VANCOUVER, B.C – The Whitecaps kicked off a crucial three game road trip in Texas against FC Dallas with a 3-1 loss at FC Dallas Stadium. The Hoops scored three unanswered goals to earn all three points after Vancouver opened the scoring in the 5′ minute.
Both teams came into the match level with 37 points as they look to inch closer to a Western Conference playoff spot as the MLS season enters the home stretch. Vancouver, and Dallas swapped goals in the opening ten minutes of the match before FC Dallas struck in the 87, and 89 minutes thanks to Mauro Diaz and Jair Benitez.
With the temperature hovering around 100F for most of the match the teams didn’t waste any energy getting going. Whitecaps captain Kenny Miller found an unmarked streaking Daigo Kobayashi on 5 minutes and he easily converted past backup FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
Kobayashi has been slumping for much of the season but on this evening he was the best Whitecaps player on the pitch. Kobayashi looked focused, and inspired before being subbed off in the second half for defensive purposes.
FC Dallas did well to come back strong and equalize quickly. Jamaican International Je-Vaughn Watson rifled a blistering shot from outside the Whitecaps box. Watson was given too much time, and space with Nigel Reo-Coker failing to close him down. The 29 year-old scored his 2nd goal of the season as his shot found the top left corner eluding goalkeeper David Ousted.
If either team had hoped to park the bus in the sweltering heat this was not to be, as both teams played with quick pace up and down the pitch. FC Dallas had the best opportunity to break the deadlock in the first half on the 35′ when MLS veteran David Ferreira setup Jackson. Ferreira raced towards the ball as it looked to be going out for a goal kick. He centred to Jackson, however the Brazilian had his shot go wide as he was in a lovely shooting position.
Minutes before halftime Erick had a chance to give his side a 2-1 lead heading into the break as his headed attempt on goal went over the bar. The Whitecaps got off to a great start, but it was FC Dallas who maintained a 62% to 38% possession advantage in the opening forty-five.
The second half got under way with sloppy play from both clubs. As the temperature and sun went down so did the standard of play. Much of the first 15 minutes were played in the middle of the pitch as both teams struggled to make the simplest of passes. FC Dallas continued to control the play as Vancouver looked more comfortable sitting back in a scramble mode as they looked to park the bus during the final 30′ in search of at least a single point.
Whitecaps gaffer Martin Rennie’s dangerous strategy proved to be costly as Vancouver once again showed that they can not be trusted to earn points on the road. Former Whitecaps forward Eric Hassli found Fabian Castillo, and he broke down the left flank and delivered a cross into the Caps box. Substitute Mauro Diaz came streaking out of nowhere and connected for a wonder blast past Ousted. A shocked Whitecaps team got caught ball watching and FC Dallas made the Caps pay.
Yet Dallas were nor content to walk off with a late 2-1 winner. The Hoops showed that they had another marker left to deliver. Substitute Jair Benitez caught Whitecaps keeper David Ousted well off his line and he hammered a glorious chip from beyond 50 yards out. Ousted was brought over to Vancouver to be the Caps no.1 keeper and he has been far from that during his brief time as a Whitecap.
FC Dallas has a lot of fire-power, and on this occasion the Vancouver Whitecaps weren’t able to keep them at bay for a full 90 minutes. Playing a dangerous defensive minded strategy against a juggernaut like FC Dallas came back to bite the Whitecaps as they suffered a gut wrenching loss in the lone star state.
Notes: The Whitecaps will travel to San Jose to take on the Earthquakes on September 14 at 7:30PM PT. FC Dallas Stadium will be renamed on Tuesday.