FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas have used the exact same starting lineup for the last three matches of their current six-game unbeaten run.
The streak isn't likely to hit four. FCD pay a visit to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday evening (6 pm ET, Univision Deportes, MLS Live), a rematch of the encounter that ended 2-0 to Dallas last week, and adjustments are in store.
“What I kind of anticipate is [Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie] will go with the lineup he went with at the end of the game [against FCD], when he was chasing the game,” Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com. “He had Camilo on the field and he brought [Darren] Mattocks on the field and he went in a 4-4-2 … that was a phase where they were winning a lot of second balls and they were coming at us and putting more pressure on our defense.”
“If I’m anticipating that from him, then I’ve got to be prepared for those things.”
Hyndman went on to say that Rennie’s selections for Wednesday's night’s Amway Canadian Championship match against FC Edmonton would not impact his choices for Saturday’s match, but that what he saw in last week’s game would.
“My scouting report on them, which was eight pages, was very good. I don’t need to re-do that,” Hyndman explained. “But what we’re doing now is saying, here’s some things they did extremely well, like [Whitecaps midfielder Nigel] Reo-Coker. He was very, very athletic. I knew him in the Barclays Premier League, but now, coaching against him, I have a greater appreciation of what he brings to that team. So I’ll change my approach a little bit.”
Midfielder Michel explained that the team has been working on some new set piece routines and also revealed some of Hyndman’s thinking when discussing what they’ve focused on in training this week.
“We’ve been practicing and preparing this week to not be pressured playing away at Vancouver because they do have the home advantage," the Brazilian said through an interpreter. "We’ve [also] been practicing a lot how to touch the ball and how to create those open spaces so that we can get the ball in the net."
There is also a good possibility of fully fit Eric Hassli seeing significant playing time or even making his first start of the season against his former team. This could certainly mean a partnership with Blas Pérez up front if Hyndman chooses to match Rennie’s expected 4-4-2.
The more likely possibility, given that with his current squad Hyndman prefers more of 4-2-3-1, is a change on the outside. Kenny Cooper had a quiet game wide right last time out against Vancouver, and given the turf and Vancouver's own speed, the quicker Fabián Castillo could be in line to start.