FRISCO, Texas – If there was ever a team begging to be taken lightly, it’s the current iteration of Chivas USA.
The Goats have lost seven in a row – most by multiple goals –and were thoroughly dismantled 4-0 by Vancouver on Wednesday night in a game that all eyes in the FC Dallas camp were on.
FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman knows, however, that Sunday’s game at Chivas (7 pm ET; Galavision) is potential trouble, especially at this point in the year.
“You can never assume [Chivas USA] don’t have a lot to play for,” Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com on Friday. “I think every one of them is playing for next year’s contract. That could be a different type of motivation because now it’s all personal.”
Most of the current FCD roster has been around for a few years, having enjoyed the recent success of the club, but one player who can be familiar with the dangers of a team playing for next season is Julian de Guzman.
“With the situation they’re in right now, players definitely want to prove themselves for next season,” the former Toronto FC player said. “They also want to save any embarrassment playing in front of home fans. It’s a tricky situation and we have to make sure we’re concentrated throughout the whole 90 minutes.”
As we saw on Wednesday night with the Whitecaps, an early goal for FCD could do wonders to eliminate any bit of confidence for Chivas, who seemed to wilt once they were in a hole.
“An early goal for us would put them back in that mood again that they’ve been in for the past few games,” de Guzman said. “That’s what we want to do as soon as possible and close the game.”
There should be no lack of motivation for Dallas as, thanks to the win by Vancouver, FCD head into this match needing a win to keep any realistic playoff hopes alive. Should they get that win, the gap between Vancouver and Dallas would be just two points with two games to play.
“There have been many cases where the underdogs pull out results trying to prove to their coaches that they need contracts and also to give something back to the fans,” de Guzman said. “That’s something we want to prevent and hopefully we can close the game as soon as possible.”