The biggest thing I could say when watching Saturday's 2-0 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps was just a simple sigh. Not a sigh of relief or anything like that matter but probably just a sigh of frustration. FC Dallas fell flat left and right and never really looked like a team that would compete on the road.
You could easily call this a playoff preview if you want between these two clubs. If things end up the way they stand now these two club will indeed meet in that dreaded one-off wildcard game. But we also know Vancouver is a completely different team at home than on the road, just like FC Dallas.
Saturday was yet another point in the season that you look at the midfield and wonder what the hell is going on. Sure, not having the speed of Fabian Castillo didn't help on the wings, even though Andres Escobar is more than capable of turning on the speed. No Mauro Diaz also meant that there was no creative spark in the attack even though Blas Perez is more than capable of helping in that department.
What we got was a midfield group that just couldn't hold their own against a far more determined bunch. It wasn't just that Vancouver had quality in their midfield and brought pressure it was the fact that the four in the middle just came out flat and never really woke up. Turnover after turnover was the proof of that. We'll dive into those turnovers tomorrow in our next Chalkboard series piece from Jason.
The defense was also to blame in that area as balls played from the back weren't up to snuff as well. You could blame it on that nasty turf all you want but given how the Western Conference could lay out here, there is a good chance FCD will end up having to play on turf again here in the playoffs.
Important final weeks
I was going to write a separate post about this but felt like just doing it here instead. Mainly I don't want to spend a ton of time on this past weekend's game. You know there wasn't much to it on a positive standpoint so there isn't a ton of worth in beating the horse with all the bad stuff.
Anyways, the final three games have a TON of meaning. Not only will they determine where FC Dallas ends up in the playoffs but it could have a lasting impression on both where the MLS Cup could be played and whether or not FCD gets into the CCL next year.
Just look at the Supporters' Shield standings at the moment. Seattle got the USOC title, clinching one of the four CCL spots. Should they win the Shield, LA will gobble up the second CCL spot. The same will be said should LA win the Shield as well. DCU is more than likely going to be the highest point earning Eastern Conference side, so that makes three.
If one of those three teams wins MLS Cup, the spot will then go to the fourth-placed team in the overall regular-season standings.
Now none of this is set in stone by CONCACAF or the USSF but it is a good possibility.
I also think this is mega important for MLS Cup as well. Right now there are only two Eastern Conference teams that have as many or more points than FCD does in the standings. Getting the most out of these final three games could be the difference in potentially hosting a MLS Cup or being on the road for it should FCD make a big time run at it next month.
This past weekend wasn't just a missed opportunity to pass RSL but it was an opportunity to get at least a little more distance away from New England and KC too.