For a majority of their first 11 games, FC Dallas have failed to capitalize on many scoring chances in the final third. And that trend has FCD sitting in the middle of the Western Conference standings, instead of an ideal spot near the top of the table.
The focus now is on better decision-making in the final third for FCD, who resume MLS play on Saturday against Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center.
“I’m really forcing them to push themselves to the max to be a thinker,” Hyndman said after training on Thursday. “All our training sessions have been designed to give a thought before receiving the ball and before they pass the ball. What we’re trying to do now is put our guys in a difficult environment where they have to think and there’s less space. We’re trying to get that sharpness back from when we played San Jose.”
FCD last played on June 5 against San Jose at Pizza Hut Park. Brek Shea had a pair of goals in a 2-0 win over the Earthquakes, and the third-year midfielder feels the decision making for the entire team has improved a great deal since the start of the 2010 season.
“I think the decision making (has improved). It’s not just moving the ball fast, it’s that people are moving off you fast so you can play one touch or two touch,” Shea said.
Teammates Ugo Ihemelu and Dax McCarty agree.
“That’s the way we like to play. When we’re playing quickly, that’s when we’re at our best,” Ihemelu said. “(Hyndman) wants us to stick to that, stop trying to play long balls and stick to what we’re good at. If we do that, we’re a really difficult team to beat.”
For McCarty, he sees their win over the Earthquakes as a good sign that FCD’s finishing woes truly are a thing of the past.
“I think head and shoulders, we’re better than we were in the beginning of the year. At the first of the year, you could see we were having trouble scoring goals and finishing our chances,” McCarty said. “That wasn’t because of a lack of chances.”