Time for us to begin breaking down the loss to the Chicago Fire. Up first are some highlights, stats, and quotes from last night's game.
FC Dallas - Chris Seitz, Jair Benitez (Kellyn Acosta 73), Matt Hedges, Stephen Keel, Zach Loyd, Andrew Jacobson, Michel (Ramon Nunez 46), Fabian Castillo, Mauro Diaz (Kenny Cooper 12), David Ferreira, Jackson.
TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Fabian Castillo 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Fabian Castillo 3); FOULS: 9 (Andrew Jacobson 4); OFFSIDES: 5 (Kenny Cooper 3); CORNER KICKS: 5 (David Ferreira 4); SAVES: 5 (Chris Seitz 5).
Chicago Fire - Sean Johnson, Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Bakary Soumare, Gonzalo Segares, Alex, Jeff Larentowicz, Dilly Duka (Wells Thompson 68), Patrick Nyarko (Daniel Paladini 80), Mike Magee (Logan Pause 82), Juan Luis Anangono.
TOTAL SHOTS: 18 (Mike Magee 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Mike Magee 3); FOULS: 13 (Gonzalo Segares 4); OFFSIDES: 1 (Juan Luis Anangono 1); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Mike Magee 6); SAVES: 3 (Sean Johnson 3).
DAL - Jackson (caution) 22
DAL - Fabian Castillo (caution) 84
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee's Assistants: Brian Poeschel, Brian Dunn
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Weather: Cloudy, 75 degrees
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman
I thought they outplayed us in the first half. They seemed to be a little bit more aggressive going for tackles, delaying the game and stopping us from playing. They all seemed to be on the same page. They were a very good team to play against. The second half we changed things up a little bit. It affected us when Mauro (Diaz) got hurt. We put Kenny (Cooper) on the field. We put Ramon (Nunez) in and took Michel out so we could have a little more passing, a little bit more creative play, and at the end, we went three in the back, which I thought helped us a lot. The pressure was there and at the end we had a couple of good chances to tie the game, but in reality, it's a disappointing ending for us.
On George John being out for the game...
He said his knee was hurting and we kept him out of practice the last couple of days and yesterday we took him through a run and he said he didn't think he could go.
On injury status of Mauro Diaz...
I think they'll do an MRI and we will look at it. We'll just have to wait and see.
On not making the playoffs...
We had such a wonderful start, one of the best starts in the history of the franchise, and then things just didn't click for us. We were scoring a lot of goals early, a lot of them on set pieces and then when things started really getting difficult, we kind of took our foot off the pedal. We just got a little bit complacent. I know it's a great frustration for the coaching staff. It's a great frustration for everyone who works here at FC Dallas. It's a great frustration for the fans. But, I think it's probably the greatest frustration to the players themselves. They never gave up.
On what he told the team in the locker room...
What I said to them is we're all disappointed. We didn't play well in the first half, which is a bit confusing for us because we're at home. We should be comfortable. We should put the pressure on the opponents. I know that tonight they gave their best and sometimes it just doesn't work out for you. They're very disappointed. The expectation was high for this year, especially when we were having a good run. I said to them the reality is we needed to win the next three games to have a shot at the playoffs, and that's if everything bounced right for us. I don't think we've won three games in the last 20. So, the reality is it was going to be hard. We've dug a big hole for ourselves and they had tremendous pressure on them.
On Kenny Cooper scoring three goals in the last two games...
Kenny was brought here because he's a good goal scorer, but he hit a run of bad form. It's a normal thing strikers go through and you either play them in that bad form or you give them a chance to improve it in practice. He's worked awfully hard to get better. There was an injury today and he was the player we wanted to get on the field, hoping he would find the back of the net, which he did. It's not really anything we're doing; I think it's more what he's doing. Belief is something only you can do. Confidence is something you do. He's built his confidence back.
FC Dallas midfielder Andrew Jacobson
General thoughts on the match...
They came out and pressed us, and we couldn't deal with the pressure. We couldn't play out of it. We pressed them and they played through it. In the end we pushed and we got two, but they weren't going to lose that game.
Everyone came in today wanting to win. You could look in the eyes of every player. We wanted to win this game.
There were a couple of goals we shouldn't have given up. It wasn't them breaking us down, but there were a few mental lapses and all of the sudden we were in a big hole, pushing our way out, which kind of sums up how it's been.
FC Dallas defender Zach Loyd
General thoughts in the match...
It's frustrating to have started off the year so well, with our guys putting in a lot of work. Tonight I thought that our guys were still working hard. Chicago's second goal was unfortunate, as it bounced off of [Mike] Magee.
We showed really good character trying to come back and we really pushed to try to get two more goals. It's unfortunate that the season has to end like this, but we have two more games and I expect everyone to come out and play hard. We still have two more games to come out and play well for our fans, so hopefully we come out and do that.
I thought the mentality was very good today. Warm-ups were very good. It's unfortunate that we gave up two early goals. Trying to come back from two down, knowing we have to get three.
The guys showed a lot of resilience to get two goals not only for our fans, but for ourselves. It's not fun coming here and getting beat 3-0 in front of the home fans, so I was really proud that we kept pushing. I know we came up short, but I was happy that the guys fought hard and at least brought it with them.
FC Dallas forward Kenny Cooper
On scoring two goals as the team tried to come back...
I think you've got to always believe and I think we all did and we still had time left. We've shown already this year that we're capable of getting late goals. We've shown great character throughout the season and the team showed it again today. In the end, we just fell a little bit short.
On importance of finishing the season strong...
We all have a lot of pride and we want to represent each other, the club and our families well. I think everyone will go out there and give our best these last two games and be determined to finish this season right.