FCD can clinch playoff berth Saturday with a win

McCarty, Sala eager for postseason berth

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FRISCO, Texas -- On Oct. 6, 2007, an FC Dallas club led by Steve Morrow hit the field at Crew Stadium to face Columbus. After a 3-1 win over the Black-and-Gold on the strength of two goals from Abe Thompson, the Hoops clinched a playoff spot.

The postseason is a place the franchise hasn’t been to since, but all that could all change Saturday, as FCD look lock up their first playoff berth in three years with a win over the visiting Chicago Fire.

Just two players from that ’07 team remain, and both goalkeeper Dario Sala and midfielder Dax McCarty recall that night in Ohio fondly.

“Since I came here [in 2005], the team was going to the playoffs [every year],” Sala said. “For me, it was a normal experience, but we didn’t know we were going to have a dry spell of two years where we missed it. Now, I get an appreciation for what it is.”

The veteran goalkeeper was on the bench that night at Crew Stadium, as Morrow started No. 2 ‘keeper Ray Burse in Sala’s place. McCarty did see action in that game, coming on in the 80th minute for Designated Player Denilson.

“It was definitely a long time ago, certainly too long for our thinking. I just remember it was a great feeling,” McCarty said. “I came on as a substitute in the game and did my part to try and help the team out to keep it tight defensively. I just remember in the locker room after the game, everyone was really excited. Everyone was happy to see the season continue to go longer and have a chance to win MLS Cup.”

McCarty added that the numerous changes Schellas Hyndman has made since replacing Morrow in June 2008 have all been for the better.

“Now we have the right formula. We have guys that are willing to put in the work for each other,” McCarty said. “We have good team chemistry. We certainly haven’t been playing too bad. We haven’t lost in 17 games. It’s definitely a pleasure to be part of this squad.’