Daniel Hernandez is never one to mince words: If something needs to be said then, as FC Dallas’ captain, he is often the one to say it.
Hernández will again be wearing the armband for FCD on Saturday night when they return to MLS action against Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center after a three-week break.
While the veteran midfielder has seen some good things in his side’s first 11 games, he also realizes there is still work to be done, especially if FCD are to break a playoff drought that has now reached three years.
“We definitely have played good soccer for the most part. I think that’s what everybody was expecting,” said Hernández. “The fall-back on the beginning of the season was that we let a lot of points go.”
The FCD captain stated that his club’s inability to finish games and gain more than the 15 points they currently have is the only downside to the first one-third of the year. FCD currently sit tied with Seattle Sounders FC for the fifth spot in the Western Conference standings.
“There were a lot of games that we should have won. We only have two losses on the season, which isn’t too bad, but we have a lot of ties, [most that] we should have won,” Hernandez said. “I think the only negative thing is that we haven’t been able to finish games.”
Although FCD haven’t gotten the results they feel they deserved in their first 11 games, their captain has seen a couple of huge positives from those results.
“On the positive side, I think it showed the character of this team. You can imagine all the frustration we’ve gone through not being able to win all those games,” Hernández said. “The team hasn’t given up. Everybody has been fighting and stayed above water. Everybody has stayed positive and played with confidence.”
One of those players is reigning Golden Boot award winner Jeff Cunningham who, despite leading FCD scoring with four goals, is perceived to have struggled for much of the year.
“Jeff is still pushing up there at the top. Even though he probably hasn’t finished as well as he should, he’s still come out, trained hard and done what he’s supposed to be doing,” Hernández said.
But the FCD captain sees his club’s scoring struggles as a thing of the past.
“I think everything is going to come together hopefully this second third of the season. We did let a lot of points go and we need to make up some of those points as quickly as possible,” he said.
When asked if Saturday’s visit to Carson is a statement game to begin the second third of the season, the FCD captain offered a quick response.
“I think we’ve played well on the road for the most part. Coming off the break, it’s always hard for anybody starting back up again,” said Hernández. “Everybody realizes that it is a game on the road, so it’s always going to be a tough game.”
“We’re capable of winning any game, home or away. We need to come out and make a statement by showing up and not losing a step from our last game (a 2-0 victory against San Jose),” he added. “I think that’s the most important thing.”
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