Monday hangover: Loss still stings for FCD

Tough loss in New York frustrates Hyndman

Schellas-NYRB

Photo Credit: 
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Saturday
night’s 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena was a
disheartening result for FC Dallas on many levels. FCD clearly outplayed the
home side for much of the evening, yet all they had to show for their numerous
offensive chances was a header by Dax McCarty in the 10th minute
that put the visitors ahead 1-0.

While
the FCD defense did a good job for much of the night of limiting the Red Bull
attack, they did also give up a pair of penalty kicks. FCD goalkeeper Dario
Sala saved the first attempt from Juan Pablo Angel but wasn’t so lucky on the
second one near the end of full time. Angel converted the game winner after a
somewhat controversial PK was awarded when New York’s Sinisa Ubiparipovic was
taken down on the very edge of the box.

After
training on Monday, FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said he was still trying
to reconcile what happened two days ago in the Garden State.

“I
tried to watch the video of the game right after the game to have some better
perspective and I haven’t been able to do that yet because it’s still pretty
painful,” Hyndman said. “The team met today and we went through a few things.
We had about 30 minutes of team talk -- reviewing the game, the season, the
expectations and so forth.”

For
the most part, the FCD coach liked what he saw in the opening half of play.

“I
thought we really started off well. I thought the first 10 minutes we couldn’t
have done or expected more from the players except for the finishing,” Hyndman
said. “The opportunities are there. We’re playing attractive soccer, attacking
with great numbers but the final shot, the final pass, it just doesn’t seem to
connect right now. We kept on breaking out and had more and more chances.”

His
club clearly carried that forward into the final frame, an improvement on something the squad had been criticized for following their tie against Columbus.

“Second
half, I thought we really came out well. We hit the post a couple of times and
follow-ups could have been on finishing,” Hyndman said. “David (Ferreira) had a
diving header off Atiba’s (free kick). Heath (Pearce) had one in front. And
then to give up the goal, which was really a simple throw-in, we just didn’t
focus. And then to give up a PK, I thought Zach Loyd played well. He left his
feet but don’t know whether it was a PK or not a PK. When you leave your feet,
you’re suspect to get a piece of the body.”

The
FCD coach also elaborated on what exactly happened to set up Angel’s
game-winning penalty kick.

“To
give up the PK at the end on really a lack of concentration (is tough),”
Hyndman said. “Ugo (Ihemelu) is coming over to take the throw-in because he
always takes the throw-in on that side because Jair (Benitez) has probably got
about an 18-yard throw-in, where Ugo has a 30-yard throw-in. And for whatever
reason, Jair took it quickly.... I thought George (John) got fouled by (Macoumba)
Kandji, so he couldn’t get the ball out of the box. And then Daniel (Hernandez)
tried to get to Ubi (Paripovic), and I did see that video. It looked like it was
right on the box, but the line is in the box. It was just one blunder or
mistake after another.”

And
it’s hard for Hyndman to contain his disappointment.

“A very disappointing loss because
I thought our defense played really well. I thought our team played well,” he
said. “It could have been a 5-0, 6-0 game. It could have been a blowout. Soccer
is a funny game and a game of inches. When you have six or seven great chances
and you don’t score on one of them, you can say their goalie was pretty good.
He’s inconsistent. He can be very good or he can be very average and he was
very good. Then, we just had some bad luck to go with it. Disappointed that
we’ve given up three PKs in three games and disappointed we haven’t gotten the
goals we need from key players.”

And while the FCD coach was largely
pleased with his defense’s performance, he also realizes that the numbers don’t
lie.           

“When
you look at it, we’ve given up five goals. When you say in three games, you’ve
given up five goals, you can’t say we’ve done really well,” Hyndman said. “We’ve
given up three PKs and two of the goals came from PKs... Maybe we need to consider how to manage the game a
little better when we have a lead because right now, this team is
offensive-minded and everyone is attacking.”

Hyndman also realizes that, regardless of on-pitch performance, FC Dallas is now one of only two MLS teams without a win (the other is DC United).

"At the end of the day,
it’s all about results. We could be sitting realistically with nine points and
today, we’re sitting with two. How much different would it have been if we had
at least come back with one? We could say OK, we got a point on the road and we
were unlucky. But we got nothing on the road and we can say we only got two
points.

"It’s frustrating, but the good thing is we’re doing so many things so
well, so early in the year, but the finishing needs to come.”

During the FCD broadcast, the
announcing team commented that Jeff Cunningham in particular looked like a player
who wasn’t playing with much confidence. Hyndman offered his own take on
Monday.

“I
think he’s a complicated person to figure out. He’s been around so long and
he’s a proven goal scorer,” the FCD coach said. “You look at him and think it
must be confidence. Maybe he’s thinking too much instead of trying to be
natural. He’s a player that kind of wears his emotions on his sleeve. He’s not
an easy player to counsel because if you say the wrong thing to him, he takes
it the wrong way. So what you hope to do is have him come out of it. And then
at some point in time, you have to look at someone else.

"This game coming up is
a real opportunity for him to come out. We all know he can do it. It’s getting
it done in practice. That’s where you build the confidence. If you can score
four or five goals in practice, then that builds confidence for the game.”