The Hoops began the season practically on fire. Balls were finding the back of the net, and points were being picked up seemingly week in and week out. It was more of an anomaly if a win and three points wasn't the end result. But things fizzled and that red hot start the FC Dallas rode for the first two months of the season has completely cooled off. Now fans (myself included) are just relieved to see Dallas put a shot on goal, much less score one.
And while the past two months has been anything short of brutal, there are some positives to take into consideration. For one thing, as horrible Dallas have been in June and July, no one else in the league has faired much better in terms of the standings. A quick look at the standings shows that Dallas is just 3 points off from second place in the West. And with five of their remaining games against Western Conference teams, the chances for the playoffs are still in Dallas' hands.
Here's a brief summary of what's left for Dallas' season:
9/7 - Vancouver Whitecaps (H)
9/14 - Colorado Rapids (A)
9/22 - NY Red Bulls (A)
9/29 - Columbus Crew (H)
10/5 - Real Salt Lake (A)
10/12 - Chicago Fire (H)
10/19 - Seattle Sounders (H)
10/26 - SJ Earthquakes (A)
That is 4 Home games and 4 Away games. A total of 24 points to be had, should FCD so desire them. But the two biggest games actually come in successive weeks starting next weekend against Vancouver (7th place, 36 points) followed by Colorado ( 3rd place, 39 points). Needless to say, six points here is vital for any playoff chance. Anything less then the away games against Real Salt Lake, San Jose and the home game against Seattle become must wins.
And for some perspective of Hyndman's history with the team: (Dallas currently has 37 points, sitting just outside of a playoff spot due to a tiebreaker with Seattle.)
2008: 36 points (5th, DNQ)
2009: 39 points (7th, DNQ)
2010: 50 points (3rd, Finals)
2011: 52 points (4th, Wild Card)
2012: 39 points (DNQ)
Dallas wins the next two. Erick going the full 90 over the last three games will do wonders for his fitness. As long as he remains healthy and fit, Erick can provide the bite in the midfield that this team has so badly needed. This will finally free Hyndman to move to the 4-4-2 and at long last get our beloved Kenny Cooper minutes as a striker.