FRISCO – Injuries, lack of discipline and a late equalizer.
Sunday’s disappointing draw with Chivas USA was an end-to-end microcosm of FC Dallas’ 2012 campaign.
“Perfect summary, a perfect summary of the season,” a dejected Daniel Hernandez said. “We couldn’t have described it any better or any different.”
FCD were cruising to an uplifting win to finish out the season, up 2-0 behind goals from Jackson and Fabián Castillo, when some familiar demons came back to haunt them. Laurent Courtois pulled Chivas USA within a goal as the clock hit 90 minutes, but the dramatics didn’t end there.
With the last kick of the game, Courtois again snuck behind the Dallas defense, sliding a ball to Juan Agudelo who found himself completely unmarked to tap home the game-tying goal.
“It’s uncalled for, but it’s a perfect summary of how the rest of the season has gone for us,” Hernandez said. “It’s unfortunate, but what are you going to do. Hopefully guys will at some point open their eyes, take responsibility and learn from it.”
The sequence perfectly demonstrated the ineptitude of FC Dallas in holding leads this season, the main reason that their season ended on a chilly evening in north Texas. FCD gave up 28 goals in the final 30 minutes of games this season and they were just 6-3-8 when scoring first.
With Zach Loyd and Hernán Pertúz forced off at halftime due to injury, head coach Schellas Hyndman turned to Andrew Jacobson as an emergency center back for the second half.
“I thought we did well enough to win the game, but we didn’t pull it out for one reason or another,” Jacobson said. “It’s stuff we just have to correct going forward. We need to hold each other accountable and create a culture that that’s not acceptable.”
For Hyndman, the job now becomes fixing the leaky defense in the offseason and, judging by this performance, there could be changes this winter.
“We were looking at a couple players quite seriously trying to make some decisions on option years,” he said, “and I think those decisions might be a little clearer.”