The impressive unbeaten streak is over for FC Dallas. Nine game without a loss in the beginning of the season was nice to talk about but the time to get honest is finally here. Last night's 4-2 loss to the Seattle Sounders FC was certainly a wake up call of some sorts for the club.
But those looking for a silver lining of some sorts can rest easy knowing that after 12 matches, the club only has two defeats on the season, both coming on the road. This one however was without the likes of George John, Andrew Jacobson and David Ferreira on the field.
There is still plenty to take away from this game and while there was plenty of bad, there was also still plenty to be happy with as well.
High line fails. Let's put it out there up front, this was an extremely difficult game for the entire defense. Not just Homegrown rookie London Woodberry. Seattle is an extremely athletic team with Eddie Johnson and Lamar Neagle up front. Add the fact that they are more use to the turf and how it plays than Dallas are here and one could expect some issues in the back on the night when they press forward.
Woodberry didn't have a great night, Schellas Hyndman admitted that much after the game. He also said that it wasn't just him that was sloppy on the night. Hyndman mentioned that in the first half alone the team just wasn't holding the ball well and each time the back four pushed forward, the Sounders were able to use their counter attack approach in the game to perfection.
Seattle scored three of their four goals off counter attacks. Speed on the wings and up front were the result of this and on the Dallas side of things, the entire back four just didn't rise to the challenge. The same can be said about those four in the midfield in front of them.
Perez's red. Hyndman certainly danced around saying whether or not the call changed the game last night as he was more focused on the defensive issues. It did say it was a big momentum killer for the club, which I would say is the more appropriate response. It changed the game for sure but the club did little to respond to it according to Hyndman. He also told me afterwards that it was the first time all game that Seattle actually played as a team and didn't rely on their counter attacks to press forward.
Michel's night. Statically speaking this was his best night of the season. A goal and assist. Damn how about that goal huh? Breathtaking goal that could have, no, should have been a dagger at the Sounders' hearts. Tough break not to make that one count more as the Sounders got the lead back just seconds later.
Still, for Dallas he was the bright spot on the night though I'll say this about his first half, it wasn't great. His service in the first half was lacking on set pieces and he really didn't seem to win a ton of balls until Osvaldo Alonso had left the game with a groin injury. When Jacobson isn't out there he has to be the guy that steps up and wins balls in the midfield. At times he did this and at times he did not.
Road ahead. Let's face it, if this club wants to continue forward as the league's top club, they have to get results away from Frisco. The club did show some heart in the second half to get the two goals and tie the game. And they were even pressing nicely as they hunted for the third goal of the game after Seattle went back on top. Even being a man down they have to show a little more effort and heart though. The composure and emotions got to them on the night and teams will be gunning for this type of outing against Dallas when they come to town now. You can bet the month of June will be full of games just like this if this club doesn't turn things around early on in their next road game.
Silver linings. Like I mentioned above the game was lost without Ferreira, John and Jacobson. But thankfully on the night the teams below Dallas in the Western Conference standings also dropped points. Portland got a draw in Vancouver, Colorado got a draw in San Jose. We'll know more tonight about LA's night in New York and Salt Lake's night against Chivas. Overall, it wasn't the worst weekend to drop a game. They'll return home next weekend against San Jose and likely have those three players back in the lineup. If you want another way to look at their rest, John and Jacobson haven't played any this month. Ferreira only played 55 minutes this month. Those guys are rested and ready to go.