FRISCO, Texas — It’s been a long two weeks for FC Dallas.
Schellas Hyndman’s squad has had to spend a fortnight digesting the disappointing draw at Chivas USA that put their playoff hopes on life support. On Sunday, they have a chance for redemption, taking on the Seattle Sounders on national TV matchup.
The matchup could have two very different vibes for FCD, depending on what happens in Vancouver a few hours before Seattle and Dallas kick off. The Whitecaps host Portland, and if they get a win, they will secure a playoff spot and eliminate Dallas.
But whether the match is to stay in the playoff hunt or simply for players to state their case to a starting spot for next season, there’s plenty on the line.
“I think [Sunday’s match] is huge,” Hyndman said. “It’s not only setting a tone, but it’s setting a standard and setting the future. Players are being evaluated on every performance just as coaches are and I think sometimes players have a tendency of forgetting that they’re being watched game in and game out.”
Sitting four points out of a playoff spot with two games to play, FCD must better the result of the Whitecaps to extend the season another week, but with just three losses in their last 16 matches, a good result in a tough environment is something Dallas has come to expect.
“Since we’ve gotten David [Ferreira] and Blas [Pérez] back, there’s a different feeling in the team,” midfielder Andrew Jacobson told MLSsoccer.com. “There’s a sense of belief, and I know our record is a lot better than it was before. We’re really focusing on making the playoffs and getting six points out of the next two games.”
And while there certainly shouldn’t be a need for motivation in front of the 36,000-strong crowd that comes to CenturyLink Field every week, the national TV crowd certainly doesn’t hurt.
“Any time you get to play in front of 30,000-plus fans, even if they’re against you, you can feel the energy in the stadium,” said defender Zach Loyd. “You feed off that energy, so I think it’s going to be awesome and for it to be on national television is just another reason to get up.”