June seems like ages ago now. There was once a time when FC Dallas was winning despite the fact that key players were either called into international duty, injured or were coming back from a big injury. Heck, there was even a game where they defeated the mighty Toronto FC 3-1 at Toyota Stadium.
But those memories seem like years ago instead of months. What is more troubling is when you wake up today only to look at the Western Conference table to see this:
Yes, that is FC Dallas with two games in hand on the San Jose Earthquakes. But more troubling is the fact that for the first time in ages, FCD is sitting below the red line (or black in this case).
Not only has San Jose pulled even in recent weeks, but Real Salt Lake has caught up to be within one point. I’d be more worried about RSL, a team that has just lost once in their last nine games. They’re about as hot as it comes.
Again, in both cases of San Jose and Salt Lake, FC Dallas has games-in-hand at the moment that could easily swing their chances back in their favor. We know it only takes a couple of games to really get going on a hot streak in this league but we’re getting down to crunch time. With just two months left on the calendar, FC Dallas is going to have to change something about the way they are approaching games here.
If FCD indeed miss the playoffs this year, they'll become the sixth active team to miss the postseason the year after winning the Supporters' Shield, joining D.C. United (2000, '08), Chicago Fire ('04), Columbus Crew SC ('05), and the Earthquakes ('13). As crazy of a thought as that might be, it isn’t out of the picture at this point.
We’ve said before on this site plenty of times, that the time in this league to get hot is starting now as you begin September. You never want to limp into the playoffs but you also have to make sure you are going in the first place.