I know this probably won't be the last time we ask this sort of question over the final month of the regular season for FC Dallas. Sure, with four games left the club isn't completely eliminated from playoff contention but winning all four matches is most likely the best way to reach the post season.
But with the way this season has gone for the rest of the league, we really can't count anyone out until it is official.
Last month, we said the club needed to get things rolling, winning at least the two home games and finding a point somewhere on the road. Unfortunately as we all know by now, they earned a win in the first game of the month of Vancouver but failed to pick up any point in the remaining three games.
Real Salt Lake (October 5, 8pm, away)
I had two trains of thought about this game going into last night's US Open Cup game for RSL. One, had RSL won the match, there was a chance they'd have a USOC hangover and would be vulnerable in this one. The other thought was that had they lost the game (which we know they did now), that they'd take their frustrations out on FCD.
So, yeah, I'm guessing we may still see some hangover effect out of RSL but this team is still good enough to beat Dallas. They've already proven that once this year.
Chicago Fire (October 12, 7:30pm, home)
The lone meeting of the two Brimstone Cup rivals. The Fire are in a similar situation as Dallas is at the moment, fighting for their playoff lives. They struggled early on this season, looking like one of the league's worst clubs until they made a couple deals in May. Their summer was good but the last month or so has been rather dreadful to watch. We're going to see two absolutely desperate teams in this one.
Seattle Sounders FC (October 19, 1:30pm, home)
The Sounders have owned Dallas this season but both of those matches were in Seattle. The Sounders have scored seven goals on Dallas this season and have done so without little effort too. They come to Dallas for a late season battle that will be on NBC, yes, over the air NBC. It is a big one for the club too as it will likely be the real debut of Toyota Stadium to the world (consider it a grand re-opening if you will).
San Jose Earthquakes (October 26, 4:30pm, away)
A game that will likely mean very little in the end if things continue to go the way that they are heading. San Jose is still technically in the playoff hunt but I'd imagine by this point they'll be eliminated. Could this be the final game in the Schellas Hyndman era? All signs at the moment point to a big fat yes.
Normally in past months we'd give you a number that the club should get or one we'd like them to get. But right now, I'm not sure what the point total will actually be from this month. I could see them get anywhere between two and nine points.
It will come down to the players more than Hyndman in the final month for me. Which players quit early on the season and which ones fight until the bitter end will tell the story about where things could truly be going with this group. We know changes are going to happen once this season is over, it will just be a matter of if we're talking about a team that barely managed to reach the playoffs or one that had such a hot start before stumbling in the final five months of the season.