FC Dallas battle Real Salt Lake on Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online) looking for their first three-game winning streak in more than a year, but they’re still hurting after Wednesday’s rugged win over Vancouver.
Literally, according to head coach Schellas Hyndman.
“[Vancouver] kept on getting frustrated and it turned out to be 24 fouls and six yellow cards … 24 fouls, are you kidding me? And that’s just the ones he called,” Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “You don’t want a game like that and we’re right now doing rehab and we’re hurting. We’re physically banged up and hurting. “
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With David Ferreira, Fabián Castillo and Brek Shea rounding into form, FC Dallas are currently on their best run of the season, so one might think Hyndman would be happy about the 72-hour turnaround between matches. But that isn’t exactly the case.
“I hope so, but it’s not just a three-day turnaround, but it’s the turnaround from last Saturday,” Hyndman said. “You can live with it if the other team has gone through the same path you just went through, but they don’t.
“The last time RSL played was last Saturday, so it makes it awfully difficult when you get yourself into a situation where things have been different for you and they’re not playing under the same traveling, recovery and playing on turf.”
There’s no rest for the weary, however. FC Dallas has made up ground on rivals above them with two straight wins, but a setback in Salt Lake could end their playoff hopes just as quickly as they've been revived.
With Vancouver and Seattle facing off this weekend, Dallas are guaranteed to be within at least six points of a playoff spot with a win. But Hyndman is no stranger to the difficulty that playing at RSL poses.
While Hyndman has never lost to RSL at home, he’s winless in five regular-season games in Utah and nearly earned his first point at Rio Tinto Stadium earlier this year before a 90th-minute Nat Borchers strike won the match for the home side.
“It’s always tough here. They deserve a lot of praise on how well they’ve built this team,” Hyndman said. “They have a lot of similar players that have been kept around and obviously they play here in a wonderful environment and the altitude has an effect on you.”