FRISCO, Texas – Through the first five matches of 2013, FC Dallas is off to the best start in franchise history this season. FCD went 4-1-0 in the month of March and is tied for the league lead with 12 points earned.
The club’s previous best start came in 2006, when Dallas went 3-0-2 through the first five games. Despite its undefeated start, the ’06 team earned one less point through its first five than the 2013 team has.
“Obviously it is a good start [to the season],” said veteran midfielder Andrew Jacobson after Saturday’s win over the Revolution. “You want to collect as many points as possible.”
It’s also by far the club’s best start under head coach Schellas Hyndman. Since joining FC Dallas midway through the 2008 season, Hyndman’s teams have earned four points through the first five games in both 2009 and 2010, and seven points from the first five in 2011 and 2012.
What’s the secret to FC Dallas’ early success? Hyndman says the value of team chemistry can’t be underestimated.
“You never know how important team chemistry is until you lose it,” Hyndman said. “We struggled with that the last year and a half. This year, the guys are really playing for each other.”
Those struggles with chemistry Hyndman mentioned resulted in the team signing 13 new players since December of 2012. With that much roster fluctuation, nobody could’ve predicted the squad would be so successful so early.
“Every year is going to be different,” said Jacobson. “Whether it is good or bad; it is just different. This is a real group here. We’ve got everyone pulling for each other and everyone is excited.”
One of those new additions to the group is forward Kenny Cooper, who came back to Dallas after a four-year odyssey that took him to Germany, England and back to MLS with a season each in Portland and New York before returning to his hometown club.
It seems clear the transitions of guys like Cooper (1G, 401MP), Michel (1A, 420MP) and Raul Fernandez (14 saves, 2 SO, 1.25GAA) have been aided by the positive group dynamic.
“It’s a great group of guys from back to front,” said Cooper. “The team is playing really well with a lot of confidence. Obviously, it’s still early but hopefully we can keep this form going.”