FRISCO, Texas – Even as FC Dallas began a week of training ahead of their game against the Colorado Rapids this weekend, their 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes last Saturday – including a sixth red card on the season – still stung.
“I have a bunch of things that I can show up today and tell you how good things are working, but it’s not the time to talk about it,” said head coach Oscar Pareja. “Now we are concentrating on the things that have to be better, the things that are not good enough, and those things sometimes its good not to hide them and just bring it up and get it better.”
Once again playing down a man, this time after Adam Moffat was shown a second yellow in the 37th minute against the Quakes, clearly bothered the FC Dallas skipper. The club record for ejections in a season is seven, dating back the 2008 campaign. That sixth ejection before the midway point of the season all but ensures that record will be broken under Pareja’s watch this year.
“I am just focusing on my team and how can I get the best of this group. And see if we can finally play another game with eleven. That has been a little bit of a challenge,” Pareja admitted. “I refuse to train with ten. We need to see if on Saturdays we can have the discipline to finish with eleven.”
Overall, it has been a tough stretch of games for the North Texas club. A run of eight games since their last win against Toronto FC on April 19 has resulted in six losses and two ties.
Even though it included only three home games and two back-to-back road matches in short weeks against some of the better clubs in the league, and a series of serious injuries, players were not making excuses.
“It’s unacceptable from us,” said midfielder Victor Ulloa. “Our fans don’t deserve this. Our owners don’t deserve this and his club doesn’t deserve this. It’s been a tough stretch for us, but all we can do is get our heads up and look to the next game.”
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And as much as Pareja has spoken about taking responsibility for the results, it is the players who perform on the field.
“We’ve put ourselves in this position,” said goalkeeper Chris Seitz. “We know that we have the answers in the locker-room and we have to dig ourselves out. We all need to step up and hold ourselves accountable first and foremost and move from there.”