FC Dallas explain roots of 10-game unbeaten run
FRISCO, Texas – With a 6-0-4 record in their last 10 matches, it’s no big secret that FC Dallas are currently MLS' hottest club.
Schellas Hyndman’s charges last lost a match on May 20, when they fell 1-0 to the Los Angeles Galaxy at Pizza Hut Park. That remains one of just two losses this year and their only setback at home.
“The nice thing about the streak is it gives you another motivation,” Hyndman said after practice on Wednesday. “It’s great motivation for the coach to use with the players and it’s motivation for the players to use with each other.
"We didn’t start the season off saying we want to have this goal to have this amount of wins in a row. Our goal was to get into the playoffs. That’s still our goal.”
For FCD captain Daniel Hernandez, the reason for this franchise-record unbeaten streak is simple: strong team unity.
“Yesterday we had optional fitness and you had the whole team out there running," Hernandez said. "You can tell the intensity in practice. Everybody is going 100 percent and still pushing everybody to the limit.
"The guys that aren’t playing, they’re still practicing as hard as ever pushing us starters and competing for spots. Nobody has backed down at all in practices. I think that helps us a lot.”
US National Team defender Heath Pearce sees the streak’s roots coming from elsewhere.
“I think it’s just the continual development and belief in the system that we’re using," Pearce said. "I think early on in the season, there were times that we relied on youth and inexperience and it showed. Now, we’re a lot deeper than we were before.
"I think that a lot of guys are stepping up their games and making for a lot of competition in training and on the field come the weekends.”
During this run, FCD have received offensive production from a number of sources. Central attacking midfielder and MVP candidate David Ferreira has five goals and three assists during the streak. Fellow midfielder Brek Shea has three goals and three assists.
Pearce and fellow fullback Jair Benitez have even contributed a total of five assists. And after struggling early on in the season, FCD veteran forward Jeff Cunningham has three goals off the bench in the last two games.
Defender George John, who is experiencing a breakout season, sees FCD’s recent offensive resurgence as a big key for the streak. But he’s also quick to credit his fellow defenders for not allowing more than one goal in any of the 15 games.
“I think it’s definitely a combination of just getting the offense going and the defense is getting lucky at times," John said. "[Kevin] Hartman is playing very, very well. I think we’re just on a roll. It’s a nice feeling. We’re full of confidence right now and feeling good.”
But as good as things are going, Hernandez is quick to add that he and his teammates never look too far ahead and past their next opponent.
“The main thing for us is that it shows how focused we are on every particular game week in and week out,” the FCD captain said. “We don’t look past the next opponent. We believe we can win the championship this year.”