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Eastern Conference Championship

FC Dallas left helpless as result slips away at United

Hamdi Salihi celebrates

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In a span of just 13 minutes, FC Dallas saw their hopes of getting a win at RFK Stadium on Friday night go right down the drain.

In the 60th minute, D.C. United’s Nick Deleon jump-started what would be an onslaught of goals that led to a complete, 4-1 thrashing of FCD.

OPTA Chalkboard: D.C. dominate in transition

“It all happened so fast,” Dallas defender Zach Loyd told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “I don’t think we were really expecting that. In the second half, the team as a whole struggled to play as a unit. It was a frustrating result, but I think we can grow from it, and it will be a motivational factor heading into next week.”

The result was a surprise considering FCD’s backline returned to normal after dealing with injuries in the last two outings. But United ran away with it, punishing Dallas every time they put a foot wrong.

“We had a lot of mistakes coming out of the back. They did well to capitalize on our mistakes. The score showed that, and now, we have to get back to the drawing board,” Loyd said. “It’s always tough to give up four goals, especially for the defenders. It was just one of those nights where the ball didn’t bounce our way and we got caught out of position a few times.”

FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman had stressed the importance of stopping Dwayne De Rosario in pregame prep, but the 2011 MLS MVP found time and space all over the pitch on the way to notching two assists.

Along with De Rosario’s impressive performance, Maicon Santos made life a living nightmare for his old teammates, scoring a pair of goals.

FULL LINEUPS AND BOXSCORE

“I think Santos did a great job tonight. His first goal was spectacular. He did really well holding up the ball for his team and guys ran off him,” Loyd said. “As far as De Rosario, he’s one of the best players in the league. That’s somebody you have to be aware of, and it’s hard to shut down a player like that. They were both just very effective.

Dallas have now given up a total of six goals in their past two games. As such, the defense must bounce back when they return home to face New England on April 5.

“I think this week is just going to be a week where we come together as a unit. We have to talk about what is working and what isn’t working,” Loyd said. “The next game is a week away so I think that’s plenty of time to refocus and regroup. Hopefully going forward, we can start getting some shutouts and start playing better as a backline.”

HIGHLIGHTS: DC vs DAL