It really is becoming Deja Vu all over again for FC Dallas these days. FC Dallas took a first half lead through a Bryan Leyva corner for the second straight game with rookie Matt Hedges on the spot to head in the rebound from Blas Perez' header, but just minutes later Sebastian Grazzini unleashed a fantastic shot from outside the box to equalize.
Something else that's becoming a trend is a player coming off for injury by halftime and that happened again with George John subbed out at the break due to precaution after taking a hard hit in the first half. It looked like FCD got the break they desperately needed with Bruno Guarda earning FC Dallas a second half penalty, but Perez' shot was saved well by Sean Johnson.
With their #4 and #5 option at center back, FCD had a defensive mixup allowing Marco Pappa to sneak in and get fouled by Zach Loyd inside the box. On the ensuing penalty, Grazzini's shot was stopped by Kevin Hartman, but Pappa was there for the rebound and the Fire took a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Replays showed Pappa to be in well before the kick, along with another FC Dallas player, meaning the kick should've been retaken but it wasn't and the winless streak goes to eight games. Thoughts:
Snakebit There's just no other way to put it. This team is snakebit right now. I've never seen such an unbelievable run of injuries, suspensions, mental mistakes and just overall bad luck. It's not an excuse, the team deserves to be criticized because many of the problems are self-inflicted but man you expect the ball to bounce your way at least a few times over an eight game span. I know it's a tired story, but does FCD lose this game if George John is in? Does that penalty happen if George is in the game?
The most frustrating aspect I've been around long enough to see some bad teams in Dallas. When players like Eric Quill or Daniel Torres were starting games for this thing, you tempered your expectations because you knew not to expect that much. The problem is that this isn't a bad team and this isn't a team that seems to not be giving 100% effort. I mean what can you honestly look at last night and change right now? Players have to play smarter, but many of these guys are players you've taken to the dance before and they've produced so what can you do?
Is there time? For me that's the biggest question. When things shake out with the games in hand, FC Dallas is likely the bottom team in the West after 14 games. It's unbelievably disappointing, but you've got Brek Shea, Fabian Castillo, David Ferreira, Ricardo Villar, and Ugo Ihemelu that should be back within the next three MLS games. So the question becomes, is there time? FC Dallas sits three points behind Colorado for the 5th playoff spot in the west right now with the Rapids holding two games in hand. You're realistically looking at having to make up 7-9 points in the last 17 games of the season. If Arsenal did it, FC Dallas can too.
The biggest bright spot for me The minutes Matt Hedges and Bryan Leyva are getting right now will be very significant in the future. These are two guys making big impacts in games before they've even made five starts in the league. Hedges was FCD's best player last night in his third league start while Leyva has been directly involved in FC Dallas goals in three of his four starts in the league. These things may not pay off now, but will in 2013 and beyond.
Scattershooting Scott Sealy has to show more when you come into the game as the second forward with your team down a goal...The right call on the PK should have been to retake it. It was a botched call, but let's not act like that lost the game, it ignores the bigger problems...definitely still believe...Jacobson had another good game...Blas was pretty awful last night...Could be worse, could be the Galaxy.