FRISCO, Texas — Since their primary goal of making the playoffs is mission accomplished, FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman and his players have now set their sights winning the Supporters’ Shield for the first time in franchise history.
With 49 points, FCD currently sit just four markers behind the Los Angeles Galaxy for the most points in MLS. Standing between FCD and LA, with 51 points, are defending champions Real Salt Lake. However, FCD will have a chance to take down both clubs, as they will travel to Rio Tinto Stadium to face RSL a week from Saturday, then complete the regular season the following week at The Home Depot Center against the Galaxy.
“The Supporter’s Shield is something we’ve never really talked about because it’s hard to focus on two different things,” Hyndman said on Monday. “Now that we’re in the MLS Playoffs … do we have what it takes to compete for the Supporter’s Shield? We’re playing the teams ahead of us and taking points from them is like taking six points.”
FCD have been in position for the Supporters’ Shield just once before this season. In 2006, under Colin Clarke, the team finished with 52 points, just three behind Shield winner D.C. United.
[inline_node:317065]“It would be fantastic. It’s more silverware in the cupboard. It’s an opportunity to get into extra competition [the CONCACAF Champions League],” the FCD manager said.
Hyndman’s entire roster is excited about the possibility of finishing the year with the league’s best record. And they will have the chance to affect the outcome of the race thanks to the schedule: Still included on FCD's docket are visits to both RSL (Oct 16) and LA Galaxy (Oct 24).
“We’ve set our sights on the Supporters’ Shield. We’re not the favorite to win it but it’s definitely within reach,” midfielder Dax McCarty said. “We have to hope the teams in front of us slip up a little bit, but we also play LA and Salt Lake. Those are two huge games for us and that’s the main focus.”
Focusing on this new goal, says McCarty, allows the side to remain honed as they finish out the regular season.
“Whenever you accomplish one goal, you never really want to rest on your laurels so to speak," he said. "You always want to aim higher. Now that the playoffs are done and we’re in position to win the Supporters’ Shield, we’re definitely going to go for it.”