined as an attempt by a player to take on an opposing defender in a one-v-one situation), according to Opta. Coming into the match, he was only averaging two attempted dribbles per game this season.
PEREZ MAKES HIS MARK VS. FORMER TEAM
One of the big storylines coming into this one was Blas Pérez going up against his old team – something he discussed in a sit-down interview with Perry Solkowski and an open letter on whitecapsfc.com.
The polarizing Panamanian didn’t start the match, but he still made his mark.
Mere seconds after getting subbed into the match, Pérez flicked on a throw-in to Techera before poking the ball forward to Manneh, who went in and scored.
Talk about an instant impact.
Whitecaps FC return to BC Place on Wednesday to host Sporting Kansas City (7:30 p.m. PT on TSN1 – tickets still available).
Be a part of the best sporting atmosphere in Vancouver! Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including Half-Season Packs, 5-Packs, a Youth Soccer Half-Season Ticket, and single match tickets. For more information, visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.