Say what you will about the way things went down last night in San Jose for FC Dallas, this team has some serious heart in them.
Being down 2-0 on the road to the league's best club is never easy and FC Dallas found a way to get back in the game with a late goal from Hernan Pertuz. Dallas nearly had a chance to leave the Bay Area with a point but a penalty kick miss from Jair Benitez did them in.
Head coach Schellas Hyndman shoulders all the blame for the loss - particularly with the decision to let Benitez take the kick of someone else on the field.
"You know Brek [Shea] usually takes them, so does David Ferreira and Daniel Hernandez has taken them," said Hyndman. "But for us at the moment after subbing Shea and Ferreira off, it was, ‘Who can take it?' We had three guys in mind and looking back on it, I probably should have gone with one of the other two."
Who were the other two? That's a question FC Dallas fans will continue to debate all day and likely half of tomorrow before the focus shifts to the Portland Timbers.
In my mind Loyd was probably one of the guys that should have taken the kick of Benitez. And given the group of players on the field at that moment, Jackson Goncalves was the other.
Hyndman also probably would have been wiser with his substation selection on the night. Subbing in James Marcelin in extra time instead of a more offensive player like Bryan Leyva or Ricardo Villar had some folks scratching their heads.
I won't even go into the mess with Brek Shea - and his lack of well...happiness - in last night's effort. Sometimes a kid like that just needs a game that frustrates him so much to turn his season around. He didn't handle it well - it is as simple as that.
Overall the result while disappointing showed plenty of promise. Julian de Guzman made his debut and Ferreira once again showed his worth on the field for the 80-or-so minutes that he put in. Dallas once again found ways to frustrate the MLS leading scorer Chris Wondolowski.
"The guys keep showing up and we keep fighting to the last whistle," said Loyd on the club's performance. "I don't think there has been a game this year where we haven't fought to the last whistle. It shows a lot of character from the guys and hopefully going forward, we get results. We were unlucky not to get a result tonight."
For those that need some silver lining to hang your hats on this morning, this was the first loss for FC Dallas in five games - or better yet in a month.
The club returns home for an important home stand against Portland and the LA Galaxy to finish out the month of July. That is six big points that Dallas needs to remain in the hunt out West for the fifth and final playoff spot.