The wait is nearly over for FC Dallas as we find out tonight who they will get this weekend in the conference semifinals this weekend.
Regardless of who this team plays, the Hoops come in with solid form. Their last loss, to Los Angeles, was back on September 27. Since then, the team has carved and diced its way through five opponents with 4 wins and one draw. They are pretty much the definition of good form right now, and minus Kellyn Acosta, look healthy too.
Last season, I was tickled that FCD made it into the playoffs and pushed Seattle for that Western conference final, just getting edged out on a pesky away goal rule. My expectations and confidence were low, low enough that their success was a surprise.
This season, expectations are higher. Fan confidence is higher. FCD comes in as the well-deserved No. 1 seed, but the Western conference is no joke. Any of the top 6 teams in the West would likely have earned a bunch more points in the East. There are still a few unknowns. How will Jesse Gonzalez perform in the pressure cooker situations to come? Can Ezequiel Cirigliano continue his rise? Will David Texeira or Blas Perez grab needed goals? Will FCD avoid any big mistakes and manage to get something great against a tough team on the road? Is Kellyn going to make it back out on the field before all is said and done?
Here's what I want to know - what is your playoff confidence level for this team?
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being "completely cynical and hopeless" to 10 being "without a doubt the Cup is ours", where would you peg your confidence for FC Dallas to make it through these playoffs with hardware? Please share and post your answer below in the comments section.
As for me, I'm firmly a 7.5. I have a few niggling doubts, just because the Western conference is so darn competitive. Any of the three teams FCD might face in the first round alone have more than enough firepower and skill to undo the Hoops, but I've got to trust that Pareja is going to have this team building off of last year's efforts. And there will be some veteran who steps up in a big way with a big goal. This is what this whole season was about, and I trust that the team is going to leave it all out on that field.