FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman knows his team is in for a battle this weekend, despite boasting a franchise record 11-game unbeaten streak and perhaps more confidence than they’ve had all year.
The reason? FCD are headed to Columbus on Saturday, a place they haven’t won since 2007.
“It is going to be a tough game,” Hyndman said. “Columbus is a very good team. It’s hard to get a result there. They’re a mature team. They seem to play with a lot of confidence and the ball bounces right for them in that environment.”
With a 9-2-0 mark at home this season, the Crew have the most home wins of any club in MLS.
“They’re a team that doesn’t make a lot of mistakes that cost them games,” the Hyndman said. “So, they force you to make the mistakes. They’ve scored 31 goals, and 15 of them have been from set pieces.
"When you’ve got a [Chad] Marshall, an [Andy] Iro, that are 6-foot-4, 6-foot-5, we have to be cautious about giving them free kicks and the corner kicks. It’s easier said than done.”
[inline_node:315886]In the past, Hyndman has focused more on improving his own side than he's worried about the opposition. For Saturday’s match, however, he admits he and his assistants are focusing more on the Crew, a sure sign of how far FCD have come since he was hired in June 2008.
“This is the first time that we’ve been able to start thinking about what our opponents are doing because we’re doing a lot of things better,” Hyndman said.
Despite their previous woes in Columbus, it’s been a year of breaking trends for FCD. They posted their first-ever win in Houston earlier this season and also earned their first win at RFK Stadium in Washington in five years.
“We need to go out confident and stay focused,” midfielder Atiba Harris said. “We stayed focused in DC and in Houston. We just need to go into Columbus and focus for 90-plus minutes. Hopefully we do that and come out with a result.”