Commentary: FC Dallas character showed in tumultuous June
FRISCO, Texas -- Schellas Hyndman and FC Dallas will be happy to turn the calendar on the month of June, there's no doubt about it.
The first month of summer wasn't terribly kind to FC Dallas, who went 0-1-3 in the month (plus a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup win over Houston and loss to Portland), but it was a quote from Hyndman in Matt Barbour's MLSsoccer.com story after Saturday's last-gasp draw that caught my attention.
"June wasn’t a great month for us, but what June has done is it's shown our best character," Hyndman said.
Character is something that really shows itself in how you handle adversity and FCD certainly had its share of it in June.
It started in Colorado where Blas Perez almost single-handedly pulled Dallas back from two deficits to earn a tough point in Colorado. From there, it was the only loss of the month in Portland where Dallas, playing without a true forward for 81 minutes of the match, went toe-to-toe with a Portland team that hasn't lost since early March and nearly snuck away with a point, falling by the slimmest of margins, 1-0.
Against a Sporting Kansas City team playing its first MLS game in three weeks, Dallas found itself down, 2-0, after an hour despite the fact that SKC had just one shot on goal. Rather than put their heads down, Hyndman's men pushed on till the very last second, thrillingly scoring in the 88th and 90th minutes to earn a point against a Kansas City team with one of the best defenses in the league.
After that, Dallas nearly battled back from the dead in Open Cup play against Portland, heartbreakingly hitting the post at the death of a 3-2 loss. Fittingly, FCD capped the month by shrugging off the adversity of an extremely controversial red card and a perhaps wrongly disallowed goal to steal yet another late point and another 2-2 result against the Philadelphia Union.
Has FC Dallas been great over the last few weeks? No, Hyndman and the FC Dallas defense will be frustrated by seven goals given up in four games - well above its season average. The manner in which Dallas dropped out of the Open Cup will sting for quite some time as well, but there is good news on the horizon.
With Open Cup play, Dallas was forced to cram six games into 29 June days, leaving little time to recuperate the knocks received in rough-and-tumble MLS games. However, after this weekend's Thursday-Sunday turnaround, Dallas, a team that's 7-2-4 in games with a week's rest, will play just one two-match week for the rest of the season. Additionally, a month-long stretch at home, interrupted only by a road trip to Montreal awaits Dallas upon returning from LA next Monday.
While June wasn't kind to FC Dallas, we've seen a return of the "Refuse to Lose" mentality the team was notorious for in it's run to MLS Cup 2010, and better days await Hyndman's men as this season rolls into the second half.