Why FC Dallas Can Turn It Around On Sunday


Fear not, FC Dallas fans. We’ve seen this before.

I have to admit that when Nat Borchers’ toe poke in the 91st minute found the back of the net, things seemed pretty bleak. It seemed as if hard work and resolve was thrown away in one scrappy moment.

But when the dust settled and the emotion of the moment wore off, I thought back to the season that has been for FC Dallas…and this all looked familiar.

We lost 3-1 in Portland earlier this year. At the time, it stung quite a bit. It was FC Dallas’ first loss of the season, and it came in rather convincing fashion. However, as is the case now, all was not lost.

When FCD got a chance to take on Portland back home in Frisco, the result reversed and then some. A 4-1 shellacking of the Timbers saw FCD take the season series by an aggregate total of 5-4.

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When Portland comes back to Frisco this time around, the stakes will be much higher than they were back in the regular season, but you can’t discredit MLS’ best home team and write them off in this series just yet.

One thing that helps me say that with confidence is the fact that David Texeira provided FC Dallas fans with the greatest gift he could ever give them: an away goal.

If yesterday’s scoreline would have been 2-0, I wouldn’t have quite as much hope as I do now. Even though 2-0 is a two goal margin, the lack of an away goal would have left FC Dallas much more vulnerable than they now are.

To explain, take the following hypothetical as proof. FC Dallas races out to a quick 2-0 lead in Sunday’s home leg. Since we have an away goal, we’re going through even though we’re tied on aggregate. Nanny nanny boo boo.

But, what if Dairon Asprilla scores another wonder goal? What then? At this point, Portland is going through on aggregate. Here comes another wrinkle in the away goals rule and demonstrates how important Texeira’s goal is.

If we don’t have an away goal and instead lost 2-0 in Portland, when the Timbers score in our hypothetical to put the game at 2-1, we would then need 2 goals to advance. You see, if we didn’t have an away goal, once Portland scores, we would need to win it on aggregate. There would be no chance of advancing after tying on aggregate.

However, because we do have an away goal, in our hypothetical, FC Dallas would only need 1 goal to tie the series on aggregate and force extra time. Basically, every way that you break it down, the away goal is massive.

With all this said, what does FC Dallas need? They need to win it on aggregate (a win by greater than 2 goals), get a 2-0 win, or a 3-1 win and then win it in extra time. How possible is that, you now ask?

In FC Dallas’ 18 home games this season, they’ve failed to score two goals only 4 times. In those 14 games where they scored two or more, they won 13. In those 13 wins, 7 of them were by a margin that would see them advance.

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Chances are pretty good that FC Dallas can turn this thing around. We weren’t the best home team in MLS for nothing.