Anything but a victory for the whitecaps on Saturday would have been hard to stomach. The Whitecaps have had a history of coming up short in big games so it was understandable that Vancouver fans were a bit nervous before kickoff against FC Dallas. Head coach Carl Robinson started the same lineup for the 3rd consecutive game which marked the first time this happened in Whitecaps MLS history. Lack of lineup consistency has been one of the biggest problems for Vancouver over the past few seasons.
The Whitecaps came out flying against Dallas and they were rewarded. Vancouver’s creative midfield were clicking and in the 14th minute Mauro Rosales one timed a cross to the back post and found Sebastian Fernandez who nodded home a stunning header. It was a perfect header and it needed to be as Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez looked to get his finger tips on the ball but it was not enough to stop the Whitecaps from taking the lead. Minutes later Morales and Rosales pressured Dallas near the halfway line and forced a turnover. Rosales picked up the loose ball and charged at the quickly retreating Dallas defence and played in a streaking Fernandez who slotted the ball past Raul for his second of the game. That was it for scoring but the Vancouver Whitecaps entertained their fans with one of their most complete team performances of the year. Matias Laba was stellar as he made several perfectly timed tackles to keep the visiting team from scoring. Ousted had to come up big a couple of times and he earned his paycheck as he earned his 10th shutout of the season which is tied for first overall with Bill Hamid of DC United.
Vancouver now has a week to prepare for their road game in Seattle. Not only will that game have more playoff implications for the Whitecaps but the winner will also lift the Cascadia Cup. Vancouver and Seattle will both head into the game full of confidence and Portland Timber fans will have no choice but to cheer for a Seattle victory. The Timbers defeated San Jose on the road to stay 1 point behind Vancouver as the two Cascadia rivals battle for the final western playoff spot.