FC Dallas may have tasted defeat for the first time in 2015, but they leave Portland with their confidence intact.
Heading into the game with the best record in the league, Dallas lost 3-1 to the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Saturday night, and players expressed disappointment with mistakes on both ends on the night, as their attempt to overturn the scoreline after equalizing in the first half was undone by two goals conceded to the hosts after the break.
"It was a decent first half," Tesho Akindele, who scored FC Dallas' goal, told reporters after the game. "Obviously, they came out with a lot of energy and we matched it. Even after we got scored on we bounced back well. Just the second half didn't go our way, so it's kind of disappointing.
"We felt like we were going to score another goal. We really believed in it and it's just one of those days it wasn't going for us. The last ball wasn't there," he added.
Teammate Ryan Hollingshead agreed with Akindele's sentiment regarding the result.
"We came in, felt like we were prepared, felt like we knew what we needed to do to execute and to win," he said. "I don't know what happened out there, but I know we're disappointed. We feel like every time we step on the field, we're able to win and we should win and we have the confidence that we can beat any team in this league. So it doesn't feel good walking out with a loss."
The result on the night reversed the teams' fortunes heading into the fixture. FC Dallas had taken points in all four of their games this season, while Portland sat in last place in the Western Conference, winless and on three points.
But after the match, Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja rejected the sentiment his team would take any team, including the struggling Timbers, lightly.
"We don't undervalue any team...When we came here to Portland and they hadn't won games, and they have a bad situation, we respect them anyway.
"...But as I say, the best team is [not] the one that wins points sometimes, and we have to accept that."
The confidence in Dallas as being "the best team" remained strong among Pareja's players as well.
"I think we put that same lineup back on the field and play them again and I think we beat them," said Hollingshead. "We can all play and we should all be expecting a win when we play."