FC Dallas are becoming all too familiar for their liking with the cliché “adding insult to injury.”
In Wednesday night’s 2-1 loss to the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center, it was first an injury to central midfielder Andrew Jacobson, a regular first-team player for FCD in 2013 and ostensibly the team captain, who had to come off midway through the first half.
The insult certainly wasn’t the impressive strike from the edge of the penalty area by Robbie Keane that put the Galaxy up 1-0, but rather the second goal by an unmarked Gyasi Zardes in the 44th minute.
“That was a different play right there; nothing we can do,” FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja said of the Keane strike in his postgame comments. “The second goal was disappointing for us. Once again, lack of concentration. The game came down to that one play.”
Center back Matt Hedges said it was a disappointing turn of events for a team that desperately needs to get back in the win column.
“He was unmarked in the box,” Hedges said of Zardes. “We have to figure out what was going on and why he was so open.”
The loss is FC Dallas’ fifth in six games, with the exception only being a tie at home against Chivas USA last Saturday. Their brutal stretch of six games in 20 days, which previously included a two-game swing at Seattle and San Jose, concludes on Saturday in Utah when they face Real Salt Lake.
Wednesday’s game marked the seventh time in 12 games this season that FC Dallas have lost a player to a substitution or red card in the first half.
They have already been forced to juggle their lineup, playing another set of three games in eight days, and had made three changes to the lineup that started against Chivas USA last Saturday. Pareja made a second substitution at the half, bringing on Andres Escobar for Homegrown player Danny Garcia, meaning there were five different players on the field after halftime Wednesday from the start of Saturday’s match.
There was a measure of success on the night, however, as FCD played well in the second half, chasing the game and finding a way to get a goal back in the 65th minute through rookie Tesho Akindele. But it was not enough.
“Since we were away, it was so quiet after I scored I thought for sure I was offside,” Akindele said of his first MLS goal. “I checked like five times with the assistant referee to make sure he didn’t raise his flag; just pure happiness as a striker when you score a goal.
“Being down one goal as opposed to two goals is a huge difference. One goal, we’re one play away from tying the game.”