FC Dallas looks to continue hot streak vs. Whitecaps (Jul 29, 2017)
FC Dallas has never lost at home to Vancouver and will have its full complement of players for the first time in three weeks on Saturday when it hosts the Whitecaps FC at Toyota Stadium.
FC Dallas has outscored Vancouver 14-2 to win all seven meetings in Frisco.
Midfielder Kellyn Acosta, defenders Matt Hedges and Maynor Figueroa and goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez all return to FC Dallas (9-3-7, 34 points) after competing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup over the last month. Acosta, Hedges and Gonzalez helped the United States take the title on Wednesday over Jamaica.
That group comes back to a team that has won three straight outings, pushed its unbeaten streak to five matches and moved to the top of the Western Conference standings.
"It's time for me to switch gears after the Gold Cup," Acosta said. "We have a big game against Vancouver -- it's a big test for us as we try to reclaim the Supporters' Shield and continue our winning ways."
Perhaps the most important news coming out of the FC Dallas camp this week was the offensive breakthrough by midfielder Cristian Colman last Saturday in the team's 2-1 victory at Montreal. Colman scored both of FC Dallas' goals, and they were his first tallies of the season despite the fact that he's played in 14 matches.
"It's important for Cristian to score," Dallas coach Oscar Pareja said after the win over Montreal. "We have been waiting for this moment. As a kid, he's worked hard. He has been trying to adapt to the league, trying to adapt to the culture of the group, and all what he has done is just kept working. And today the game rewarded him -- I'm very happy for him."
The Whitecaps FC (8-8-3, 27 points) have been erratic at times this season but still find themselves above the playoff line. They have played three matches fewer than some of the teams above them in the table.
Vancouver heads to Texas on the heels of the 2-1 home loss to Portland last week after winning against the LA Galaxy and New York City FC in its previous two outings. It, too, will be helped by the return of recent Gold Cup standouts, including 16-year-old forward Alphonso Davies, who finished tied at the top of goal scorers in the tournament.
The Whitecaps are being coy about midfielder Yordy Reyna, a dynamic offensive threat who could make his first start for the team after coming on as a substitute the past four games.
Vancouver hopes that Reyna, who tallied the match-winning goal two weeks ago versus New York City FC in his second appearance, can drive the Whitecaps' play going forward.
"Yordy's shown us glimpses of something we haven't had," Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson said. "Hopefully he'll be able to create that attacking spark. We need him fit and firing to allow us to create more opportunities."
Reyna scored a combined 14 goals in 41 appearances during his time in Austria with Salzburg and while on loan.
Vancouver has been strong on the road this season, posting a 3-5-1 record -- including a 1-0 victory at LA Galaxy last week. That's one road win short of its entire total from 2016.
"We'll need a little bit of everything to go and get a result," Robinson said. "But I firmly believe we can. It's one that I would like to get off the checklist, but we know it's going to be hard."
Figueroa and defender Hernan Grana will miss Saturday's match for FC Dallas because of yellow-card accumulation while Vancouver's injury report lists defenders Brett Levis and David Edgar out of the match, both because of knee injuries.
The historical matchup between the two sides has proven pretty even across the last couple of years. Including a 1-1 draw between Vancouver and FC Dallas on June 17, they have evenly split their last six MLS games (2-2-2) dating back to the beginning of the 2015 season. Each team has scored five goals across those six matches.