FRISCO, Texas — In our weekly series featuring Schellas Hyndman, the FC Dallas head coach addresses 11 topics in brevity including the Champions League loss to Pumas UNAM, Jackson’s red card and Saturday's game with in-state rivals the Houston Dynamo (4 pm ET, TeleFutura).
I. On Wednesday night at Pizza Hut Park, FC Dallas lost their first game in CONCACAF Champions League play, falling to Mexican side Pumas 2-0.
“I thought we played a very good team tonight that was very possession-oriented, a lot of talented players in their strike force, a defense that was very involved in the attack. It kept us back on our heels.”
II-III. FC Dallas had zero shot attempts on goal, but their level of commitment on the pitch was never in question.
“We competed and fought for balls. [We] didn’t create a lot of opportunities – I think we only had one corner kick – but I also thought that we had some dangerous balls coming in that we were not able to get on the end of.”
IV-V. In the opening 45 minutes, FCD's Jackson and Pumas' Luis Fuentes were ejected from the game after an altercation at midfield.
“Losing a key player like Jackson because of his speed and with his ability to keep defenders back, I think it hurt us.
“It hurt them as well losing a center midfielder, but I think they took control of the game with the possession and we went to level two defending.”
VI. The loss marked the second time in as many weeks that FC Dallas failed to collect three points at home in CCL play after tying Tauro FC 1-1 the previous week.
“We are a little disappointed with the last 15 to 20 minutes of the game, but all in all, [we] played a very good team and this time we didn’t come away with a victory.”
VII. FC Dallas were without Zach Loyd and Jair Benítez due to yellow-card accumulation, and Ugo Ihemelu received praise for his performance in Loyd’s place.
“Not only did [Ihemelu] do a good game for himself, but I think he played for some other players that didn’t have the same effort.”
VIII. Pumas substitute Emilio Orrantía had his way along the right flank and Hyndman suggested that he wanted to move Ihemelu to left back and offer support.
“It might have been an idea to move Ugo over there late in the game because we were having trouble there. That would have been a difficult move to make. If we had to play the game again, I think we would have done that so.”
IX-X. Next up for Hyndman’s squad is a Texas Derby game against the Houston Dynamo as FCD seek to maintain their hold on El Capitán.
“Whatever would have happened tonight, we know we have a tough game with Houston coming up. Houston’s a team that hasn’t done really well on the road, but they’ve recently played in good form.”
XI. Houston enter Saturday’s match winless on the road this season, but a game between the two Texas teams is always high on drama.
“They’ve got life in their legs. The rivalry definitely is there.”
Robert Casner covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com.