FRISCO, Texas — Finally, after waiting two long season, Dax McCarty and Dario Sala are looking forward to a little déjà-vu. They are the only ones on the FC Dallas roster who will be able to experience it, in fact, because they are the two remaining players from the last FCD team to make the playoffs back in 2007.
“It’s just crazy to think about because we’ve had so many great players come through,” McCarty said. “In MLS, there’s so much turnover and you never know what can happen. You can be traded, guys can be released. It’s a tough business like any athletic team is but at the end of the day, when Dario and I look back on it, it’s definitely nice to say I’ve got a buddy that’s been here this long with me.”
While McCarty has yet to find the field in the postseason, Sala has started four games, two each in the 2006 and 2007 playoffs. His last trip to the playoffs was cut short, though, as he suffered a knee injury in the first half of the second leg of the ’07 West Semifinals at Houston and was taken off for No. 2 goalkeeper Ray Burse.
“We were up 1-0 here and 1-0 up there,” Sala recalls. “Then, I got injured in my knee and Arturo [Alvarez] got the red card. Clarence Goodson was sick. I remember that game. I had to get a shot because I got my finger broken. It was intense, that game.”
Despite two trips to the playoffs with FCD, McCarty did not feature in any games in either 2006 or 2007. But he still felt the pressure of the playoffs.
“You can just tell by being on the sidelines that the intensity and the atmosphere is hiked up a couple of notches like anything will be," he said. "It’s definitely going to be a test of our character and our team but I think we’re ready for it.”
Sala readily admits that anything can happen in the playoffs, but he believes the current Hoops squad has a leg up on the 2007 team that gave up three late goals to the Houston Dynamo to be knocked out of the running.
“I feel our team is a lot stronger,” he said. “We are fighters. We are a team that’s going to fight until the end. This team is stronger than any other team I’ve been on. We don’t break easily. If we are losing a game, you can be sure we’re either going to tie it or win it.”