The season is officially over. The trainwreck that was the last four months has finally ended. No more counting points and trying to reason our way into thinking this team is playoff bound. This year’s squad had some major flaws that we will be diving into over the next couple of weeks and months but for now I want to look at last Sunday’s match against LA Galaxy. A game against LA that was probably the most satisfying result since Toronto in early July?
The result last Sunday reminded us, that when this team has it’s back against the wall, it really can come together and play well. It was a must win game in which they played really well. This is nothing new for this group. Against Pachuca in a must win match, they played really well. The last couple of years in the playoffs, coming back home for the second legs, the team played really well. The problem with those examples is that FCD didn’t play well enough leading up to those matches, forcing the holes to be too large to dig out of. They were buried before the matches ever started and because of that, their great performances didn’t matter.
In 2015 against Portland, they were coming home down 3-1. Last year against, Seattle they were coming home down 3-0. This year against Pachuca, they went on the road only leading 2-1, while conceding an all important away goal. In all of these examples, the team dropped the ball and didn’t have talent to overcome it. The same goes for Sunday. FC Dallas left the season up for grabs way too late and didn’t have the ability to clinch it on the last day. Even though they played well and destroyed LAG, it was once again, too little too late.
The easy question is why did they leave it so late before turning it on? Is it because they finally had their backs against the wall and had a challenge in front of them? Was the team “playing with their food” up until this point knowing that in the end they would eventually be in the playoffs? If so, that is maddening.
Or, did the team finally run into a team that was in worse form than them and were able to capitalize on it? I tend to side with this argument more than the other. Yes the team put five up on the LA Galaxy, but a lot of the goals were broken plays that FCD just happened to be in the right spot at the right time. Roland Lamah’s first goal where he stops a shot and puts it over already lunging goalie. Matt Hedges’ goal that was a put back from a rebound four yards from goal. Lamah’s glancing header.
Out of all the goals on Sunday, one came from some sort of build up. That leads to me believe that this team still has serious issues going forward and just happened to be in the right place at the right time on that day. That’s not say, they still could have miss those opportunities, because of course they could have, but against better competition, they might not have gotten any of those chances at all.
FCDs collapse was the culmination of a handful of things and we will dissect all of them down the road. However, it was still nice to leave the season on a somewhat of a high note. Yes I wish we were playing midweek for a chance to qualify for the final eight, but there is certainly no guarantee that this team would have show up on the road. So in some sort of twisted way, maybe this is the best way for this season to end.
We have hope that when this team is on, they are still very good. Now we just have to figure out how to be more consistent again. As for the 2017 season, I am actually happy it’s over. These last four months have been terrible. We can now all take a deep breath and see what happens with this team going forward. The spine is still very strong and there is a legitimate reason to have hope going into next year. Here’s to hoping next year’s #DecisionDay goes better than this one.