FCD solid after second straight win
After Saturday’s 1-0 win over DC United, FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman admitted his team’s second straight win and second clean sheet was far from pretty, but the club will take results any way they come.
“A good win for us. It might have been one of our weakest games to date,” Hyndman said. “Isn’t it interesting it’s one of our weakest games but we get the three points? Winning ugly does happen.”
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The win comes in a match that saw FCD fail to log a single shot on goal in the first half. Veteran Jeff Cunningham made up for that in the 68th minute, tallying a breakaway finish for his fourth goal of the season and first from the run of play.
“I’m just happy the monkey’s off my back. It was a big, big goal for the team,” Cunningham said. “Hopefully that will bring confidence to myself and the rest of the boys from here on out to continue to get results.”
Cunningham returned to the starting lineup after missing FCD’s 1-0 win at Houston on Wednesday because of a sore knee. He had a pair of shots in the first half and finished the night with five attempts on the evening.
“The first half, we were really disappointing. We didn’t seem to have a lot of energy and it seemed like we didn’t have much in the attack,” Hyndman said. “The longer the game was going, the more they were playing with confidence. Second half, we did better holding the ball, put them under a little bit more pressure and created more scoring opportunities.”
In goal for FCD for the second straight game was Kevin Hartman, who also picked up his second consecutive shutout and had four crucial saves in the opening half.
“I thought Kevin Hartman was outstanding tonight, especially in the first half when a lot of chances were there,” Hyndman said. “I think when the opportunities have occurred he’s really wrapped it around with both arms. I thought the game in Houston was very good. I thought the game tonight was even better.”
Hartman’s solid performance means he remains FCD’s No. 1 keeper over Dario Sala for the near future.
“I really felt excited about having the opportunity. I think I’ve reacted well,” Hartman said. “The group in front of me has competed very well. As a group, we’ve kind of been frustrated with the fact that we haven’t gotten more wins. So for the past two games, to get two wins and get six points, it’s something as a group, we’re very excited about.”
For FCD defender Heath Pearce, tonight’s victory also showed something else that he and his teammates have displayed all year.
“I think it shows a lot about our character. Now we’ve shown in a bunch of circumstances that we’re going to fight it out,” Pearce said. “We’re willing to do what it takes in a lot of circumstances and we’re playing as a team.”