FRISCO, Texas – One look at the standings will tell you all you need to know about FC Dallas' current predicament. The good news, though, is that there appears to be a silver lining.
Earning just 13 points from the first 16 games of the season has left FCD in a tough position, but six of their next nine games come against the four teams sitting between them and an MLS Cup Playoffs spot. The chance to change their conference standing sits directly in front of them starting with Saturday’s tilt vs. Chivas USA (8 pm CT, Fox Sports Southwest and Galavision).
“If you look at the rest of our schedule, I think it’s probably all Western Conference teams and this is the way the schedule has been designed,” head coach Schellas Hyndman told reporters on Friday. “It’s really a six-point swing, because you’re getting three and you’re taking away three from them.”
With any margin for error having evaporated in their current 10-game winless run, nothing less than a win is acceptable against a Chivas USA side that sits five points above FCD. For Dallas to get that win, they’ll have to shut down an attack revitalized by the addition of Juan Agudelo.
“What they were able to do by getting Agudelo is get a good upcoming player, a goalscorer and somebody who brings the speed to stretch the defense,” said Hyndman of the Chivas USA forward. “I don’t think [Alejandro] Moreno or [Juan Pablo] Ángel could do that so it was really a good tactical move on their part.”
For a coach and a team that tends to focus on the process rather than results, the process has clearly improved in the past month of training, but now the results must come.
“I think we’re getting to the point in the season where we really need to get results,” defender Zach Loyd said. “We keep dropping in the standings with less and less games to make up points, so I think with the three-game home stretch here, we’re shooting for nine points.”