Weekend Preview: FC Dallas vs Vancouver Whitecaps

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Photo Credit: John A. Babiak @Photog_JohnB

Editorial (May 17, 2018) – MLS 2018 rolls on as FC Dallas will host Vancouver Whitecaps FC Saturday afternoon. Historically, Dallas has found it difficult to get three points from the Whitecaps, especially in Vancouver. But coming back to Texas could pose problems for the away side.

Weekend Preview:  FC Dallas vs Vancouver Whitecaps

I’ve narrowed it down to three main points for the match on Saturday. There is always more to it than just a few things, but these topics are crucial. So, let’s call it the 3 D’s for FCD vs VAN.

Defense

FC Dallas will be without star defender Reto Ziegler after he received two yellow cards this past weekend. Ziegler has not missed a minute of the 2018 season so far and has been part of one of the best defenses in MLS this season. He and Matt Hedges have worked well together in their first season as a center-back pairing and it has paid dividends.

But Saturday, Hedges will hold the back line with most likely Maynor Figueroa, a very familiar face for FC Dallas fans. Figueroa was a regular face last season and was nursing an injury early on this year. Now at 35 years of age, Figueroa is not the player he used to be, but the Honduran legend will need to be at his best this weekend.

With all that being said, Dallas will need to avoid giving up free kicks in their defensive half. No introduction need for 6’5″ Kendall Waston, but Vancouver have been very productive on set pieces this year. Avoid silly fouls and numerous corner kicks could be the difference maker. Oh, and some wonder kid named Alphonso Davies who is amazing to watch play.

Diaz

Super Mauro. The Unicorn. Mauro Diaz is a play-maker and game-changer when he’s healthy and on the field. Everyone saw it this past weekend against LA Galaxy when he put on a passing display highlight reel. It feels like we have the 2016 Mauro Diaz back with us again, and that means trouble for the opposition. With the proper lineup, Mauro can push further forward and really control the match from all aspects. Look for the #10 to be pressing forward and making things happen this weekend.

Distance

Vancouver will be covering a lot of ground in a week. Being in Houston last Friday, they headed back home where they will host San Jose late Wednesday night. They will then catch a flight back to the Lone Star State probably Thursday midday to prepare for Saturday.

Texas is in the full-swing pre-summer mode with temperatures in the mid-90s for highs this week (warm weather). But it is a beast to play a full 90 in, even with the water breaks. Tack on traveling thousands of miles and covering a few time zones, Vancouver will be traveling with tired legs, bodies, and minds. There could be some lineup changes midweek depending on how Carl Robinson wants to prepare. Wednesday night could be a big factor going into the weekend.

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