Hungry Whitecaps square off against mercurial FCD
Vancouver Whitecaps FC meet another Western Conference rival at Empire Field on Saturday afternoon when 2010 MLS Cup finalist FC Dallas make their B.C. debut. Whitecaps FC returned home last weekend, keeping a clean sheet for the first time in a scoreless draw with Chivas USA. FC Dallas are on a two-game swing of Pacific Northwest expansion sides, falling 3-2 at the Portland Timbers last weekend.
REFEREE: Juan Guzman. SAR (bench): Fabio Tovar; JAR (opposite): Ian Anderson; 4th: Baldomero Toledo
MLS Career: 1 game; FC/gm: 30.0; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 1; pens: 0
INJURY REPORT: VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC – OUT: MF Michael Nanchoff (groin strain); DOUBTFUL: DF Greg Janicki (R hip contusion); DF Jay DeMerit (groin strain); FW Atiba Harris (R knee sprain); MF Shea Salinas (R knee sprain); MF Russell Teibert (L hip flexor); MF John Thorrington (R calf strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Terry Dunfield (groin strain) … FC DALLAS – OUT: DF Kyle Davies (L ankle surgery recovery); DF Edson Edward (R knee ACL tear)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: VAN: Gershon Koffie (Ghana U-20)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: VAN: Eric Hassli
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: none
ALL-TIME: First meeting.
RETURN MATCH: 10/15: FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 7:30 p.m. CT
- Coaches record: Teitur Thordarson v DAL: First game … Schellas Hyndman vs. VAN: First game
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC had their winless run reach five games, but recorded a first shutout in a scoreless draw with Chivas USA on Saturday afternoon at Empire Field. Whitecaps FC have 6 points from 6 matches, sitting in a tie for fifth place in the Western Conference.
- Both sides nearly took the lead twice in the opening 45 minutes. After just two minutes, a Marcos Mondaini header was cleared off the goal line by Vancouver’s Camilo. The 'Caps responded immediately, but Wes Knight put a shot off the post in the ninth minute.
- Vancouver goalkeeper Jay Nolly ended the match with four saves, while Chivas USA 'keeper Dan Kennedy finished with two.
- Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson made three changes to the team that fell 3-1 to the Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium. Wes Knight, Kevin Harmse and Eric Hassli all came back into the team, for Jay DeMerit, Nizar Khalfan and Atiba Harris.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-4-2): Jay Nolly - Jonathan Leathers, Michael Boxall, Alain Rochat, Blake Wagner - Wes Knight (Omar Salgado 83), Jeb Brovsky, Kevin Harmse, Davide Chiumiento (Nizar Khalfan 68) -Eric Hassli (Long Tan 80), Camilo.
- It took six games, but after conceding 10 goals for the season, Whitecaps FC finally recorded a first shutout in the scoreless draw with Chivas USA.
- “It was a good performance,” goalkeeper Jay Nolly said. “We’ve been dying for a clean sheet to show that we’ve been working hard defensively and not letting in goals that we know we shouldn’t have. We put it together today and we were unfortunate not to break through on their end.”
- No. 1 overall pick Omar Salgado nearly gave Vancouver a late victory after coming on as a substitute, but his snap header was put over. He scored the following day in a reserve match, his first goal for the club.
- “There is great competition now up top,” Thordarson said to the Vancouver Sun. “We have four or five players fighting for spots on the team. Omar will definitely get minutes during the season, but I can’t say how much now.”
- Kevin Harmse made his first start for Whitecaps FC, filling a central midfield role alongside rookie Jeb Brovsky in the absence of Terry Dunfield (injured) and Gershon Koffie (international duty). It was the first 90-minute performance for Harmse since the 2009 season with Toronto FC.
- “It was a lot of work for Harmse and me, especially with them having five in the midfield,” Brovsky said. “But at the end of the game it opens up, and that’s where fitness comes in — and we trusted our fitness.”
- Wes Knight started his third match of the last four in the midfield and received praise from Thordarson for his effectiveness. He nearly scored his first professional goal – he did not have one in two seasons in USSF D-II for Vancouver, before signing an MLS contract.
- “A lot of [the lack of scoring today] rests on my shoulders,” Knight said. “I had three great opportunities today — one off the post, one off the line and a header that nine times out of 10 I should score. It’s the kind of thing where when it rains it pours. Either you’re going to miss opportunities or when they go in they’re going to come in bunches.”
- Atiba Harris was out of the starting lineup for the first time after suffering a knee injury in training the day before the Chivas match.
- While Hassli did not score for the first time in four Whitecaps FC appearances, he was not sent off – as he had been in each of his last two outings.
- “(Assistant coach Denis Hamlett) told me I should keep on playing the same way and not to change my style of play,” Hassli said to The Sun. “That’s the way it’s going to happen. That’s what I tried to do.”
FC Dallas weren’t able to come all the way back, falling 3-2 to the Portland Timbers on Sunday afternoon at Jeld-Wen Field. FCD has 4 points from 5 games on the season, sitting in eighth place in the Western Conference.
- The Timbers took the lead in the 13th minute. Kalif Alhassan laid the ball back for Jack Jewsbury at the edge of the box. The Timbers captain took a shot that ricocheted off the post and then off FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman before finding its way into the net.
- Then, in the 34th minute, Kenny Cooper rose above the defenders and got a head on a Jewsbury corner kick, directing the ball masterfully over Hartman and inside the left post.
- It was 3-0 to the home side just 10 minutes into the second half. Alhassan went on a mazy dribbling run through four defenders. He nearly lost the ball in the box, but defender Rodney Wallace picked it up and put it into the back of the net.
- FC Dallas pulled a goal back in the 83rd minute. Brek Shea slid in a pass from the left flank and David Ferreira ran onto it, directing the ball past goalkeeper Jake Gleeson.
- Less than three minutes later, Ferreira and Shea connected again. This time, it was Ferreira sending a chip over the Portland defense and into the path of a streaking Shea, who got onto the end of it to beat Gleeson.
- FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made no changes to the team that defeated the Colorado Rapids 3-0 at Pizza Hut Park in an MLS Cup rematch.
- FC DALLAS (4-1-4-1): Kevin Hartman - Zach Loyd (Jackson Goncalves 60), Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Brek Shea - Daniel Hernandez - Marvin Chavez, David Ferreira, Andrew Jacobson (Maykel Galindo 72), Fabian Castillo - Milton Rodriguez (Jair Benitez 64).
- In an effort to jumpstart the attack, Hyndman brought on Jackson and Jair Benitez at the two fullback spots, and moved Fabian Castillo and Maykel Galindo into attacking positions.
- “We knew we were a better team than that,” Hyndman said. “We were breaking down when we got into the attacking third. We weren’t getting into the attack enough from the fullback. [So] we got some fresh legs on. We got Brek out on the left flank to get some penetration there.”
- Through the first 83 minutes of the match, Dallas had only one shot on goal, a long-range effort from Daniel Hernandez in the 16th minute. That changed with the two goals in four minutes to make the game close.
- “I think it was a couple of things--I think we started getting more urgent, getting more people into the attack trying to put them back on their heels,” Hyndman said.
- For the second consecutive match, Brek Shea started the game at left back, after making his first two starts of the year in central defense. But with the introduction of Jair Benitez for the final half-hour, he once again moved to a wide left-sided midfield role.
- “When he got to the left side of midfield, he was making dangerous runs, he was a handful, he scored a nice goal, and he also served a few balls in there,” Hyndman said. “We’ve trained Brek for two years to play aggressive flank play and that [performance] was a great tribute to Brek for how focused he was.”
- For the third time in five games this season, FC Dallas conceded multiple goals in a game, the three scored by Portland a season-high. FCD allowed just 28 goals in 30 games a season ago; they have allowed eight in five games this year.
- “We gave up two goals off set pieces, which is really disappointing because we worked on that in training,” Hyndman said. “Defensively, we didn’t put them under enough pressure.”
- After getting off to a slow start, reigning MLS MVP David Ferreira has three goals and one assist in the last two games. Ferreira was not involved in a goal in FCD’s opening three contests.