It was a record tying, celebratory night as Dallas scored a comprehensive 3-0 victory at Pizza Hut Park in a game that FCD dominated from start to finish to keep the Brimstone Cup in Dallas for a ninth straight season.
I thought they had an excellent game, a good performance...we keep talking about all the players we're missing, and then tonight you couldn't tell...the other thing is we just won the Brimstone Cup again so it stays in our trophy case and that was a big thing we talked about this week...What a great night for FC Dallas
Dallas started the scoring early as Kwame Watson-Siriboe misplayed a Dario Sala kick to free Milton Rodriguez who lashed home a chance that he made look much easier than it was.
From there, the red and white pretty much cruised against a Chicago team that returned to its form offensively that's seen them score in one of their last six games. Marvin Chavez rewarded Schellas Hyndman's decision to start him over Brek Shea with a deflected goal right after halftime while Jeff Cunningham drew and scored a penalty kick to tie Jaime Moreno's all-time MLS goal scoring record of 132.
The feeling in the locker room after the game was a little bit of relief and a lot of excitement. Clearly the unbeaten streak is nice, but our goal from the day one of the pre-season was to make the playoffs. We knew we were a good team and we had enough talented players to get there and it's obviously shown...we talked about all week we want to clinch a playoff spot in front of our own fans...to clinch in front of our fans especially winning the Brimstone Cup is certainly a great feeling and one that I think our fans will cherish especially because we haven't been to the playoffs in a couple of years and everyone's looking forward to it. It's going to be an exciting atmosphere and we're going to get a really good crowd no matter who we play.
-Last night was the culmination of two years of very hard work for Schellas Hyndman and he deserves all the praise this week. On October 2, 2008, FC Dallas fell out of playoff contention with a disappointing 1-1 draw at home against a bad San Jose team in front of a lifeless crowd announced around 7,000 but was probably about half that. Schellas Hyndman was a coach who had yet to gain his locker room and was criticized intensely. On October 2, 2010, Hyndman sits as the favorite for MLS Coach of the Year with harmony in the locker room, a growing fan base in the stands and a team challenging for the Supporter's Shield full of young exciting talent mixed with veteran depth. I'll have a lot more thoughts about the season later this week, but right now everyone should raise a glass to coach Hyndman because his hard work and unshakable self-belief has put FC Dallas in the position they're in today.
We've worked so hard in the last two years to be in this position to clinch a playoff spot. And I've lost a lot of sleep thinking about things, it's been very stressful, things didn't go very well in the beginning.
Many of you continued to support me which I'm always grateful for but until you get the right players on the field that are committed to the team's objectives and committed to each other these things won't happen. I think right now it's all about the team.
The team chemistry and the hard work they put in for each other. How many teams around the league can lose four to five starters and still find ways of getting points. You remember the word I always use was we want to develop a culture of winning and I think we have that now
The rest of the game thoughts after a 3-0 win and more after the jump
-Milton Rodriguez is really rounding into form and growing in confidence every game. That finish last night was made to look a hell of a lot easier than it was, and he hit that shot like a forward who really trusts himself right now. Great goal last night
-Chavez starting ahead of Brek Shea shows he's earned Schellas Hyndman's trust. It's taken a full season, but Marvin Chavez is finally up to speed in MLS and should be a huge contributor to this team in the future. Just as important as his on-field exploits, Chavez is one of the happy-go-lucky leaders of the spanish speaking players in practice and the locker room. It's going to be very interesting with Shea going to the national team after next week's game to see if Chavez remains in the starting lineup. He's certainly made Hyndman's decision very difficult with his play...2 goals in 2 games for el hijo del viento
-Dario didn't have a lot to do last night, but made the plays when he had to. Chicago's attack was flat awful, mostly due to Dallas' pressure, leaving Dario without many saves to make, but he was off his line quickly on Nyarko's chance in the first half to keep the game scoreless. First shutout of the season for Dario and second win in a row. Was one of my favorite moments of the season to see him take the Brimstone Cup to the Supporter's Section which you can see video of on my Qik page
-What more can be said about Ferreira? The guy finishes the game with just one assist, but he had a big hand in all three goals, with a play on the Sala kick as well as a world class ball to Cunningham before he drew the penalty. His late season push is putting him squarely in the league MVP consideration. If he was with a sexier team in the league, it wouldn't be a contest.
-You know it's been a great game when Jeff Cunningham ties the MLS scoring record and it isn't even the top story. Jeff has found his role with this team and is as good of a front running forward as we have in the league. Three game scoring streak for Jeff, let's see him break the record next Saturday and finally talk to the media again. Perhaps his contract will need to be renegotiated as he's a pretty expensive substitute, but he's earned another year in Dallas. Jeff is averaging a goal ever 121 minutes this season, not too far off his Golden Boot winning season of last year in which he averaged a goal every 112 minutes.
-It was an announced attendance of just over 10,600, but it felt much higher than that. Attendance isn't where we all want it to be yet, but the fan base for the team is definitely growing and is way more vocal than in the past. P.S. Whoever does that chant on the west side after FCD scores...brilliant. Keep it up.
-Three games to play and if Chivas can hold Los Angeles to a draw tonight, 9 points would see FC Dallas lift the Supporter's Shield. At this point does anyone really doubt this team will at least fight for the trophy until the end?