Let's just state the obvious right off the bat, September will certainly be a month to forget for FC Dallas and their fans. From poor play on the field, to upsetting distractions off the field, this month has been brutal in many ways. Throw away the Tigres friendly, because we know that game meant nothing, Dallas went 0-5-1 in the month of September.
But a silver lining in all of it, that month is over. Done. Finished. Time to move on to the final month of the season, October.
Only five games on the slate for the final month, four regular season games and one CCL match. Three games on the road with two home matches sandwiched in the middle.
(Read on to see what FCD has left)
Major League Soccer schedule: 4 games, 1 home and 3 away
Colorado Rapids (away, Saturday, Oct. 1): This one is a big one for many reasons. A MLS Cup rematch of sorts and a game that both sides absolutely have to win. With the clubs in the Eastern Conference jumping up in the standings right now, teams like Dallas and Colorado cannot afford to just sit where they are right now in the standings. That comment is definitely true for the Rapids who are starting to get passed up in the standings. A win will help them for sure but with only two games left after playing Dallas, the Rapids will be gunning for three points.
Chicago Fire (away, Wednesday, Oct. 12): A weird layoff for FCD and other clubs due to a FIFA date. This one could be very interesting giving the way the Fire are playing as of late. We'll know more about where they Fire stands after their match this weekend in Houston and their USOC finals match in Seattle the following Tuesday. Should the Fire win both of those games they could have so much momentum going into this Brimstone Cup rivalry second leg that they could be due for a big let down. On the flip side, they could be coming off a couple losses and see their season doomed. Either way, Dallas has to take advantage of it.
Vancouver Whitecaps (home, Saturday, Oct. 15): The Caps are eliminated already so this is a game Dallas absolutely must win. By this point we should know if FCD has clinched their own berth into the post season or not. I'd imagine by this point they will but this game will be all about three points and remaining in 4th place in the West. Have to lock up that top wild card spot. That will be a must.
San Jose Earthquakes (away, Saturday, Oct. 22): Final game of the year out in San Jose. The Quakes should be eliminated at this point and would just be playing for pride and points. Could be a let-down game for Dallas if they aren't careful after their big CCL game against Toronto just days before this.
Final thoughts: Four games, all very winnable in my mind. FCD is in a decent enough place that they should get into the post season this year. Right now though it will all be about positioning. If they can win their final four games it would be a huge deal going into the post season and it could even mean they could get one of the automatic berths from the Western Conference. Daniel has said that the final three games do set Dallas up for a decent momentum run before the post season and it is true. I'd even argue that just the final two could be enough to give FCD the momentum that they need going into the post season. It really is crunch-time for Dallas and it starts this weekend.
CONCACAF Champions League: 1 match, 1 home
Toronto FC (home, Tuesday, Oct. 18): It won't get any bigger than this for Dallas. After last night's disappointment in Panama, this is a must-win in the fullest sense. That's all Dallas has to go on, a win and they move on - as simple as that. A loss and they're done in this competition.