for this game

Vancouver, FCD open MLS Cup playoffs at Toyota Stadium

Oct 28, 2014 - 8:33 PM Frisco, TX ( - FC Dallas and Vancouver Whitecaps FC will open the 2014 MLS Cup playoffs on Wednesday when the two sides square off at Toyota Stadium.

The winner of the Western Conference play-in game will march on to face Supporters' Shield-winner Seattle Sounders FC, but the road to the conference semifinals will not be easy for either club.

Toyota Stadium has not see many visitors leave with points this season. Though Dallas suffered a 2-0 defeat to the Portland Timbers in its regular season finale, the club went on a run of eight straight league wins on home soil.

Dallas could have avoided Wednesday's play-in game with a victory over the Timbers, but head coach Oscar Pareja chalked up the defeat to Portland's urgency in a must-win situation, rather than potential complacency setting in for a Dallas side that already had a playoff berth secured.

"No, this team did not relax," Pareja said after the match. "This team played against a rival today that made things difficult for us. We weren't able to respond, but that's part of the game.

"Today I have to give credit to a team that did things right even though we could not find solutions on the field that resulted in points on the scoreboard. The day I see it, I will say it, but no, this team was not relaxed tonight. I see them work and run and today they walked into the locker room after having given it all. They didn't get the result, which sometimes you don't get the result you're looking for, but they did not relax."

While FCD's home form in the second-half of the season has been impressive, the club may rue its loss to Portland given that it will now face a surging Vancouver side.

The 'Caps concluded the regular season with 13 points put of a possible 15, a run that included three successive wins over Real Salt Lake, Dallas and Seattle.

The rich vein of form meant that the club controlled its own destiny heading into Saturday's regular season finale, and with Portland topping Dallas earlier in the day, Vancouver needed a victory over the Colorado Rapids to secure fifth place in the West.

The Whitecaps faithful at BC Place on Saturday were made to sweat it out as the winner only came in the 70th minute when Kendall Waston headed home a corner kick for the lone goal of the affair.

"We've not been bad over the last few games," Vancouver boss Carl Robinson told reporters after the game. "I think today was probably the story of our season in 90 minutes because we played very well at times, we had a few half chances we didn't take, then we started to get edgy a little bit, and then the big man scoring the goal."

Robinson also singled out the play of goalkeeper David Ousted, who was called upon to make several key saves in order for the club to hold off the Rapids and collect the win.

"I think it was fitting that David Ousted kept us in it with two fantastic saves in the last three or four minutes because God knows what I would have done if one of them had gone in," said Robinson.

Wednesday's clash figures to be a closely-contested affair as Vancouver and Dallas split the three-game regular season series. After the two sides played to a 2-2 draw at BC Place on July 27, Dallas claimed a 2-1 home win on Sept. 13 while Vancouver ran out to a 2-0 win over FCD on Oct. 18.