The mood around the club has changed due to the nine game winless run and five game scoreless run. FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman has been saying for weeks that changes are coming and at the time we expected them to be quick changes, like start one player over the next, maybe it was a little longer of a plan than that from the Gaffer.
There are some probably steps that could be in line to end the two slumps for FC Dallas.
The first is obvious. Scoring.
Speaking to reporters this week, Hyndman mentioned that he never envisioned that he would have to bench a guy like Kenny Cooper or that Eric Hassli would have the back issues that he's had this year.
"Pulling Kenny [Cooper] out of the starting lineup is not something any of us probably thought was going to happen," Hyndman said. "Not playing Eric Hassli was probably something we didn't think was going to happen. We thought we'd have three of the best strikers. One could hold the ball, one could run off the ball and guys could be scoring goals.
"You're not a successful team unless you score. We've just got to get into an attitude of we're an athletic team. We've got speed. We have pace. We need to play with that and try to use some of those strengths instead of playing sideways and backwards where we have to go through numbers over and over again. If you don't finish, you get depressed. You start to lose your confidence. It's a natural thing. You start to lose your confidence you start to lose confidence in your teammates. Hopefully we can get back on that track."
In all, if players have a chance near goal, they just need to freakin' take it. Goals create confidence, confidence creates winning.
Next from that is re-energizing the veteran core up front. That includes Cooper, David Ferreira, and to some extent Blas Perez. In a way you could lump in other guys in the attack like Jackson, Fabian Castillo and Hassli. But in all this is more for the first two guys listed.
This may come to either a switch in formation or just an all out change in how the team comes out on to the field from game-to-game. Meaning, Cooper doesn't start for a while. He isn't effective as we all know as a winger and to be fair he doesn't do all that well as a lone striker. Hyndman wants to continue to play him but he isn't able to do as much in those two spots.
That brings us to the next step, the 4-4-2.
Hyndman has been dying to use a 4-4-2 for ages. He tried in the preseason to move to it and he didn't quite get enough time with it. We've seen it used here and there this season but no one really knows how well it will work until Hyndman has the right people in place to run it.
Does this mean a diamond shaped midfield? A flat midfield? Or something else?
We could probably spend hours, days, weeks, months on this subject but to me, I think a flat midfield would work right now. Having Ferreira and Jackson on the wings with Jacobson and whomever in the middle could work. I may be in the minority but I thought Ferreira on the wings creating changes similar to Mauro Rosales in Seattle would be the best move forward for this club as Ferreira gets older*.
(* Yes this does mean he'll have to track back on defense more, but if he has an athletic guy behind him, say a Michel or Kellyn Acosta, it may not matter as much)
This switch gets Perez a partner up front in Cooper, or even Castillo for the speed option. And if Jacobson is given the right partner, even if it is Michel for the short term, that may be enough against most teams.
But again, we could spend ages talking about it.
Lastly, this club just needs to get their attitude back.
What I mean by that is, this group had a certain edge to them early on this season. And even so up until July hit. That never say die attitude that did carry them pretty far in this season was pretty cool to watch because you knew this club was never really out of any game.
That one probably goes back into a leadership question but it could also be the biggest step that this club needs to take in getting back on track here. A shot of confidence for sure.
What do you all see as possible steps to get back on track here? Formation switch? Something as simple as scoring? What else?