I’m not entirely sure where it came from, but FC Dallas managed to pull off two big wins last week over major Western Conference rivals.
To say it’s been a rough couple of weeks for FC Dallas would be to understate just how dreadful this team has been over their three game losing streak.
Three road games. Three losses. Three shutouts. Not exactly the stretch of games you want or anticipate from a team that is looking to retain their title as the best team in the Western Conference for a second consecutive year.
Over the three game stretch, FCD looked toothless in attack. Falling behind early in each of the matches left them chasing games and failing to utilize the quickness of their attackers in the open field. The likes of Vancouver, New York, and Toronto were able to sit back and absorb Dallas’ attacks with 10 or more men behind the ball.
The problem with a toothless attack is that it leaves your defense more vulnerable. The combination led FCD to concede eight goals in their three game road losing streak and limp back into Frisco without a Western Conference lead.
Thankfully, Toyota Stadium has been a bit of a fortress for FC Dallas of late. Similar to what happened during last season’s atrocious road gauntlet, FCD can always count on coming home and getting some type of result when it is most needed.
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Portland, however, isn’t the team that you necessarily want to face when you have to get a result.
We don’t need to be reminded of what happened last year in the MLS Cup Playoffs. We don’t need to relive the fact that Portland knocked us out at home and sent us into the offseason wondering what could have been.
It did, however, offer FCD a chance at redemption.
The recipe for Wednesday’s victory wasn’t exactly what you order off the menu, but it got the job done.
Portland scored early (here we go again), and FCD couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. We’ve heard this story and seen it play out, particularly in the last three games.
How often do we see that when a team is up against the ropes, they often need an unsung hero or an unlikely player to step up and deliver something unexpected. That’s exactly what Ryan Hollingshead did all of last year, and he continued to do it on Wednesday night with his equalizer.
After that, another unlikely, unsung hero from last year, Walker Zimmerman, put the finishing touch on a come from behind victory that couldn’t have been more clutch. It’s a bit too early in the season to talk about defining moments, but Wednesday’s win over Portland couldn’t have come at a better time.
If FC Dallas loses to Portland on Wednesday, they probably don’t beat Seattle on Saturday. Then, they would have been looking as 5 games winless with the dog days of summer approaching.
Instead, FCD road Zimmerman and Hollingshead’s momentum back into Frisco on Saturday and quelled the attacking threat of Dempsey and Morris to beat Seattle 2-0.
I know that MLS and momentum are not usually used in the same sentence, but two massive home wins against teams that have plagued FC Dallas in the recent past has to do something for the confidence of this team. It was a much needed kick in the back side that will hopefully launch them back to where they’ve spent so much time, first place in the West.