Hyndman: "We didn't play as bad as I thought"
FRISCO, Texas — In a phone interview last Saturday, not long after FC Dallas saw their 19-game unbeaten streak end against Real Salt Lake, a clearly disappointed coach Schellas Hyndman said he didn’t think his team played very well in their first loss since May 20.
But after watching video of the game on Sunday night, the FCD gaffer changed his tune a bit. When asked on Monday to evaluate how his side performed in the 2-0 loss to RSL, his assessment was a bit different.
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“It’s a difficult thing for coaches to do – review the game [right after] – because you’re emotionally involved,” said Hyndman. “When I sat and watched … we didn’t play as bad as I thought we did.
“We just played very well the first 15 to 18 minutes, then it got into a situation where [RSL] were able to move the ball with us but they weren’t doing it in dangerous places.”
However, there was one thing Hyndman still feels was the biggest key in the loss.
“We just didn’t create enough scoring opportunities,” he said. “The altitude affected us not in the fitness level but on the projection of the balls. The difference between this game and other games, those key moments, it didn’t go our way.”
On top of that, the Dallas manager is annoyed his team made defensive mistakes in conceding both of RSL’s goals. Ned Grabavoy’s header in the 59th minute was a clear case of that.
After Javier Morales changed the point of attack, sending the ball from the left flank to the middle of the pitch, Robbie Russell had ample room to operate and delivered a great ball into the FCD area. Grabavoy looked to have a step on Dallas center back Ugo Ihemelu and headed the ball home for the first goal of the night.
On the second goal, scored by Morales in the 90th minute, several defenders were at fault. Hyndman attributes those tallies to a lack of organization and communication.
“I think guys were getting out of structure,” he said. “If you look at the tactics for Real Salt Lake, everything was going to their left. Our right fullback was getting stuck up and wasn’t recovering quickly enough. Their goals came from balls that were coming from out to in. I think the communication [between the goalkeeper and the defenders] and the positioning [were to blame].”
Nevertheless, despite the loss and the end to their impressive unbeaten streak, Hyndman believed the team put forth a better effort in the loss to RSL than it did in a 2-2 draw against Colorado the week before, and isn’t too upset about the result.
“We’ve gone five months without a loss,” said FCD’s coach. “How many teams can do that? We lost to a good team on their home field and we had a chance to win it.”
Seeing their unbeaten streak come to an end makes Dallas’ trip to Los Angeles on Sunday to face the Galaxy an important way to conclude the regular season.
“It’s an important game for us because we want to get back on the winning track,” said Hyndman.
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