VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Whitecaps failed a depth test Wednesday night.
Their discipline was not very good, either.
Fabian Castillo and second-half substitute Jonathan Top scored five minutes apart to give FC Dallas a 2-0 victory over the Whitecaps in a foul-plagued MLS game before a crowd of 19,006 at B.C. Place Stadium.
Missing four regulars due to international duty, injury and a suspension, Vancouver appeared out of sync much of the night, and coach Martin Rennie's liberal second-half substituting did not have the desired effect.
Both Dallas goals came in the second half of a game which generated more yellow cards -- nine -- than scoring chances. Vancouver received six yellows while Dallas took three.
"It's the most (crappy) game I think I've ever played in," said Whitecaps midfielder Barry Robson. "I found it really hard tonight. It's just one foul and then it's stop and start and stop. It's so frustrating."
The Whitecaps were called for 24 fouls while Dallas was whistled for 17.
Dallas, who entered the game as the obvious underdog, improved to 7-11-8 while winning for the fourth time in the past seven games. The Whitecaps (10-8-7) suffered only their second loss at home.
"That's one of those performances that we're all gonna like to forget real quickly," said Vancouver goalkeeper Joe Cannon, who returned after serving a one-game suspension last Saturday against Real Salt Lake.
Cannon said that, from his perspective, the Whitecaps did not generate enough offence.
The Whitecaps clearly missed attackers Darren Mattocks and Dane Richards, who were away on international duty with Jamaica. Meanwhile, captain Jay DeMerit sat out with a concussion and midfielder Gershon Koffie served a one-game suspension for taking his fifth yellow card of the season Saturday against Real Salt Lake.
As a result, the Whitecaps had a new look up front as Scottish striker Kenny Miller made his first start at home and Atiba Harris started for the first time since April 28. He has battled knee problems that have sidelined him for most of the past two seasons and forced him to undergo three surgical procedures.
But Robson, who wore the captain's armband in DeMerit's absence, refused to blame the loss on the lineup changes.
"They did a good job," he said. "They worked hard. They're good players."
Vancouver coach Rennie said some players coming back into the lineup were a bit rusty, but no Whitecap had a great game. He was not overly upset about his club's lack of discipline or its effort.
"You don't get distraught and disappointed too much," said Rennie. "You obviously don't like it, but you can learn from it and get better."
Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman credited his team's improved play of late to the return of midfielder David Ferreira, the league's 2010 most valuable player, who assisted on both goals.
The 32-year-old Colombian was playing only his ninth game since missing 15 months due to a broken leg suffered in Vancouver in April 2011.
He was tackled from behind by former Whitecap Johnny Leathers and had to undergo surgery three times before the leg was repaired sufficiently.
"(Ferreira) plays with a lot of heart and determination," said Hyndman. "Today, he was a difference-maker."
Castillo opened scoring in the 60th minute as he put in a shot off the post from about 10 yards out while falling down. Dallas caught the Whitecaps napping as Zach Lloyd made a long throw-in and Ferreira's header flicked the ball on to him. Castillo eluded Vancouver defender Martin Bonjour.
Top put Dallas ahead 2-0 in the 65th on a pass from Ferreira, who won a struggle for a long ball with DeMerit's replacement Andy O'Brien. Ferreira then sent Top, a 19-year-old American appearing in only his third game of the season, the ball. Bonjour was the goat again as Top sidestepped him before scoring.
"I was able to get a chance right away, five minutes after I got into the game," said Top. "Big credit to David (Ferreira), playing that ball, letting me score that goal. Any other player would have taken the chance and shot it."
The quick goals came after neither team mounted much pressure in the first half. The most drama occurred in the 45th minute as Vancouver's Camilo put a curling free kick off the crossbar from the corner of the 18-yard box after Dallas was called for a hand-ball infraction.
Dallas was also missing players to international call-ups, but coach Hyndman said his club was more desperate than the Whitecaps to get points -- and frustrated Vancouver to excess.
"There were too many cards and way too many fouls," said Hyndman.
Ferreira's suspect injury led to a skirmish in the 86th minute after he fell to the ground and Vancouver's Jun Marques Davidson pulled him up.
Vancouver goalkeeper Cannon predicted games will get chippier as the end of the regular season draws near.
"We're getting into August-September here, so it's crunch time," he said.
Notes: Bonjour will be suspended for Saturday's game in Seattle after taking his fifth yellow card of the season in the 34th minute. Dallas midfielder Andrew Jacobson also earned himself a suspension for the same reason after knocking down Robson in the 81st minute. Before the game, the Whitecaps saluted Canada's Olympic bronze-medal-winning women's soccer team. The crowd gave B.C. natives Karina LeBlanc, defender Sophie Schmidt and defender Emily Zurrer a standing ovation as they led players and officials onto the field. ... Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert (Canada) and defender Carlyle Mitchell (Trinidad and Tobago) were also away on international duty as their homelands faced each other in a friendly in Florida. Rarely used striker Etienne Barbara missed his second straight game due to international duty with Malta. ... Dallas midfielders Julian de Guzman (Canada) and Brek Shea (U.S.) also skipped the game to be with their respective national squads.