Already we only have seven home games left, and have played through more than half of our total amount of home games. In terms of Points Per Game, FC Dallas still sits outside the last playoff spot, here's to crossing our fingers that we'll have more than just 7 home games and we bring a couple of playoff games to town. From red cards, to new rules for fans, and the roller coaster of form on the pitch I'll hit some highlights from my (almost) weekly posts.
The Honeymoon (first 3 home games)
FC Dallas definitely came out with a bang despite our worries with a weird pre-season and a number of roster moves that could've affected team chemistry. FC Dallas gave the fans a show the first 3 games and the crowds responded with appreciation by growing and bringing more people in. It makes sense though, winning should bring the crowds. We went head over heels for the play from Mauro Diaz, our wingers were making good plays when not wasteful, and 3 points every game was giving everyone a feel-good feeling every game. Smiles all around the stadium constantly, with the home crowds getting into the chants and attempts at Mexican waves which sometimes come off successfully.
Montreal Impact game was an introduction to the world of Mauro. That free kick is still in my memory seeing it live from my seat, just an absolutely incredibly struck free kick that sent the crowd into a frenzy. I believe I dropped my glasses onto the ground and almost crushed them but was too much in crazy-mode to give a hoot. Against Chivas USA we had Mauro's beautifully weighted pass to Watson and he rounded Kennedy for his first goal of the season. Seeing the speed of Watson live is something you guys have to see if y'all haven't yet. Dude's been taught by Bolt man. The 3rd home game was of course interesting with the double red card to Watson and Jewsbury? Can't remember the Timber player, but the sending offs definitely stole the headlines of this game that FC Dallas duly took care of.
Trials and Tribulations (and tears...next 5 home games)
If there ever was a more depressing stretch of games to go to, save for the Toronto game, it was this stretch of games. So reminiscent of the collapse of last year. Other fans, along with mlssoccer.com, definitely didn't need help reminding us over and over again. Red cards, injuries to key players, and heart breaking losses made these 5 games hard to watch from the east stand.
Dempsey came to town and gave our John-less defense a serious whooping that I can unfortunately still remember. Bradley followed but just walked around the pitch while Hedges got his first of the season in a man of the match performance to give Dallas a glimmer of hope. Good number of fans should remember that game for how unremarkable Bradley was, and how he darted straight for the visitors' bus after the game ignoring those of us hoping to at least get a photo-op.
Henry & company came to town for FCD's only early-afternoon game and gave the crowd a nice tan to go with our frowny faces. Unbelievably hot during the game, and another red card meant that Dallas was doomed to another loss at home. But we made the most of it over here, booing players of choice in both halves after FCD was reduced to 10 men. Kosuke Kimura and Eric Alexander...us on the east don't take to kindly to you two... Chivas came back and stole a point, but this game should be remembered by the fact that it was the first game that the new Dallas Beer Garden 'No More Showers' rule went into effect. Loss of points AND new rules? A day to forget to say the least.
San Jose Earthquakes came over for a night and proceeded to put Pareja's men in an even deeper hole. Benitez couldn't beat the first man in any of the corners, and I failed to attend this home game. My stress levels might've been the main beneficiary from this game.
The Re-kindling (Last 3 home games)
These most recent games have helped in the after-math of the trials and tribulations suffered in the previous few games. Players returning from injuries, Pareja's tactics taking hold, and freaking red cards staying in the refs' pockets meant that the home crowd was starting to see some of that early-season domination come back to life.
Pareja's first encounter with his old Colorado team was one to savor, although some good play from Klute and Hill on the wing had the home side worried. Deflections helped the folks head home with a long over-due smile and finally a win. Didn't write and article for this game, but the San Antonio game was spectacular and was great to watch from the West side. Our speedy Colombians ran past the defense of the NASL side and scored 2 pacey goals to put us through to the quarter-finals of the Open Cup in front of a subdued and small crowd. The Union then came to celebrate the 4th of July and made the night even better by giving us all 3 points. Akindele converted a sublime volley for the memory-books and Frisco gave an amazing fireworks show and...well here we are in the present day.
A fun roller-coaster so far, who's betting we get more than just 7 home games before we're done for the year? It's been a long season, any guys from the East stands wanna share their favorite memories so far that I might've missed?