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FC Dallas-Whitecaps FC Preview
By JEFF BARTL
(AP) -- The Vancouver Whitecaps are the only team currently in playoff position with a negative goal differential, and their leading scorer won't be around to help improve that number in their next match.
Darren Mattocks and many others will be absent for both sides due to international friendlies when Vancouver hosts FC Dallas on Wednesday night.
Vancouver (10-7-7) is tied with Seattle for third place in the Western Conference following Saturday's 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake. The Whitecaps, though, have scored more than two goals only once - a 3-1 win over Houston on June 10 - and have a minus-1 goal differential despite having a solid grip on a potential playoff spot.
Mattocks, who was credited with a secondary assist on Dane Richards' goal Saturday and has scored a team-high seven, will join Richards on the Jamaican national team that will face El Salvador in a friendly Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Fellow Whitecaps Carlyle Mitchell (Trinidad and Tobago), Russell Teibert (Canada) and Etienne Barbara (Malta) also will join their respective national teams for friendlies Wednesday.
Captain Jay DeMerit, who may have suffered a concussion in a collision with goalkeeper Brad Knighton on Saturday, also won't play versus Dallas.
"I have lots of confidence in all the other guys that they can step in and play well," coach Martin Rennie told the team's official website. "It's a good opportunity for those guys and you know we really look forward to the game. Guys will come in now with energy and excitement ready to play."
Rennie hopes Camilo is set for a resurgence after snapping a 12-game goal drought Saturday and adding an assist.
"It's hard, because I lost my confidence," said Camilo, who had 12 goals last season and three through the first 11 games this year. "But now I'm back, and I hope there'll be a lot more (goals)."
Camilo scored in these teams' only meeting of the season as Vancouver won 1-0 on April 21, beginning Dallas' franchise-record 13-game winless streak that finally ended July 14.
It has gone 3-2-1 since that dismal stretch and trails Los Angeles by 10 points for the West's final playoff spot.
Dallas (6-11-8) is coming off a 3-2 win over Colorado on Saturday as David Ferreira scored his first goal since April 17, 2011. The 2010 MLS MVP injured his ankle a week later against Vancouver and missed 14 months while undergoing multiple surgeries before returning July 4.
"It's huge for him," coach Schellas Hyndman said of Ferreira, who also had an assist. "He is such an important part of our success and it was great to see him get a goal because he works awfully hard out there for us."
Dallas also will be short-handed Wednesday, as Brek Shea (United States), Julian de Guzman (Canada) and Carlos Rodriguez (Panama) each will be playing for their respective countries in exhibition matches.
The Whitecaps will be looking to even the all-time series after dropping both meetings in their expansion season of 2011.
Updated August 14, 2012