FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps turned out the opposite of how most expected. FC Dallas suffered one of their worst home defeats in history, as Vancouver shocked the top team in the Western Conference with a 4 goal rout. Historically, Vancouver has struggled in North Texas, but that did not faze them Saturday night.
FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps: Dallas thrashed at home
The Whitecaps came out in a flash yesterday and pressed early and often. Most would assume that teams traveling to Frisco would struggle with the blistering heat, but Vancouver had other ideas. They pressed well as a unit and forced numerous errors by Dallas, and throughout the game, it seemed the home team was suffering more from the heat than the visitors.
Quick Start by Vancouver
Vancouver wasted no time in getting on the score sheet. Just halfway into the 18th minute, Bernie Ibini-Isei cut inside and ripped a low shot from 30 yards out past Jesse Gonzalez. The shot might have taken a slight deflection but the strike was pure and with pace. It didn’t take long to realize that Vancouver was on a mission Saturday and they were on track early.
Physical Play and the Referee’s Way
The physical aspect of the game was certainly not lacking yesterday. Vancouver not only came out on the front foot, but they were strong on challenges and created an uncomfortable playing environment for FC Dallas. Referee Baldomero Toledo had his hands full, and made some interesting calls and no-calls that altered the game.
Two key plays stood out from the match. The first was the penalty awarded to Vancouver just 4 minutes into the second half. Substitute Kellyn Acosta challenged Fredy Montero in Dallas’ goal box and seemed to get the ball first. His follow-through cut down Montero as Matt Hedges cleared the ball. Toledo was right on the play and awarded the penalty in front of the angry supporter’s section. As the penalty was taken (and converted) by Montero, it was clear that Vancouver’s Brek Shea had crossed the line into the penalty area before Montero took the shot. This occurred right in front of referee Toledo, but the goal stood and Vancouver were now up 2-0.
Just ten minutes later, the physicality of the game hit its high-point. Dallas’ Carlos Gruezo and Vancouver’s Yordy Reyna were battling for a ball at midfield. As Gruezo neared the ball, Reyna threw his backside into him. Both players became entangled in one another, and as they fell to the ground, Gruezo’s elbow eventually came up across Reyna’s face. Toledo gave the play careful thought, and eventually showed the straight red to Carlos Gruezo.
Quick Round-up – Quick Stats
As FC Dallas were down to 10 men, it seemed the game would not swing back in the home team’s favor; and it certainly did not. Despite winning the possession statistic (which I will discuss again shortly), Dallas allowed 2 more goals past them, most notably the 4th goal from Nicolas Mezquida’s bicycle kick.
Vancouver didn’t just win a regular season match on Saturday. They embarrassed a team that has been highly acclaimed as one of the best teams in the league and nearly unbeatable at home.
Despite the loss, Dallas won the possession battle. This Dallas team is not one to score goals from 20 or 30 consecutive passes. This team is built on the strength of their wing play, lethal speed on counters, and pin-point accuracy through balls. Here are some quick numbers on FC Dallas’ possession woes (including US Open Cup):
- After a 6 game unbeaten streak, Dallas has now lost 2 of their last 3 matches, being shut out 3-0 and 4-0 in those defeats.
- 3 of their 5 losses saw FC Dallas dominate possession (4th game was nearly 50/50).
- FC Dallas lost the possession battle in 12 out of the 18 matches in which they earned at least a point (win or draw).
Vancouver travel 2 more times before heading home: playing at Colorado August 5th, and then on the road against New England. Dallas will travel to Philadelphia to face the Union on the 5th before returning home against Colorado. Dallas will also be sending 3 players to the MLS All Star Game this Wednesday to face off against Real Madrid. Both teams looking to stay strong as we approach the 2nd half of the season.