It’s become a broken record from Schellas Hyndman after losses this season, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less applicable.
Once again, Dallas were forced to play short-handed on Sunday night in Seattle — a 3-1 loss — with five first-choice starters missing due to injury and suspension. If it was just one match, it would be a petty excuse, but with FCD missing out on the playoffs by just a few points, the year of what-ifs is something that will bother Hyndman all winter.
“It’s not just this game, it’s the whole season,” Hyndman told reporters after the match. “I ask you to look at any team in the league that has gone without seven starters in a game. Tonight, we went without five; we left five guys at home. We’ve done that the whole year.”
Those seven starters Hyndman is talking about refers to a game earlier in the season, but on Sunday night it was the success of Blas Pérez, scoring his fourth goal in three games, that was almost bittersweet for Hyndman in highlighting just how big of a role injuries have played in this season.
“I think Blas is leading the team with nine goals, and I think he has missed half the season, with injuries and call-ups,” Hyndman said.
Pérez joins first-choice players like Brek Shea, David Ferreira, Jackson, Ricardo Villar, Ugo Ihemelu and George John that have missed at least 10 games this season.
“We lead the league with 17 different players scoring goals and that’s a great sign because you look at that and think it’s a lot of people scoring,” Hyndman said. “But it’s not a great sign, because it means you’ve got a lot of people on the field instead of your regulars.”
When asked late Sunday night after the match by phone about the injuries affecting the season, however, Hyndman chose to praise the fans for sticking with his team through what has been a disappointing campaign.
“I think it would’ve been close to a miracle if we’d got in considering we had a 13-game winless streak,” Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com. “We set a lot of negative records and I know people understand the injuries, but on the positive side our fans have been with us.
“We’ve had four of our biggest [crowds] from our fans [this season] and our players know it and see it. Our coaching staff sees it.”
And the hope for 2013 is that they see some of the regulars out on the pitch a little more often.