Playing with more than a half-dozen first choice players missing has been nothing new for FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman this season, but a matchup in Vancouver on Wednesday (10 pm ET, TSN/RDS2 in Canada/MLS Live in the US) could greatly stretch the limits of a squad that was already thin with injuries.
In addition to long-term injuries for Blas Pérez, Ricardo Villar and Ugo Ihemelu, FCD will miss three others for international callups in Brek Shea, Julian de Guzman and Carlos Rodríguez.
Hyndman (above) knows that with so many players out, the focus must be on a full team effort if Dallas wants to beat the Whitecaps and pull within eight points of a Western Conference playoff spot.
“This is not a game that I have to be solely concerned about putting the ball in the goal,” Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “I’ve got to be concerned about both sides of the ball and the good team that Vancouver has and the number of attacking options and players coming off the bench.”
The Whitecaps, much like FC Dallas, will be hit by injury, suspension and international call-ups with Darren Mattocks, Dane Richards, Gershon Koffie and Jay DeMerit all unavailable. The difference is, Vancouver will be reloading with veteran talent off the bench in Designated Player Kenny Miller at forward, experienced veterans John Thorrington and Atiba Harris in the middle and English center back Andy O’Brien in defense.
“They’re a very loaded team,” Hyndman said. “In fact, I don’t know how they can fit that number of quality players under the salary cap. It’s just amazing.”
FC Dallas will not have that same luxury, meaning they will be heavily leaning on David Ferreira and Fabián Castillo, two of the stars from last Saturday night’s win over Colorado, for the offense. Another wild card could be Homegrown forward Ruben Luna, who is expected to receive another start after impressing on Saturday, though he won’t have as many pieces around him.
“What happened with Ruben was he still had Brek around him, he still had David, he still had Castillo and a lot people around him,” Hyndman said. “When you start to lose Brek Shea, Julian and Carlos, it’s a team that’s not real deep right now. But we’ll keep finding ways to get younger players on the field.”