Friday, April 22, 2011

FC Dallas vs Whitecaps FC Match Preview


After missing two matches with a groin injury it looks like Terry Dunfield is ready to return to the central midfield.  What the Whitecaps learned in that time is that they missed the Canadian when they were on the attack as they have only scored once in the last two games.  The Caps are looking for Dunfield to connect with the attacking players especially the wingers like Chiumiento who have missed his service.

Whoever starts at forward in the 4-5-1, whether its youngsters Robin Luna or Fabian Castillo or veteran Milton Rodriguez, will need to produce more than they have so far this season.   These forwards have combined for a total of one goal and one assist through five games which is not enough for a MLS contender.

If either Mouloud Akloul or Greg Janicki is deemed fit to start then it means that the Caps can move Alain Rochat to the left back position.  It would allow more of a balanced attack out the backline as right now Leathers is the only one venturing forward and Wagner is hanging back.  The only question whether Akloul is fit enough after he played 90 minutes in last week’s reserve match.

In addition to Ferreira, many in MLS considered Kevin Hartman a MVP candidate for FC Dallas last season as the veteran goalkeeper had one of his best season.  This season is a different story as his goals against average has gone up by an entire goal and his save percentage has also dropped.  With the defections of a number of defensive players in the offseason Hartman needs to carry the team.


After completing his game since the opener without getting ejected Eric Hassli was back to his dangerous self as he bounced one shot off the wordwork and displayed great passes in the box.  He showed great touch around the box and is starting to show solid chemistry with teammates like Knight and Chiumiento.

The MVP of last season is one of the few bright spots for FC Dallas as David Ferreira is coming into form especially in the last few games.  Of the six goals scored by the team in the first five games Ferreira has been involved in four of them as he has 3 goals and 1 assist.  These numbers will certainly improve once his teammates start burying his setups. 


Last Game: 0-0 Loss vs Chivas USA

Last Game:  3-2 Loss at Portland Timbers


The striking duo of Hassli and Camilo will start their second straight game and looked dangerous last week.  Sounds like Dunfield will start after missing two games and could be partnered with Harmse while Chiumiento will start on the left wing while Knight remains on the right side.  The backline and goalkeeper remain the same as last week unless Akloul is deemed fit to start and then we could see Rochat move out wide.  After posting his first cleansheet last week Jay Nolly looks to start another game, his sixth in seven matches.

The Dallas team plays a 4-5-1 formation which is more specifically a 4-1-4-1 formation as Hernandez plays near the backline which is similar to last year except for Shea who has been converted from midfield to the left back position.  Castillo, the 19 year old DP, and Chavez play on the wings while Jacobsen plays centrally.  Look for Ferreira to float around the field sometimes playing as a second striker and sometimes as a midfielder.  Look for both Rodriguez and Luna to see time up front as the lone target man for FC Dallas.


OUT:  MF Michael Nanchoff (groin), DF Jay DeMerit (groin), Atiba Harris (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: MF John Thorrington(quad), DF Greg Janicki (hip), MF Shea Salinas (knee)
DOUBTFUL:  MF Russell Teibert (hip)
PROBABLE:  MF Terry Dunfield (groin),

OUT: DF Kyle Davies (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE:  DF Edson Edward (knee)




When the 2011 MLS schedule came out the mainstream fans in the Vancouver soccer community circled the dates of when the LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls were coming into town, in addition to the matches with TFC, Portland and Seattle, so they can see major stars like Beckham, Donovan and Henry.  However the match coming up this weekend has last season’s MVP as the Whitecaps host David Ferreira and the defending Western Conference Champions FC Dallas.  After playing six matches, FC Dallas will also be the first team Vancouver will face that qualified for the MLS playoffs last year.  The Whitecaps will play their fifth home fixture of the season and hope to remain undefeated at Empire as they currently have one win and three draws.

Although FC Dallas has five out of a possible fifteen points to start the season, the Caps must remain aware that they are facing a MLS Cup finalist.  Last year FC Dallas did not pick up its first win until the sixth game of the season so slow starts are nothing new.  Every player on the Caps must be aware of where Ferreira is on the pitch as he consistently floats around and could pop up anywhere.  The two games held within six days may prove tough on the visitor’s legs as both games will be held on turf.

They have turned around their defensive game at home as after giving up five goals in their first two at Empire, the Caps have only allowed only one in their last two including last week’s cleansheet.  It is important for Vancouver to collect these three points as they will run into a stretch where they will find themselves play twice each week.  This will include a two leg semi-final to advance to the Canadian Championship for a birth in next year’s CCL.  If they advance to the finals, which is a major focus for the Whitecaps, this game against Dallas will be last time the Whitecaps will have a week off to prepare for a MLS opponent until their June 11th game in Seattle.

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