They might be one of two winless clubs in MLS, but despite a 0-1-4 start, FC Dallas remains confident that they are about to shake their offensive doldrums and start winning games.
Their latest draw came on Saturday at New England where despite having 22 shots, FCD managed to find the back of the net just once off an Atiba Harris header from a free kick in the second half.
Despite their lack of precision in the final third, FCD midfielder Dax McCarty, who assisted on Harris’ second tally of 2010 with a well-placed free kick, feels he and his teammates continue to like how they’re playing.
“I would say it’s like a quiet confidence,” McCarty said after training on Monday. “There’s a little bit of anxiousness going around the team of when we’re going to get that first win. We just haven’t been able to get over that final hurdle of finishing teams off. It’s a little bit of frustration mixed in but at the same time, we’re a confident bunch.”
While he and the rest of FCD can take some solace in knowing they have played well in each and every game, the fifth-year midfielder knows that will only take them so far.
“We know what we have and how good of a team we are,” McCarty said. “Now it’s just a matter of going out there and getting the results that we need to get us points because you don’t get any points for playing good soccer. You get points for victories, so that’s what we need to do.”
Head coach Schellas Hyndman agrees with the term ‘quiet confidence’ but he also points out the key missing ingredient in the results earned by the squad in 2010.
“This team has high expectations as the coaching staff, the owners and the fans do because they saw what we did last year,” the FCD coach said. “I think that we’re an even better team than we were last year. One key difference is we had a very hot Jeff Cunningham. Everything he shot was on frame, deflected in or scored. Right now, he’s having a difficult time finding it. So when you change that one little part, what are the two most important parts of the game? Scoring goals and not giving up goals. We need to try to get that Jeff Cunningham back.”
And despite a disappointing draw with the Revolution in their last match, Hyndman still manages to find plenty of positives from his club’s showing at Gillette Stadium.
“We played very well. We moved the ball well,” he said. “I thought we defended very well and we kept our composure.”
However, the FCD coach also realizes that his club’s current record boils down to one pretty simple bottom line.
“It comes down to execution and execution is when you have a scoring opportunity and you execute. Execution is when you have a knockdown ball and you put it on the frame and score,” Hyndman said.
He also buys into the statement that his team has done a good job of beating themselves in their first five games. Case in point was the mental gaffe that FCD goalkeeper Dario Sala had four minutes before halftime that allowed the Revs to score their only goal of the night.
“I read somewhere that we need to stop beating ourselves and I thought that was a perfect statement,” Hyndman said. “We seem to be our greatest enemy right now. I don’t think there’s been a game that either we didn’t create opportunities or we didn’t possess the majority of the game only to come up trying to tie at the end. A lot of frustration right now with the players and coaching staff because we all know we have the talent, we all know we’re playing well but we’re not scoring.”