FRISCO, Texas — Their win over the LA Galaxy a week ago marked the beginning of FC Dallas' busiest month of the season. On Wednesday, the fun really gets going as FCD plung into a stretch of five games in 18 days with a visit from Toronto FC (9 pm ET, Direct Kick, MatchDay Live).
With David Ferreira, Jair Benítez and, now, Jackson Gonçalves sidelined due to injuries, FC Dallas struggled to find fluidity this past Saturday night after a scoreless draw. And with two games this week at Pizza Hut Park, there is no better time for the team to address that lack of fluidity.
“The game is the best teacher, and I think you learn things when you are out there playing and having games back to back,” Hyndman said after Monday’s regeneration session. “We have a few injuries that we are trying to get back, and I think what we need to do is again redefine our identity and things we like to do and things we don’t want our opponents to do.”
FC Dallas like to possess the ball and use their outside backs as attackers to charge opposing teams from different angles on the pitch. On Saturday against D.C. United, the 2010 MLS Cup runners-up only registered two shots on goal en route to their third scoreless game of the year.
Injuries to Jackson and Benítez - both starting outside backs - and the team’s first road game without Ferreira caused FCD to come up short on ideas in the attacking third.
Defender Zach Loyd, who started at right back, believes that the upcoming stretch of games will help the team come together.
“I think with all of those injuries you are going to have unfamiliarity with each other,” said Loyd. “I think us just getting in a role of getting used to guys, guys getting healthy and guys playing with each other will definitely start helping the confusion that has been happening on the field.”
Loyd added that everything starts in the locker room, at training and, “That’s where you start building that chemistry with each other.”
On the positive side of Saturday's 0-0 draw, FC Dallas did extend their unbeaten streak to three games. And with the next three games in the comfortable confines of PHP, Hyndman is ready to see how his team responds.
“Having numerous games coming in gives us that opportunity to get that little bit more team chemistry, team unity and maybe not as much being as disjointed as I thought we were with DC United,” he said.
Three days after Toronto visit, FCD host Philadelphia on Saturday. Like Dallas, the Union also have a midweek showdown on Wednesday as they square off at home against the Galaxy. Even with several games in such a short period of time, Loyd and his teammates are trying to focus on the task at hand.
“We know we have a lot of games coming," he said, "but each game there is an opportunity to take three points, so we are looking at the next game.”