The Vancouver Whitecaps are looking to avoid another late-match collapse when they take on FC Dallas this weekend. The 'Caps drew with Montreal after allowing two late goals, then fell to Sporting Kansas City a few days later by allowing three late strikes. In short, the match against FC Dallas will tell us just how mentally strong the Whitecaps are, and if they're able to bump their mini-slide. For more on FC Dallas and their situation, we touched base with Brian Wachholz of fellow SBNation site Big D Soccer.
86Forever: I thought this article was quite interesting. Do you agree with the assessment of Rolando Escobar? Has he been a good addition?
Brian Wachholz: It is interesting that you brought up that article because I think this one is also relevant:
The conversation has been ongoing among fans that FCD struggles to make immediate impact signings. For all the good that Rolando Escobar did against LA, it's been a long time coming in the impatient time stream of sports fans. FC Dallas has played 10 games since Escobar was acquired on May 26th when he could have been eligible to play (I disqualified the match on May 29th since I don't think any new player would start after 3 days). In that time, he has played just 239 minutes, including 90 against the Galaxy this past weekend in his first start for the club. That is an average of less than 17 minutes per game ignoring the full performance against Robbie Keane and his merry band.
It is the story that FCD spoon-feeds us with every signing: "he is a long term solution; we are taking our time bringing him up to speed with the rest of the guys in the locker-room; so on and so forth." So while, yes, I do agree that Rolando is/will be a good addition - I am not happy with the almost third of a season lost while he adjusted and the team needed him. Dallas fans (and I assume the Front Office too) knew from preseason that this roster would be hit hard by Gold Cup callups. FCD signed Escobar a month before it started, and he did not start a match until almost 2 months after it ended. I don't blame the player for it; this is a recurring issue for this team.
86F: How will FC Dallas win the match?
BW: FCD is going to need to fire on all cylinders. Even though Vancouver hasn't been great at home, Dallas has been poor on the road. Fabian Castillo and Michael Barrios will need to bring their speed and do a bit better finishing. Barrios has scored 4 goals in the last 6 games, so he is closer to 100% than Fabi lately.
The Dallas defense will need to come together to stop te Whitecaps' scoring threats. This past week against LA, Oscar Pareja deployed 3 converted midfielders next to Matt Hedges in defense. I am hoping that true defenders like Moises Hernandez and Zach Loyd are ready to play in Vancouver.
86F: What's the biggest weakness on the squad?
BW: The biggest weakness is the bundle of downsides that come along with such a youthful team - mistakes attributed to inexperience and inconsistency. We want homegrown and rookie players to get those minutes so that they can become veterans. But it never comes at a convenient time to make those mistakes. Hopefully we don't see any fatal ones against Vancouver.
The upside, however, is that young players are fast, and they willing to take risks in Oscar's team. Sometimes just trying stuff can be the difference maker.
2-2 Draw. I think both teams will see scoring chances but neither defense can keep it together enough to earn 3 points.
Kennedy; Hernandez, Hedges, Soumare, Loyd; Ulloa, Acosta; Castillo, Escobar, Barrios, Pérez.