FC Dallas found out the hard way what life without their "big three" is like in Saturday's 1-0 loss to the Portland Timbers.
Dallas was without two of their regular starting forwards before the match even began. Blas Perez was out on international duty with Panama and before the game Kenny Cooper flew back to Dallas to attend to a family emergency. That left French forward Eric Hassli to step in, but he only lasted eight minutes on the afternoon after picking up a back injury in pregame warm-ups.
FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman was still pleased with the number of chances that his team was able to create against the Timbers in light of the changes up front.
“Scoring chances were there, on the road, Ricketts [Timbers goalkeeper] had to make seven saves,” Hyndman said after the match. “So those were scoring chances. We also went into the game with no strikers. Eric Hassli got injured. I found out today at 11 o’clock we lost Kenny Cooper to a family emergency. And, also Blas Perez is with Panama.
“I think we have arguably the best strikers in the league. So take those three guys and we might have been a little different today.”
The difference in the match was the lone goal scored by Portland’s Darlington Nagbe in the 52nd minute. That early second-half strike didn’t keep Dallas from fighting for an equalizer. Midfielder Andrew Jacobson felt the team responded well in the hostile environment of JELD-WEN Field.
“I don’t think we ever stopped fighting, you know, it was a good game between two good teams,” he said. “I don’t think it was a poor game on our part either. Sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way, other times it does.”
Jacobson and FC Dallas will be able to get their revenge on the Timbers in two weeks at home in the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup.
“We’ll look over it, see what we can take from it and move on,” Jacobson continued. “We try to get better every game; sometimes you can get better and not win.”