FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman didn’t hold back his criticism of the officials in his team’s 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew on Saturday night. But what made him just as upset was how his team responded in what he knew would be a tough situation.
“I thought it was a very aggressive game and there was a lot of physical play going on,” Hyndman told reporters after the match, saying he didn’t believe many of the calls went his team’s way. “What I said to the boys at halftime: 'This will be a difference-maker in the second half. [The officials] will find a way to give you a red card, so be smart. That didn't take very long at all.“
Sure enough, with FCD leading 1-0, Zach Loyd received a second caution in the 63rd minute for a foul on Justin Meram, leaving the team a man down for the second time in the last three matches. And that changed the entire game plan.
“It changes on the other team more than yours,” Hyndman said. “The other team is going to be throwing more people forward and will be more aggressive and try to get something on the break.”
With Loyd out of the picture, the Crew immediately took advantage. Meram scored the equalizer in the 67th minute and Sebastián Miranda gave Columbus the eventual match-winner just five minutes later with long-range header off a corner kick.
And the final score line sent FC Dallas home packing with a 0-3-3 record in their last six games.
Team captain Daniel Hernandez agreed with his coach that the team isn’t doing itself any favors.
“It’s the little things that have been costing us games all season,” the veteran midfielder said. “Whether it's making a mistake and getting a red card, or ending the game slipping up and making a mistake and letting the opponent back in the game.”