Struggling Whitecaps relish Dallas showdown

Still searching for goals and form at present, Vancouver keen to put things right versus MLS Supporters’ Shield leader FC Dallas.
VANCOUVER – After two straight defeats on the road, Vancouver Whitecaps supporters have been left concerned by what has been a slow start to the new MLS campaign.

Despite an improved performance from the weekend before at D.C. United, the Blue and White’s scoring woes continued last weekend in a 1-0 defeat at Real Salt Lake. It prompted calls from fans and media alike for certain players to be dropped from the starting XI, as debate continues on Canada’s west coast as to what Vancouver needs to do to get its season back on track.

With the ‘Caps facing important home games versus FC Dallas on Saturday night and Sporting Kansas City next Wednesday evening, Carl Robinson’s side needs results from its next two league encounters, if it's to avoid seeing real distance be put between itself and the frontrunners in the Western Conference.

Despite his side’s rough start to 2016, Robinson relishes the challenge that in-form Dallas brings to BC Place this weekend, with the Texas outfit currently occupying the MLS Supporters’ Shield summit following an unbeaten run of six matches. “It’s a great match-up. They’re a good team, and they’re in good form, at the moment. They’re attacking players are key to them,” he said. “Dallas are usually good starters and they’ve done it again this season, so credit to them.

“We know it’s a good game, but it’s a game probably we need at the moment. We need to start getting on a little bit of a run ourselves, so it should be an exciting game because they usually are.”

It is a match-up that sees players on both sides facing their former club. After missing the Salt Lake trip with a slight hamstring issue, Whitecaps striker Blas Perez declared himself fit and ready for a start versus his former club Dallas. With no Vancouver goals from open play to speak of as yet, the experienced Panamanian believes his new side will soon make that scoring breakthrough.

“We’re creating a lot of chances, but it’s just that they’re not going in right now,” Perez said through a club interpreter. “I don’t know if it’s a little bit of luck or what the case is, but it’s just a matter of keep doing what we’re doing, and eventually, they’ll go in the back of the net.”

Another Whitecaps newcomer, midfielder Christian Bolanos, feels Vancouver’s slow start can be a building block for the team.

“Sometimes, you need to come from the bad moments to be stronger,” the Costa Rican international told Goal Canada. “Anytime you win something or experience good moments, you have experienced and learned from the tough games.

“We have a young team, so the fans have to understand, but they have to keep supporting us like always. I hope we can win this (Dallas) game and the fans see that (effort). Every game is difficult in this league, but I hope we can make a good season for the fans.”

Meanwhile, Whitecaps FC 2 supporters were left stunned by the news on Tuesday that the USL side had released Spanish midfielder Victor Blasco for ‘breaching the club’s personal conduct policy.’

The 21-year-old, who had four goals and six assists in 24 USL appearances for WFC2 last season, had not appeared for Alan Koch’s side this term after being sidelined with a hamstring injury.

“We thank Victor for his time at the club and wish him the best,” Koch said in a club statement. “As this is a private team matter, we will not be commenting further.”