Schellas Hyndman saw it coming.
For the past two months, FC Dallas’ head coach has been pleased with his team’s performance, week in and week out, regardless of the result. The other shoe had to drop eventually, however, and on Sunday night at the Home Depot Center, FCD weren’t able to put forth the performance needed to beat Chivas USA in a disappointing 1-1 draw.
“Yesterday in pre-game training, it was really weak,” Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “I could just feel something wasn’t right, so it didn’t completely surprise me when we struggled today.”
Indeed, Sunday’s draw with a Chivas side that had lost seven games in a row was quite a different feeling from the previous weekend’s draw at league-leading San Jose.
“The San Jose game, we played very well and we ended up getting a draw,” Hyndman said. “This is one of the games where we didn’t do very well. Too many people were flat. Too many people were giving the balls away.”
Despite getting off to a flying start, FC Dallas couldn’t build on the eighth-minute goal from Blas Pérez, letting the last-place team in the Western Conference stick around and gain confidence as the match went on.
“We had opportunities to put them away,” Hyndman said. “And I think part of the Achilles’ heel to Chivas is when they give up a goal, they seem to give up more.”
Far too many times, Dallas defenders bypassed the midfield with long clearances, putting themselves right back under pressure. That pressure eventually led to Jorge Villfaña’s back-breaking 69th-minute equalizer.
“I said to the guys at halftime that it looked like they were playing like it was the last five minutes of the game, just kicking balls out,” Hyndman said. “We’re a better team that that, but today we got caught in two minds.”
As the second half wore on, it became clear that FCD just didn’t have it on this day and would be lucky to find three points that never materialized. Now, they must hope that Vancouver fail to win either of their final two matches to have any hope of sneaking into the final playoff spot.
“It’s just one of those days,” Hyndman said. “As I said to the players, I don’t think anyone backed out today and didn’t give us their best. It’s just we had too many people who were off.”