With a whirlwind week finally behind them, the Vancouver Whitecaps head home to take on Western Conferences foes, Dallas FC. Usually a top team in the West, they have fallen a bit off their usual standard this season, toiling firmly midtable in the Western playoff race. This promises to be a good affair, with both teams looking to find their feet after rocky starts. While historically there is not much of a rivalry on or off the pitch between the two clubs, they have combined for their fair share of feisty matches over the years.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC:
Injuries: Jhesser Khemiri (Knee, Day-To-Day), Micheal Baldisimo (Ankle, Day-To-Day), Lass Bangoura (Hamstring, Week-To-Week), Yordy Reyna (Hamstring, Week-To-Week), Doneil Henry (Hamstring, Week-To-Week), David Norman Jr (Foot, Month-To-Month), Joaquin Ardaiz (Lower Body Injury, Day-To-Day)
After going with a bit of an experimental lineup during the midweek affair, the Caps should look to return to a more of a full-strength outfit for this one. While they are still missing a few names, as the injury bug continues, they got a strong boost in the midfield with Jon Erice and Felipe looking to have fully recovered from their ankle injuries. While Felipe will likely get the night off, with Russell Teibert and Hwang In Beom likely to slot back in alongside Erice in the midfield, he should be a good bench option, should MDS need to shore things up in the middle. At the back, Maxime Crepeau will slot back in, after resting his second game of the season. In front of him, we will likely see the preferred home back line, with Ali Adnan, Erik Godoy and Jake Nerwinski in alongside Derek Cornelius, who will once again replace Doneil Henry as the latter nurses a hamstring problem. Up front, Lucas Venuto, PC and Fredy Montero looked primed to start, as both Montero and Venuto were not started against New York.
BTSVancity Player to Watch:
After being expected to start against his hometown team on Wednesday, Jake Nerwinski should pick up some minutes in this one. He has picked up a lot of starts at home so far this season, so look for him to be a little fired up after missing out on a homecoming match against the Red Bulls.
After a successful road trip in which they picked up 2 key draws, the Caps will look to get back to winning ways against Dallas. With everyone in a good mood with the Pride Match festivities planned, they will look to give the fans something to cheer about.
Will the injuries take their toll on the Caps? It hasn’t so far, with the Caps picking up points in 5 of their last 6, but one can wonder if that run will start to slump if the injuries continue to pile up.
Manager: Luchi Gonzalez
Dallas has a pretty good squad, with players such as Aranguiz, Badji, Hollingshead, Ziegler, Hedges and Gonzalez being solid MLS players for most of their careers. Like New York, they are renown across MLS for their strong academy, which can be a struggle as a lot of players end up being shipped out, leaving big holes after a busy window. This was the case after last season, as many players end up leaving, as well as their coach, which has taken a toll on them so far this season. They are a team primed to rebound soon, as they got good players and a good manager, but they have yet to find the form that had many experts predicting them to be among the top in MLS before the season.
Should be a good match, as these teams have produced their fair share of them throughout the seasons. While Dallas is not as historical rival as some other clubs, there always appears to be a little bit extra when both teams face off. With both teams desperate to keep ahead in the playoff race, expect a little fireworks on the pitch tomorrow at BC Place.
Saturday, May 25th 2019, 16:00 PST, BC Place.