In our weekly series featuring Schellas Hyndman, the FC Dallas head coach addresses 11 topics in brief including the 1-0 loss in the US Open Cup semifinals, Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila, Wash., and the US Open Cup bid system.
I. To start things off, FC Dallas fell to the red-hot Seattle Sounders 1-0 in the semi-finals of the US Open Cup, dashing FCD’s trophy aspirations.
“We were, I think, a little intimidated with the whole event and a lot of things weren’t just going our way and we just kind of got wrapped up.”
II-III. FC Dallas were largely outplayed in the first half and had some calls go against them in front of a boisterous crowd at the Starfire Sports Stadium.
“I didn’t think we were getting any scoring opportunities [and] it seemed like a lot of the calls were going against us. It was a lot of play going both ways and I just didn’t think we put enough pressure on them.”
IV. FC Dallas changed tactics in the second half and nearly equalized when Marvin Chávez hit the post with a powerful shot in the box.
“We felt like the game wasn’t in the midfield. It was a bit chippy in the midfield, so what we wanted to do was get Marvin Chávez more into the attack.”
V. The match was FC Dallas’ third in six days, but Hyndman wouldn’t peg the defeat on weary legs.
“I don’t think our guys really had a problem with fitness, so I would hate to think that fatigue was an issue.”
VI-VII. While the team had previously trained at Starfire, the game-day atmosphere was much more intimate than the Sounders' usual home, CenturyLink Field.
“It was a bit of smaller field and a little bit more intimidating. [At CenturyLink Field], you got 10 times more fans, but they’re a little bit more removed from you.”
VIII-IX. The match was played in Seattle after the Sounders won the Open Cup bidding war for home-field advantage, a twist that didn’t settle well with Hyndman.
“I think the crowd is a great motivator and, for me, I think this is one of the best events — the Lamar Hunt [US] Open Cup — but I’d really like to see it move to a structure where it’s not a bid system. The bid system is where one team will buy the games because they’re bidding higher.”
X. Hyndman feels that a system fairer to each squad competing in the country’s oldest domestic tournament should be installed.
“I think it can go to the higher seeds instead of a bid system where you’re spending money, or it can be a pre-determined [system]. I think that brings out all the fairness to the event.”
XI. Now, FC Dallas receive a well-deserved break from league play, as they don’t play again until next Sunday, Sept. 11, at New England.
“As I mentioned to the guys, this is not the way we wanted to go in the Open Cup, but we also are excited about having a week-and-a-half off, for sure.”
Robert Casner covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached on Twitter: @robertmcasner