FRISCO – With the playoffs out of reach, Sunday’s season finale against Chivas USA is a bit of unfamiliar territory in recent times for Schellas Hyndman and FC Dallas. In the past three years, FCD has either made the playoffs or taken things to the final game, so Sunday’s match with just pride on the line leaves some room for speculation on whether Hyndman will give his starters a final run out or give some reserves valuable MLS playing time.
“I think when you look at the way the season has gone this year, we got a lot of younger guys on the field,” Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com. “So what are we doing, putting younger guys on again? In many ways, we got a look at a lot of younger guys throughout the year because of circumstances and I think what we need to do is focus on finishing the season with a win.”
Reading between the lines, it seems that the starters will be given a chance to impress the coach one last time.
“I mentioned to the players, the season has come to an end and we didn´t reach our goal but let´s finish it strong on a win,” Hyndman said. “I also let the players know there´s still a lot of value here. We´re in front of our fans, we´re professionals and things might not have gone our way, but we need to step up and perform.”
Second half struggles
If the referees would just call the game after 45 minutes, FC Dallas would be almost unbeatable this season.
Amazingly, despite a 13-game winless streak in the middle of the year that has FCD out of the playoffs for the first time since 2009, no team has trailed at half time less this season than the Frisco club. Just three times through 33 matches this year has Dallas gone into the interval behind, two less than the next closest team.
Of course, the game is 90 minute long, and there-in lies the problem.
“What the issue is, I think we´re focused, committed and play really hard in that first half,” head coach Schellas Hyndman explained. “Then when we start to hit the 60th minute, players are spent. They need to be coming out. It´s not so much that they´re not fit. It´s that the players who are playing, a lot of them are second level players, they´re not first-team players.”