We can talk about the result first, which in the grand scheme of things is probably the most inconsequential of the many defeats FC Dallas suffered on Wednesday night. The boys in red and white seemed to be lacking the creative spark all night.
Thankfully, we just signed Colombian Andres Ricaurte to help us out with that (though that one hasn’t been made official as of this writing). Though, with this being The Hoop’s first real competitive game since our 2-2 draw against Montreal back on March 7, the teams were bound to be a little rusty. I’m not sure this result can give us any real insight on how we’ll be performing for the rest of the season. If there even is a season.
The second defeat that night was the weird, baffling and embarrassing decision by the FC Dallas front office to allow fans into the stadium. The first U.S. professional sports team to allow fans to attend since the pandemic began (ignoring you USL). Sure, the stadium is outdoors and data shows being outdoors lessens the chance of spread of the coronavirus. You could also be led into believing the attendance limit could allow for sufficient social distancing assuming all people were inherently responsible and conscientious.
Those hopeful wishes look incredibly shortsighted given that the case rates in the area are still high and that fans sometimes like to sit with their friends and family. First off, we didn’t even sell out the reduced 5k capacity limit, which let unfunny fans of the league rehash old attendance jokes at our expense. Secondly, no other major American sports leagues is letting fans into their stands. It’s not because these leagues and teams don’t love their fans, on the contrary they love the fans enough to not give them an opportunity to make a possibly fatal mistake.
Our biggest defeat, and easily the most embarrassing bit of the whole night, was of course the fan’s reactions towards the players and referees kneeling during the national anthem. One guy started a ‘U! S! A!’ chant, a water bottle was thrown at the players from the stands, and booing commenced aimed at the players who were taking a knee in protest of police brutality and the racial inequalities that still haunt our nation.
As appalling as the fan reaction was, and as massive as the reaction to the reaction has been, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Frisco, Texas was home to such a response. FCD’s home, Toyota Stadium, sits on the border of Collin and Denton counties. Collin county went for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election by over 15 points and Denton county went for Trump by over 20 points! Even FC Dallas and US National Team defender Reggie Cannon said post game that he expected a negative response from the fans he plays so hard for when he’s out on the field.
Our team should deservedly be chastised on so many levels. Chastise the players and the coaching staff for losing to Nashville SC, a team that chalked their first ever franchise win on our home turf. Chastise the front office for making an irresponsible and silly decision to allow fans to attend a live sporting event amid a pandemic that still isn’t under control in our country. Most importantly though, chastise the fans that decided that audible vitriol was the best way to respond to a peaceful protest by the players they claim to love and support.
Now I’ll conclude like I always conclude, with your quote of the night:
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry for our fans.” - FCD defender Ryan Hollingshead to Reggie Cannon after the national anthem.
I’m sorry too, Reggie.