Preview: 'Caps look to keep pace in West, host FC Dallas

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs FC DALLAS
BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.
August 15, 2012 (WEEK 24, MLS Game #225)
10 pm ET / 7 pm PT (TSN/RDS; FS-SW+)

Vancouver Whitecaps FC entertain FC Dallas on Wednesday evening at BC Place in a vital match for both clubs in their hopes to secure a place in the Western Conference playoff chase. Whitecaps FC are coming off a 2-1 home win vs. Real Salt Lake last weekend that left them tied for third in the West, a point ahead of fifth place. FC Dallas hit the road again after a 3-2 win vs. Colorado last weekend that put them in sixth place, 10 points behind the final postseason spot.

REFEREE: Matthew Foerster. AR1 (bench): Frank Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Ian Anderson; 4th: Paul Ward
MLS Career: 2 games; FC/gm: 20.0; Y/gm: 5.0; R: 0; pens: 1

DOWNLOAD FULL GAME GUIDE HERE (PDF)

INJURY REPORT:

  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC – OUT: FW Omar Salgado (R foot fracture)
  • FC DALLAS – OUT: DF Ugo Ihemelu (concussion symptoms); DF Alex Lee (lower abdominal strain); DOUBTFUL: FW Blas Perez (R foot sprain); MF Jackson (concussion symptoms); MF Ricardo Villar (R foot strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: VAN: Russell Teibert (Canada); Etienne Barbara (Malta); Darren Mattocks, Dane Richards (Jamaica); Carlyle Mitchell (Trinidad & Tobago) … DAL: Brek Shea (USA); Julian de Guzman (Canada)
SUSPENDED: VAN: Gershon Koffie (caution accumulation; through Aug. 15)
WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: VAN: Martin Bonjour, Darren Mattocks … DAL: Andrew Jacobson, Zach Loyd
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: VAN: Jay DeMerit, Jun Marques Davidson, Alain Rochat … DAL: Jair Benitez, Fabian Castillo, Daniel Hernandez, Julian de Guzman, George John

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (3 meetings): Whitecaps FC 1 win, 2 goals … FC Dallas 2 wins, 4 goals … Ties 0
AT VANCOUVER (2 meetings): Whitecaps FC 1 win, 2 goals … FC Dallas 1 win, 2 goals … Ties 0
FUTURE MATCHES: 9/15: FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 7:30 p.m. CT
• The teams are meeting for the second time this season. A Camilo goal after 11 minutes was all the scoring in Whitecaps FC’s April 21 victory at BC Place.
• It was Vancouver’s first victory vs. FC Dallas. FCD won both meetings last year in Whitecaps FC’s inaugural season, including a 2-1 win April 23 at Empire Field.
• Coaches record: Martin Rennie vs. DAL: P1 W1 L0 D0… Schellas Hyndman vs. VAN: P3 W2 L1 D0

LAST MEETING (MLS):
4/21: VAN 1, DAL 0 (Camilo 11)
• The game's only goal came 11 minutes in. In his return to the first XI from injury, Camilo took the ball on the right and cut inside before powering the ball a low left-footed drive into the bottom left corner.
• FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz, deputizing between the posts as starting goalkeeper Kevin Hartman had to be withdrawn from the starting lineup due to back spasms, made one save. Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Joe Cannon made five saves for the shutout.
• VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-3-3): Joe Cannon - Lee Young-Pyo, Jay DeMerit, Martin Bonjour, Jordan Harvey - Jun Marques Davidson, Gershon Koffie, Matt Watson - Sebastien Le Toux, Camilo (Eric Hassli 79), Omar Salgado (Atiba Harris 73).
• FC DALLAS (4-1-4-1): Chris Seitz - Zach Loyd, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Carlos Rodriguez - Daniel Hernandez - Fabian Castillo, Bruno Guarda (Scott Sealy 72), Bobby Warshaw (Matt Hedges 90), Brek Shea - Blas Perez.

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC won for the second consecutive match at BC Place and extended their home unbeaten run, defeating Real Salt Lake 2-1 on Saturday. Whitecaps FC are in a tie for third place in the Western Conference with 37 points from 24 games.

LAST MATCH

HIGHLIGHTS: VAN 2, RSL 1

• Whitecaps FC broke through at the 58-minute mark. An attempted clearance by RSL's Will Johnson ricocheted off Chris Wingert’s back, right into the path of Camilo. He took a touch before hitting a powerful low effort into the bottom right corner to give his side the lead.
• Six minutes later, Dane Richards doubled RSL's misery, curling an effort into the top right corner from just outside the area for the 2-0 advantage. Camilo once again was involved, as his square pass picked out Richards who subsequently found the back of the net.
• In stoppage time, Real's Nat Borchers got up well for a header and converted a Paulo Junior cross for a consolation goal.
• Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made one change to the team that suffered a 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake. Brad Knighton came in between the posts in place of the suspended Joe Cannon.
• VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): Brad Knighton - Lee Young-Pyo, Jay DeMerit (Andy O'Brien 31), Martin Bonjour, Alain Rochat - Jun Marques Davidson, Gershon Koffie - Dane Richards, Barry Robson, Camilo (Russell Teibert 86) - Darren Mattocks (Kenny Miller 72).

TEAM NEWS
• Whitecaps FC extended their home unbeaten streak to nine games, now 6-0-3 since a 3-1 loss to Sporting KC on April 18 at BC Place.
• “Our record is good at home and I think a lot of credit to the fans for building it up and making it hard for the opposition,” Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie said. “Disappointing to lose the goal at the end, but at the point the game was almost over. We’re really pleased. That’s our 10th win of the season and it gets us set up for a big game against Dallas.”
• Camilo scored his first goal since May 19 to send Vancouver on its way. He also added an assist, his third assist in the last four games, all since returning to the starting lineup.

WATCH: New signing O'Brien comments after training

• “It has just been coming, you could see it the last few games. His confidence is coming back I think today it was a goal and an assist,” said Rennie. “An excellent performance defensively as well. He's a great finisher, he works on it extra after training as well.”
• Darren Mattocks recorded his first MLS assist in the win against Real Salt Lake, to go with his six goals, leading all rookies.
• When Jay DeMerit was forced to come off after taking an elbow from goalkeeper Brad Knighton in the first half, Andy O’Brien made his MLS debut, coming directly into central defense.
• “I thought he was fantastic. I thought he strolled through the game and barely gave them any chances. I thought he spoke and communicated very well, which is what we have seen since the first day he has trained with us,” said Rennie. “A lot of the things that he was doing today go unnoticed. The way he organizes, the way he gets the game more compact and knows when to drop off. If you noticed in the game there were a lot less chances for Salt Lake than you would probably expect, and I think some credit goes to him for that.”
• There is a question regarding the availability of DeMerit for the midweek match. “I’m not entirely sure what his status is,” Rennie said. “He did get a head knock, and it looked to me that he was concussed – that’s not official, that’s just my opinion. So we’ll just have to wait and see. He’s been such a big player for us this season and done so well.”
• With Joe Cannon suspended, Knighton was making his first league start of the season. It was his first league appearance since the second game of the season, when he came on in relief of an injured Cannon in the March 17 game at Chivas USA.
• "I thought [Knighton] did well," Rennie said. "I thought he communicated well and organized the defense well. I thought he was a bit unlucky not to get the clean sheet at the end, but he looked good."
• Gershon Koffie will be suspended for the FC Dallas match, with Darren Mattocks and Dane Richards also away on international duty.
• “I have lots of confidence in all the other guys that they can step in and play well. It's a good opportunity for those guys and you know we really look forward to the game,” said Rennie. “Guys will come in now with energy and excitement, ready to play. And I'm sure the crowd will be here roaring us on. That makes a big difference, and that is something that we always enjoy.”

FC DALLAS
FC Dallas won their third match in the last six contests, recording a 3-2 victory against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday evening at FC Dallas Stadium. FCD is in a tie for sixth place in the Western Conference with 26 points from 25 matches.

LAST MATCH

HIGHLIGHTS: DAL 3, COL 2

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• Colorado took the lead in the 12th minute. Hunter Freeman’s ball in to Brian Mullan looked as if it was headed for a goal kick, but the winger was able to get to the pass just before it crossed the end line and pulled back a first-time cross that was smashed home by Jaime Castrillón.
• The home side found their equalizer in the 41st minute. Julian de Guzman played a ball to Fabian Castillo at the top of the box and the 20-year-old attacker did the rest, blasting a low right-footed shot past Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens.
• FCD took the lead less than three minutes later from the unlikeliest of sources. Castillo was fouled by Drew Moor 35 yards from goal and Jair Benitez stepped up to the ball, curling the resulting free kick over the wall, past Pickens and inside the near post.
• FC Dallas made it 3-1 in the 49th minute. David Ferreira received a pass from Castillo, turned and slotted the ball past Pickens for an emotional first goal since returning from his long injury layoff.
• But the Rapids pulled to within a goal in the 55th minute. The visitors won a free kick about 30 yards from the goal and Jeff Larentowicz smashed a low drive that snuck through a crowded box and off the post into the back of the net.
• The Rapids' hopes for a fight back, however, suffered a blow in the 71st minute, when Castrillón earned a straight red card from referee Armando Villarreal for lashing out at FCD defender George John.
• FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made two changes to the team that was pegged back into a 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field. Hernan Pertuz came in at right back for the suspended Zach Loyd, and Ruben Luna started up top in place of Scott Sealy.
• FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Kevin Hartman - Hernan Pertuz (Carlos Rodriguez 78), George John, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez - Andrew Jacobson (Daniel Hernandez 67), Julian de Guzman (James Marcelin 85) - Fabian Castillo, David Ferreira, Brek Shea - Ruben Luna.

TEAM NEWS
• FC Dallas will now be aiming to put together back-to-back wins for just the second time this season. They won consecutive matches April 5 and 14, vs. New England and Montréal, both in Frisco.
• “So many things have gone wrong for us this year, I think the guys were scared to make a mistake. But at the end of the day, it was a good series win for us. We’ve won twice against Colorado and it’s a good three points for us,” said FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman. “They just started putting more and more pressure on us. They went with two strikers. They kept us pinned back in our own half. They probably saw some of the things from the L.A. game that we didn’t do very well under pressure.”
• David Ferreira scored for the first time in eight appearances this season, following his return from a leg injury that sidelined him more than a year. He had last scored last April 17. “I feel happy. It was immense joy. I wanted to feel that joy and thanks to God I was able to feel that satisfaction,” Ferreira said.
• For the second time in six games, Fabian Castillo scored a goal and added an assist in the same game – both vs. Colorado. He also did it in the 2-1 win over the Rapids on July 14, which snapped FCD’s 13-game winless streak.
• “It’s a combination of three things. He’s maturing into the player we all hoped he would be. He’s got tremendous speed, quickness and he’s creating some really, really dangerous situations. The second thing is I think it was a good matchup for him. The third thing is he really wants to do well for Oscar [Pareja],” said Hyndman. “When he came to FC Dallas, he stayed a month in Oscar’s house to get acquainted with the culture and get comfortable. I know Oscar is very important in his life, so that’s something that is external motivation for him. I give him a lot of credit for trying to perform well.”
• FCD Homegrown Player Ruben Luna made his first start of 2012, playing as the spearhead striker. He had made five appearances as a substitute.
• He held the ball up well. He kept good possession of the ball and don’t underestimate how physical he is. He frustrated Colorado quite well,” said Hyndman. “ … He was a last-minute substitution. Scott [Sealy] picked up a hip strain and to keep him healthy, we thought the best thing to do was to keep him out of the top 18 so that he will be ready to play the next games.”
• The goal for Jair Benitez was his first in four MLS seasons, going 86 appearances in league play without hitting the back of the net.
• “A great free kick by Jair – one [David] Beckham would be proud of,” said Hyndman. “That goal put us ahead, 2-1 coming in at halftime. At halftime we gave the boys a few messages. One was that we felt like we were losing the midfield. We needed to get a little bit more aggressive, win some of the second balls, which I didn’t think we were doing.”
• Julian de Guzman recorded two assists in the 3-2 FC Dallas win against Colorado over the weekend, his first two assists since coming to FCD from Toronto FC, and his first two-assist game in four MLS seasons. He has an MLS single-season career-high five assists this year.