Zach Loyd’s Nightmare Return Sets The Tone For FC Dallas Defeat


Friday night games…why are we still playing them? It seems like every Friday night game we have ends in disappointment. Because let’s be honest; I hate starting my weekend with a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Sporting KC, or with a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Colorado, or with a….you get my point here.

This most recent Friday night letdown seemed to sting the most, if you ask me.

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What was touted to be a Western Conference showdown between a perennially good Sporting KC side and a strong FCD squad this season didn’t quite live up to the billing. The perennially good part played out to perfection, but FCD didn’t read their lines before the performance.

The inclusion of Zach Loyd after his return from injury was supposed to shore up the back line. Sporting KC wasn’t supposed to slice through the defensive four like a knife through butter. Fabian Castillo wasn’t supposed to be injured. Matt Hedges wasn’t supposed to be off his game and allow Feilhaber and Nemeth to glide past him with ease.

Again, this wasn’t how the script was written.

The scary part about it: I wasn’t surprised.

FCD has been consistently inconsistent over the last month or so. We’ll put in a good show against one team only to then put in an equally atrocious show against another. We’ll destroy our in-state rivals on their home turf but lose to a lesser team on OUR home turf.

I guess in the grand scheme of things, I should have known this script was coming. I should have seen the plot twist. May and June are typically when FCD begins to stutter and falter. It’s happened in the past, and it’s happening now.

But I guess I wanted to believe that this team would flip the script. Zach Loyd’s return seemed to be falling in line perfectly with when FC Dallas needed him most. Coming into Friday’s game, FC Dallas had given up the most goals than any other team in a playoff position. Thankfully, the offense had been good enough to combat that up until that point.

A shot of defensive solidity seemed just what the doctor ordered. Unfortunately for FC Dallas, Loyd was rusty. Really rusty. Both of the fouls that earned him yellow cards (and a red card, in consequence) were a result of what can only be explained as a lack of match fitness, both physically and mentally.

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  • The second yellow, in particular, was the frustrating one. Loyd took too much time on the touch line and had the ball pickpocketed by Nemeth. A fully fit Zach Loyd would have hustled back and tried to get in front of Nemeth or at least challenged him all the way down the pitch.

    Instead, he wrestled him to the ground by grabbing onto his trailing leg. Any ref in the world is going to give you a yellow for that. 2 yellow cards = 1 red card. 1 red card = 10 players on the field Bye bye, defensive solidity.

    FC Dallas will have to right the ship in their next match, once again, on the road, against the Earthquakes. They’ll have to do it without Zach Loyd, as he’ll be serving a one-match ban for his red card. Somehow, someway, they need to conjure up a defensive remedy. Because, at the moment, a team with FC Dallas’ aspirations can’t go on in this fashion.

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