FC Dallas loses in heartbreaking fashion to the Colorado Rapids last night 2-1 after extra time. A brilliant first half goal from David Ferriera sent FC Dallas to the locker room with the lead and just 45 minutes from their first championship, but a scrappy goal from Conor Casey earned Colorado 30 minutes of extra time. Colorado would go ahead by way of a George John own goal and survived a Dallas onslaught to win their first MLS Cup championship. This is a tough one to write...
Falling at the final hurdle. In a season of exorcising demons, FCD couldn't get over that final hurdle against Colorado. We've seen this story before in 2005 and 2006...blowing 1 goal leads to the Rapids in the second half of playoff series to lose after extra time. It really is remarkable how this keeps happening to Dallas against Colorado.
If MLS wants to make their games more appealing to the masses they have to improve the refereeing. It just seemed like Toledo was not going to send anyone off or give a penalty yesterday and credit to Colorado for figuring that out. In any normal MLS game, I think Conor Casey would have been sent off, but Toledo did not ref this like a normal game. When you don't hand out yellow cards early, the game gets chippy and play suffers. By no means am I blaming any of the result on the referees, but I've asked many players in the last year or two what the biggest difference between MLS and either their college or international league they came from was and 90% of them say the physicality and refereeing of the league.
I'm done with Cunningham. I appreciate everything he's done for Dallas, but he had his chances in extra time and did nothing with them. FCD can find someone to do his job at a much lower price.
More observations after the jump
Gutted for George John. I'm generally not one that feels a whole lot of sympathy for players, but man how can you not feel for George John. The guy played his heart out and the own goal was a fluke that would have happened to any player. Except for an unreal save by Pickens that should've won him game MVP, John would have redeemed himself as well. I feel absolutely fine with him as the starting center back for FCD for the next 5 years.
Dax McCarty became a leader on this team through the playoffs. If there's one positive I'm taking from all this, other than winning the Western Conference and qualifying for Champions League, it's the transformation I've seen out of Dax McCarty. If he wasn't a leader on the team before, he is now. There was one player on FC Dallas who stuck around to watch the Colorado celebration and it was Dax.
How does Casey Conor win MVP? I mean seriously who votes on this stuff. The dude hacks it up for 120 minutes earning at least six fouls I can remember, gets a lucky bounce and wins MVP? Give me a break, I would've given it to Larentowicz or Pickens.
Everyone on FCD, fans included should keep their heads held high. Dallas went down playing the same game that got them there. It hurts right now, believe me I was inconsolable last night(and many were worse than me), but in a month we'll be able to reflect on this season and what an overwhelming success it was. When you have a foundation like Dallas does right down the center of the park and a solid, young defense you're going to be good for years to come. All that's left is to pick and choose the right players at forward and groom a replacement for Daniel Hernandez.
Another travel blog and what's coming up at Big D Soccer later today/tomorrow.