With Saturday's match in San Jose marking Schellas Hyndman's final game as FC Dallas manager, here at FCDallas.com we'll be counting down our top 10 list of best moments over the last five and a half seasons that Hyndman has been at the helm leading up to Saturday afternoon's game. Here are moments #7 - #5:
#2 - FC Dallas defeats UNAM Pumas in Mexico City - August 17, 2011
WATCH: FCD wins in Mexico City
Heading into FCD's match against UNAM Pumas in Mexico City, MLS teams were an astounding 0-23-4 historically in competitive games played on Mexican soil. The hex was finally broken as Schellas Hyndman and FC Dallas became the first team to ever defeat a Mexican side in a competitve game on Mexican soil with a 1-0 win at the Estadio Olimpico Universitario.
A cagey and physical deadlock was finally broken in the 66th minute as a long-range shot from Jair Benitez smacked the post before rebounding to Marvin Chavez who slotted the ball into the open net, stunning the Mexico City crowd. FCD, led by Kevin Hartman in goal, held on to ensure the shutout giving Dallas the honor of being the first-ever American team to win on Mexican soil.
"I'll tell you the first man who broke the four-minute mile was a man named Roger Bannister. The next week, I think another six people broke the four-minute mile, because they believed in it," head coach Schellas Hyndman said after the win.
What Schellas said: "It was a fantastic match. It was a very good team in a soccer environment," Hyndman said on Wednesday. "It was culturally important, no MLS team had ever won on Mexican soi,l so it was historic. To beat a good team like Pumas and to be the first MLS team to win on Mexican soil was fantastic and one of the highlights of playing in CONCACAF."
#1 - FC Dallas wins Western Conference Championship - November 14, 2010
WATCH: FCD wins Western Conference
It's not exactly a mystery what the top moment on the list is. Perhaps the proudest day in franchise history, FC Dallas secured what was maybe the most surprising result in MLS playoff history thrashing the LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center 3-0 to win the club's first Western Conference Championship. It would be unfair to call it an upset as there was no question who the best team was with Hyndman's men comprehensively defeating the high-flying Galaxy. As we become farther removed from the game, the win becomes even more monumental as it was the only time that a David Beckham-led Los Angeles Galaxy team, who lost in penalty kicks in 2009 and won MLS Cup in 2011 and 2012, would be defeated in regulation in an MLS playoff game.
In maybe Hyndman's most brilliant move as FC Dallas manager, he surprised everyone starting Atiba Harris as a lone forward, a move that no one saw coming given that Harris was suspended for the previous week's second leg win over Real Salt Lake. The lineup twist turned out to be a master stroke as the young Galaxy back line had no clue how to handle the bruising Dallas attacker, opening up space for all Harris' teammates that was exploited time and again.
FC Dallas took a first-half lead through a 26th minute David Ferreira strike and never looked back. George John and Marvin Chavez tallied in the second half to remove even the slightest bit of doubt as the clock ticked down, booking FCD's first ever trip to MLS Cup. While the following result in Toronto was a heartbraker, this Sunday night in November will always be looked at as Schellas Hyndman's proudest night as manager of FC Dallas.
What Schellas said: “I think so much of coaching is seeing the players every day and it's not just what they don't bring, it's what they do bring," Hyndman said about the decision to start Harris. "I knew Atiba would be a battler. I knew he would be a handful, and if you remember they had two young defenders and I thought that Atiba would be a physical presence for both of those players.
I honestly thought that there would be people as always that would sit back and look at what I do and be like 'what is he doing?' I think it completely surprised them which gave us the element of suprise and I think we were so focused and had a wonderful presentation the night before to put everyone in focus for the game and how important it was. I think that was probably, in my mind, one of the best games I've ever coached FC Dallas in. From the first minute to the 90th minute, every player that played in that field was focused.Tthey were not going to be beaten."