FRISCO – Emotional intelligence.
It’s one of head coach Schellas Hyndman’s favorite phrases, and it’s one he’s using as FC Dallas prepares to play host to the Houston Dynamo this Sunday (12 p.m. CT on ESPN2).
A depleted FCD roster had drawn even, 1-1, in the second half with Houston in last year’s Texas Derby. FCD had momentum on its side when four minutes after Jackson’s game-tying goal, Jair Benitez was given a red card.
FCD was forced to play down a man for nearly a half hour and eventually conceded the winning goal from Houston for a 2-1 loss.
It’s a scenario Hyndman has discussed with his players ahead of Sunday’s lone meeting between the Texas rivals in 2013.
“You as players have to understand if you don’t control your emotions you’re really hurting this team,” Hyndman said.
Last year’s red card is just one of multiple incidents throughout the history of the Texas Derby.
Perhaps there’s no more notorious example than in 2007, when Houston’s Ricardo Clark violently kicked FC Dallas player Carlos Ruiz in the waning minutes of the match. Clark was issued a red card and subsequently suspended nine matches and fined $10,000.
Keeping cool and sticking to the game plan is what Hyndman wants his players to do on Sunday – no matter how intense it might get.
“It does become a physical game,” Hyndman said. “It does become a hot game.”