PREVIEW- The Vancouver Whitecaps are looking to bounce back in the MLS against FC Dallas at home on Saturday, after losing their first two MLS games. With a positive midweek result, the Whitecaps will have to bring it on Saturday or risk all that momentum disappearing.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs FC Dallas Predictions: Upward Momentum
Vancouver Whitecaps Current Run of Form
In the Concacaf Champions League, the Whitecaps managed to thrash a tired Real CD Espana side 5-0 last Wednesday, putting their foot firmly into the next round. This match was a massive relief to a squad that shows signs of greatness but lacked the finishing touch for their first two games.
Scoring five goals is no easy feat, especially with five different goalscorers (one of them being an own goal, but courtesy of a cross from Cristian Dajome). What was positive as well was that the Whitecaps were switched on long after they got their lead, something that they also lacked in the opening games.
A large part of the improvement was down to changes in the lineup. Ryan Raposo put in a Man of the Match performance after chipping in a goal and an assist, while also maintaining his defensive duties. Mathias Laborda put a tidy shift at right back and held it down on that side.
Gauld being played as a “No. 8” instead of a “No. 10” allowed for various overloads in the middle and on the wing, making the Whitecaps’ attack brutal at times. Against tougher opposition like FC Dallas, however, such a move might not be as effective. Especially if you consider he doesn’t track back as well as someone like Alessandro Schopf. However, the squad did show that Sartini’s game plan can not only be effective but also be dominant and ruthless.
FC Dallas Current Run of Form
FC Dallas has been in mixed form so far in the MLS. They lost their opening game against Minnesota United 1-0 at home in Texas. Dallas lost that game despite having 62 percent of the possession, 11 shots, nine corners, and an xG of 0.92. They made up for it in their second match, once again at home in Dallas, beating the LA Galaxy by three goals to one.
In reverse fashion to the first match, Dallas actually gave up possession to the Galaxy. The first half was tightly contested, but more chances fell to the Galaxy, resulting in them opening the scoring in the 35-minute, but Dallas came back late in the first half, equalizing through rising star Alan Velasco.
Then, in the second half, Galaxy took 60% of possession but gave up two goals thanks to quick counterattacks by Dallas. The front three of Velasco, Paul Arriola, and Jesus Ferreira connected on the second goal, with Ferreira scoring his first of the season in the 56-minute. Less than 10 minutes later, the reigning Young Player of the Year doubled his tally thanks to a clever ball by Paxton Pomykal. Dallas held on and soaked up the pressure until the end of the match, clinching their first three points of the season.
Recent Head to Head
The Whitecaps and Dallas have faced each other 27 times in MLS history, with Dallas edging the record of 11 wins to the Whitecaps’ nine, and seven stalemates between them. Recently, the Whitecaps have had an unbeaten streak against Dallas, going all the way back to September 2018.
In that game, Dallas upset the Whitecaps 2-1 at home courtesy of goals from Harold Mosquera and now-TFC centre-back Matt Hedges, overturning Kei Kamara’s lone goal for the ‘Caps. Since then, the ‘Caps have won four and drawn two. The most recent game was a 2-0 victory in Dallas back in June of last year, with goals coming from Lucas Cavallini and Deiber Caicedo. FC Dallas will be looking to snap that unbeaten streak when they travel to BC Place on Saturday, while the Whitecaps will look to extend their unbeaten run to seven.
After the Whitecaps’ vicious victory over Real CD Espana, the team looks to be turning a new leaf this season. They finally are finding their shooting boots, and they are shaking off those early nerves that they showed in their first two matches. That being said, FC Dallas has a dangerous front three. Jesus Ferreira is coming off an 18-goal season last season and already has two in his last two.
Alan Velasco looks to be the front-runner to Ferreira’s crown of YPOTY, and Arriola looks as sharp as ever. If the Whitecaps can find a way to keep those three at bay, then they should be able to find their first point of the season in a 1-1 draw.
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports on March 8, 2023, of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Headshot.
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