Tue, 18 Jun 2019

FC Dallas eyes first, Whitecaps chase playoff spot

Sports Xchange
22 Sep 2018, 13:30 GMT+10

FC Dallas has its sights set on first place in the Western Conference. The Vancouver Whitecaps are just trying to make it to the postseason.

The two teams will vie for a critical three points on Sunday afternoon at BC Place in Vancouver.

Dallas (14-6-8) trails Sporting Kansas City by one point heading into the weekend's matches. SKC plays at Philadelphia on Sunday.

FC Dallas is coming off a 0-0 draw with Columbus.

"Tough game against a good rival," FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja said, according to the league's website. "They caused a lot of problems for us, especially in the right side. ... When we had the ball, we didn't have the energy that we had in the second half. That made me think the second half was much better."

Pareja's team leads third-place Los Angeles FC and fourth-place Portland by three points in the standings.

Four of Vancouver's remaining six games feature opponents it is chasing in the Western Conference.

The Whitecaps (11-10-7) also have games with Sporting KC, LAFC and the Portland Timbers, in the season finale.

"If we can take care of our business, we are competitive and play like we did on Saturday, with a little bit of luck, we will be fine," Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson said after a 2-1 loss to Seattle last weekend.

The loss ended Vancouver's six-game unbeaten streak.

"I said after the game Saturday, performance-wise, they did everything I asked them to do. Obviously, result-wise, disappointing because it's against a rival, but on any other day I'm sure we would have got the result," Robinson said. "We didn't get the breaks, we switched off in two key moments in the first half and weren't able then to catch a break or finish off one of our number of chances."

The Whitecaps trail the Sounders by four points for the final playoff spot in the West. Also working against them is a goal differential of minus-8.

"We have an understanding of what we have to do the last six games," Whitecaps centerback Doneil Henry told the Vancouver Sun. "We were one point out, now we're four points. Like I said, all the teams that are ahead of us are the ones that we're playing. It's interesting, and I'm looking forward to it.

"So, mentally, we know what we have to do. We have to go into them (games) with the same mentality that we did against Seattle, and I'm sure we'll pick up points, because we're playing good football."

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