At some point in the last month of the season, FC Dallas will need a weekend when they earn more points than the Vancouver Whitecaps if they are to make a third straight trip to the playoffs.
However, as the dust clears from a weekend draw at league-leading San Jose, FCD are grudgingly content with simply holding serve and maintaining the two-point distance in the playoff race for another week.
“You look at what could’ve been,” Schellas Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Sunday. “We're seconds away from picking up those three points and being tied with Vancouver. But I’m sure there were times [Vancouver] felt like they could’ve won and gotten three points as well. So it’s going to be a fight to the end.”
Indeed, if Dallas was seconds away from picking up a vital win, their playoff rivals to the northwest were inches away. Whitecaps forward Camilo fluffed the best chance of his team's match on literally the last kick of the game against Seattle, sending his shot just the wrong side of the post seconds before the final whistle blew.
The weekend draws for both sides mean that Vancouver still hold a two-point lead with three games remaining. Although FC Dallas currently hold the crucial goals-scored tiebreaker (38 to 31 goals), the margins are about as thin as they could be.
“That’s the positive of going there and getting a tie,” defender Zach Loyd said. “We know that we’re only one win away from passing Vancouver, so it still gives us hope.”
There is plenty of hope remaining for Dallas, who have lost just one of their last eight games, and Hyndman was pleased with the effort from his side on Saturday night.
“When you look at the final outcome, we got a point on the road at what many consider is the best team in the league,” Hyndman said. “Soccer-wise, emotional intelligence and managing the game, all of those I thought we did very well.”
In an interesting twist, both Dallas and Vancouver prepare for Chivas USA as their next opponent. The Whitecaps host the struggling side on Wednesday, while Dallas has a week to prepare for a trip to the Home Depot Center next Sunday.
“It’s unfortunate that we drew the way we did, but a point still keeps us in the playoff hunt,” Loyd said. “So we can’t dwell on it, we just have to get ready for Chivas on Sunday.”
Daniel Robertson covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com.