Well that wasn't pretty....FC Dallas left San Jose with a point that on paper you'd probably be happy to go home with, but in reality it feels like two dropped points against a team that seemed more intent on injuring David Ferreira than playing attractive soccer.
-It's tough to take a whole lot from this game given the disjointed, unorganized nature of the match. Neither team was able to hit their stride in any capacity and the game suffered because of it. If I had paid money to watch that, I would've gone home very unhappy. You usually expect the home team to try and play attractive soccer to win a game, but it seemed from the outset that San Jose went into this game looking for a point, though I guess that says something about the reputation of Dallas around the league now.
-On the other hand, kudos to the Quakes for finding a way to effectively stop David Ferreira and Brek Shea, even if it was to the detriment of the game. They figured out that the ref wasn't going to call anything and took advantage to shut down Dallas' two best attacking players like almost no team has been able to do this season.
-If the league wants to find out why scoring is down so drastically, they need to look squarely in the mirror and how they evaluate their officials. Whether it's David Ferreira, Guillermo Barros Schellotto, Freddie Ljungberg or Dwayne DeRosario, the league has to look at how their best players are protected. Whether you're watching the EPL, NBA, NFL or NHL, the best players are protected to some extent as it's best for the league entertainment value. The fact is, right now if your name isn't Landon Donovan and you're an elite MLS attacking player you're going to get kicked, pulled and elbowed out of the game and I don't blame other teams for doing it if the ref isn't dishing out cards for dirty play.
More game thoughts and link roundup after the jump
-It's truly amazing how the FC Dallas defense has been transformed. Granted San Jose isn't the best attacking team in the league, but they hung two on Houston at Robertson Stadium a week ago so huge props go out to Zach Loyd, Jackson, Heath Pearce, Jair Benitez and Kyle Davies for pitching yet another shutout. The best teams in MLS have quality depth and if your team can shutout an opponent on the road with your #3-5 center backs you've got quality depth.
-For this team to go from a very good to a truly great team next season, FC Dallas has to sign a game-changing forward. Jeff Cunningham is great depth off the bench and maybe with a full off-season in Dallas Milton Rodriguez will be a useful player, but those guys are just too easy for defenses to stop as a single forward. San Jose could afford to mark David Ferreira and Brek Shea all over the field because they were just fine forcing Cunningham to be the one who beats them. There have been rumblings all season that Juan Pablo Angel is out of New York at the end of the season, so maybe he will be available.
-It's tough to ever be disappointed with a road point, but it just feels like this is two points that will be missed in a few weeks and possibly the difference between going into a place like Salt Lake or LA needing a win or a draw to finish at the top.
LAG 47 points 24 Games Played
CLB 44 points 24 Games Played
RSL 44 points 24 Games Played
FCD 41 points 23 Games Played
Mark Emmons writes for the Dallas Morning News that FCD wasn't playing their best but still got a point.
But for the most part, Hartman had a relatively easy night. He made two saves as he recorded his ninth shutout of the season.
"I thought we were a smidgen away from a couple of scoring opportunities," Hartman said. "But we didn't want to do something that would give a game away on the road. Maybe if we were playing at home, we wouldn't have had so many players back defensively at the end."
Jonah Freedman writes for MLSSoccer.com about FC Dallas and it's great team chemistry.
"We went into this game without our two [regular] center backs," Hyndman said. "We’re in a situation where we’re putting a lot of band-aids on our lineup and getting great results from the players."
That ability all season long of FC Dallas to slot in young players and seldom-used substitutes into key roles in key moments has created a team chemistry that even 14-year veteran Hartman says is a rare thing.
Said Hyndman, "You don’t get these kinds of things done without the team chemistry."
Isaiah Guzman's gamer for the San Jose Mercury News with an interesting quote from Frank Yallop.
"I liked the demeanor tonight," Quakes coach Frank Yallop said. "I thought we looked like a team that was confident, and I thought we looked like a team that didn't really worry about the opposition."
In a game that saw referee Ricardo Salazar turn a blind eye to a lot of physical play, San Jose limited the Hoops to one shot on goal on the night and raised their record to 9-7-6, good for 33 points and a five point advantage in the chase for the last playoff spot.
The tie stretched FC Dallas’ unbeaten streak to a club record 14 games, as the Hoops earned their fourth consecutive clean sheet. The Hoops 10-2-11 record is currently fourth best in the league
So FCD welcomes New York to town on Thursday in what is probably the biggest home game for this team since the Houston playoff series in 2007 as Dallas can pull even with RSL with 3 points. It should be a very nice crowd and something to look forward to all week.