Lately I've had a few questions swirling around my head about the final few weeks of the season. I figured today would be a good day to put them out there for you all to discuss in a new segment I'm calling "Friday Thoughts".
Is this game a do-or-die against the Crew this weekend?
Kellyn Acosta said it was yesterday to MLSSoccer.com.
I tend to agree with him going into the final five weeks of the season. We've beat this topic to death but we'll continue to do so until either the team reached the playoffs or is eliminated from playoff contention. No longer can FC Dallas take things one game at a time. That luxury went out the window back in the summer when the team failed to win a game for three straight months.
How optimistic should we be?
Kenny Cooper said recently that he still remains optimistic about the club's playoff chances despite the two-game losing streak.
"Obviously, we need points and like I was saying, I have a lot of faith and confidence in this team. I think throughout the year we've shown great quality and what we're capable of. We got off to such a great start and began the year. I think that there's still an opportunity for us to finish the season strong and possibly make the playoffs and go in there with some good momentum. I believe that we can make the playoffs," Cooper said.
No offense to Cooper but that is a very typical Cooper response. Lots of fluff. Of course he is going to say that. I'd wonder how other players feel right now.
Just how important is this game for Hyndman?
Back at the start of September, Schellas Hyndman kept saying to the media that if the club can get four wins out of their final eight games, then they'd be in a good position to make the playoffs. Basically he was saying, the club needed to win all four home games left on the schedule to have a real shot at things here.
But for Hyndman's legacy (whatever that may be) with the club, just how big is Sunday's game? It could very well be the most must-win game of his career with the club. Anything less than three points could spell the beginning of the end for him here in Dallas. I know some would argue the beginning of the end for Hyndman as manager probably started weeks ago.
Should the lineup be mixed up (yet again) on Sunday?
Hyndman has used a lot of different lineups this season. Some have been different due to injuries and suspensions. Others have been due to international call-ups. But this is a rare game that doesn't involve either.
Last weekends' lineup against the Red Bulls obviously didn't spark the team offensively with Blas Perez playing up top in a lone striker role. Sure the team claimed it was a 4-4-2 with Fabian Castillo playing off of Perez but looking at Castillo's chalkboard heat map, it was more on the wings than floating up top with Perez.
I know many fans would love to see the Cooper-Perez duo up top for a change but that would then mean someone would have to be moved to the bench. I'd argue that moving Jackson to the bench wouldn't be the worst thing for the Brazilian if that is the case.
But what about Mauro Diaz?
Yeah, that seems to be the lingering question. What about Diaz? Honestly, this is a game in my mind that you let him loose early on. Heck, even by starting him. But would that mean Castillo would be benched for Diaz? Or would the biggest gamble of all, David Ferreira, be benched in favor of the young Argentine?