Normally this spot is where I would post the Match Recap for the last FCD game but I just can't bring myself to do it. We all know what happened in the game against Columbus last weekend and I just don't have the heart to relive it.
Coach Schellas Hyndman spoke to MLSSoccer.com's Matt Barbour after practice on Wednesday and said that this team has got to find some accountability moving forward if there is any hope of turning things around at the end of the season.
In its last three matches, FCD’s defense has put in two game-deciding own goals and then allowed an opponent to score more than three goals in a game for the first time all season. Hyndman hinted that there could be personnel changes coming to the unit that was the team’s strength during its early season run of good form.
"Our defense is going to have to take some responsibility and say, ’we can do better’ as a group," Hyndman explained. "All I can do is be a leader and make decisions, but once the game starts, we need players on the field to be leaders."
"When the team doesn’t reach its goals - which is to get to the playoffs - I think everybody should be looked at from the coaches to the players," said Hyndman. "We all have to have a hand in the accountability."
I have to give some credit to Schellas for taking some responsibility himself in the downfall of this team. He is right though in that this defense has GOT to step up its game.
Steve Hunt of The Dallas Morning News spoke with Dan Hunt about many aspects of FCD this past week. Dan spoke about what he thinks needs to improve and what this team needs to step up its game. Dan made a great point about one type of player that the Hoops have been missing.
"In MLS, you do need one of those enforcer type players. I think we all recognize that and a lot of the successful teams over the years have had that person with some bite. I think it’s just bad luck on Peter [Luccin], we were really counting on him, to lose him in the first practice for effectively most of the year. You have to have those type of players in MLS to be disruptive because this is a very fast, very athletic league and the technical and tactical ability of the players has gotten a lot better."
It is true that since Daniel Hernandez left last year this team has lacked a bruiser on the field. It's something that I hadn't thought about but maybe an enforcer is exactly what this team needs. Well that and a midfield.
It wasn't all bad last Sunday night, although mostly it was, as two FCD players made the Castrol Index Top 20 Performers list. Daniel Robertson has the story.
Midfielder Mauro Diaz came in at #4 on the weekly index, the highest such ranking for an FCD player since Blas Perez's week 26 performance against San Jose on August 24.
Forward Blas Perez popped up on the list this week as well with a #15 spot after his first-half goal, his team-leading 11th of the season.
I know it's not much, if any, consolation to Hoops fans but Diaz was brilliant on Sunday and it's nice to see some recognition for the young Argentine.
Daniel also brings us the Week 1 Academy Update as the Baby Hoops teams started their season off last weekend.
Good results for the U18 and U16 teams. It's nice to see some Hoops teams winning.
As Major League Soccer enters it's final month of the regular season Steve Davis at Pro Soccer Talk has the full breakdown of the upcoming month and what teams need to do to get into the playoffs.
FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake: The Red Stripes’ last strands of playoff ambition depend on taking advantage of an RSL team potentially tired and / or dispirited from Tuesday’s huge U.S. Open Cup bummer. It’s a tall order, winning at Rio Tinto. Then again, D.C. United just did it.
Why don't we use the nickname "Red Stripes" more?
The Hoops head into Rio Tinto Stadium tomorrow against a wounded Real Salt Lake. Earlier in the week RSL suffered an embarrassing loss at home in the US Open Cup Final to lowly DC United. The biggest question is how will Real rebound this weekend.
Our own Drew Epperley has his weekly Know Your Enemy breakdown of this weekend's game up at FCDallas.com.
The two clubs have met twice already this season, with each team scoring a victory. Dallas won the first match back in March 2-0, thanks to goals from Fabian Castillo and Jackson. Jason Kreis and RSL responded in their return trip to Frisco in July with a 3-0 win that snapped a long FCD home unbeaten run.
RSL is coming off a tough loss in the midweek to D.C. United in the 2013 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup final. The Claret-and-Cobalt controlled the game outshooting D.C. 19-6, but they were unable to get anything by the United defense on the night.
Kreis’ club is currently tied for the lead in the Western Conference with Seattle at 51 points. They have lost two out of their last three league games.
Again the key to this match, for me, is how RSL responds to the US Open Cup loss. Lets hope they're still frazzled and that FCD can take advantage.
Sam Stejskal at RealSaltLake.com also has up a his Storylines to Watch article previewing this weekends match. He is fully expecting FC Dallas to come out fighting.
Dallas enters Saturday’s match with its playoff hopes hanging by a thread. FCD is currently in eighth-place in the West, five points behind Colorado for the fifth and final playoff spot. The Texas side has just four games remaining in the regular season and will likely need to win at least three of them to have any hope of qualifying for the postseason.
Make no mistake about it: RSL will be facing a desperate Dallas side on Saturday. Expect a lot of scratching and clawing from the Hoops.
I know that FCD fans would be ecstatic to see our team come out "scratching and clawing" but that would mean we played with heart, something lacking over the last three games. I don't mean to be so negative but I've just watched this team struggle so bad lately I don't have much hope. That said, some fight is what FCD will need heading into the Riot. Here's to hoping.....
Here's the link to to MLSSoccer.com's Golazo Match Feed for tomorrow nights showdown. It's always a great source of info for upcoming matches if your into stats.
USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann has delayed the release of the roster for the last Hex games until this weekend but USWNT coach Tom Sermanni did release his roster for the upcoming 3 games of the USWNT this month including a match up against Sermanni's former team Australia on Oct. 20th in San Antonio.
Liviu Bird at Pro Soccer Talk has the look at Americans Abroad this weekend as the roster announcement approaches.
Having already qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the United States’ last two qualifiers, against Jamaica and at Panama, have little important meaning. However, head coach Jürgen Klinsmann will likely use the opportunity to begin figuring out who will be on his squad next summer.
Due to injuries, the coach has delayed announcing his roster until after the weekend games. He can wait to see who is still in form and if anybody unexpectedly plays his way onto the team for a couple games.
Klinsmann has a vast number of Americans playing in other countries at his disposal. Here are a few whom fans on this side of the pond can watch this weekend.
Who would you like to see on the roster for the upcoming games against Jamaica and Panama?
If you were planning on watching some EPL this weekend here's NBC's full broadcast lineup for this weekend thanks to Pro Soccer Talk.
As I don't speak or read Spanish very well what I can gather from this article is that Lionel Messi's new house will look like (what else?) a soccer ball from the top. Here's the artist rendering from ole.com.
Keep your heads up Hoops fans! Get out to a watch party Saturday night and say your prayers as the team makes a last gasp attempt to sneak into the payoffs.