DALLAS - A week ago FC Dallas strolled into New England a confident bunch, leading the Western Conference and with the best record in the league in terms of points per game. For 89 minutes it looked as if their run would continue, but by the time the final whistle blew, it was the Hoops who fell short on the opportunity to grab points.
Entering the final minute, FC Dallas had a 2-1 lead on their way to becoming the first team to win at Gillette Stadium this year. Then Taylor Twellman completed his hat trick with two goals in quick succession to give the Revolution a 3-2 win.
"We are obviously disappointed with last week's result. We deserved to win and should have won it," said FCD coach Colin Clarke. "It's gone and we will have to try and get three points on Saturday (in Salt Lake)."
However, the Hoops still have a three-point margin separating them from the second place San Jose Earthquakes heading into this weekend's matches. Despite allowing the three goals, FCD remain the second best team in the league defensively with a 1.12 GAA.
"Saturday and Sunday were pretty difficult [accepting the loss] but Monday we went to practice and just talked about it - now we are just moving on," said FCD defender Chris Gbandi. "We have won a lot of games this year."
The Revs were fortunate in the fact they had two players made available just before the game when Pat Noonan and Clint Dempsey were released for the match by U.S. national team manager Bruce Arena as both were in the national team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. With the USA playing in Foxborough before the MLS game, they were able to quickly make the switch back to their club side.
"I think he [Dempsey] would do pretty well overseas, he's got size and ability, he likes to get into the box," Gbandi said.
The Hoops are trying to get back to business as usual - well, what it has been this year - as they have away games against Real Salt Lake and MetroStars prior to the All-Star break.
FC Dallas have had a grueling road run, playing the most away games of any club in MLS to this point in the season (11). But on the flip side, they've won five and tied three of those games, and have lost just once thus far over June and July, with five wins in their eight games.
"We have a couple of away games that are important and need to get some points away from home," Clarke said.
The light at the end of the tunnel is that Pizza Hut Park will be ready for its Aug. 6 opening, and FC Dallas will likely sail into a stretch of 10 home games in their final 13 this season atop the Western Conference. But first that means rebounding from last weekend's disappointment.
"We have talked about it [the loss] and now we are moving on to our next game," said Gbandi. "That is the mentality of this team - we have a lot of veterans and a lot of guys that have been in the league and know when you lose you can't get too down and you can't get up too much when you win."
Ron Goode is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.