After several days of frustration after frustration with Dallas-Fort Worth teams against Canadian teams, FC Dallas put up a brightest spot of any DFW team so far this week.
Wednesday night the Hoops thoroughly dominated the Vancouver Whitecaps to the tune of a 2-0 win to solidify their spot atop the Western Conference. And with the New York Red Bulls losing to Toronto earlier in the evening, the Hoops are now level on points for the Supporters’ Shield, though there is a minus-four goal differential to make up.
While Vancouver came out swinging at the start of the match, it was FC Dallas who had the best chance in the early going. Michael Barrios laid off a pass to David Texeira, whose shot beat the keeper but stuck the post and bounced back into play. Minutes later, Vancouver’s Gershon Koffie did the same exact thing, just missing a chance to put the visitors ahead.
But in 32nd minute, FC Dallas’ efforts were finally rewarded. After setting up his teammates for chances, Barrios finally took a shot himself off of the counterattack and beat the keeper to put the Hoops up 1-0.
Vancouver came incredibly close to drawing level at the death of the first half as a ball played in got passed keeper Jesse Gonzalez, but Zach Lloyd managed to clear the ball off the line.
The Whitecaps wouldn’t really be much of a threat after that. FC Dallas doubled its lead seven minutes into the second half, with Mauro Diaz getting a shot on goal that Whitecaps keeper David Ousted couldn’t hold on to as the ball dribbled into the net.
From there, the Hoops were able to see the rest of the game out; however, the scoreline could have been much bigger than it was. Diaz had a penalty kick saved towards the end of the first half and a goal from Blas Perez was called off because of offsides.
This game also has one interesting side note: Vancouver has never won a game in Texas — either against FC Dallas or Houston. And this loss could be costly for the Whitecaps, who likely wind up the three seed in the Western Conference and having to play in a wild card match to start the postseason.
Meanwhile for FC Dallas, the win brings the team to 54 points with two matches remaining, and three points clear of second-place Los Angeles for the top spot in the Western Conference. The Hoops can clinch the top seed in the west with a win in either one of their last two matches of the season.
In the Supporters’ Shield race, FC Dallas is tied with the Red Bulls for the lead, though trail in goal differential. New York certainly has the easier path to the shield, facing Chicago and New York to end the season. FC Dallas finished the year at Real Salt Lake and at home against San Jose.
But given the level of play the Hoops have shown through out the season, there’s no reason to count them out. And with this attack it wouldn’t surprise me to see them win the shield by overcoming the goal differential.
It’s going to be a fun ride.