After last Sunday’s 4-1 humiliation at the hands of Sporting Kansas City, FC Dallas players were already talking about their next opponent: Chivas USA.
FCD face the struggling Goats on Saturday night (10:30 pm ET, MatchDay Live) at the Home Depot Center and seek to regain their edge.
“The team has been really focused this week,” defender Zach Loyd told MLSsoccer.com over the phone Friday afternoon. “We said the day after the game it didn’t matter if we lost 4-1 or 1-0, a loss is a loss and we just put that behind us.”
Most of the players — as professional athletes must so often do — have stayed on an even keel throughout the season, keeping a level head with the wins and the losses. Thus they were able to put the SKC game, and the end of FCD’s nine-game unbeaten streak, behind them.
“We aren’t thinking about the game that we lost, but thinking about the group and what we can do this weekend against Chivas USA,” Marvin Chávez said at training earlier this week. “We can’t bring the last game with us. The team can get a good result and have success.”
Fortunately for FCD, the club has had recent success against Chivas USA, defeating them in both 2010 meetings. They've also had just two losing streaks over their past 45 games, a fact that's made it easier to get back into the swing of things at practice.
There were no signs of frustration during the various training sessions at Pizza Hut Park before the team left for Los Angeles on Thursday. The players exuded their usual competitive banter, demonstrated intensity during short-sided scrimmages and answered the media’s questions with an edge suggesting they are ready to get back on the pitch as soon as possible.
“We have been working really hard to get ready for this week, getting mentally prepared and hopefully get three points,” said Loyd, who is currently nurturing a bruised shin.
Chivas USA, meanwhile, enter Saturday's match having also lost their previous game. But Loyd, in his second MLS season, understands that Chivas are improving under first-year coach Robin Fraser.
“They have definitely been playing well as of late,” he admitted. “But mostly this week, we have been focusing on our game plan and what we are going to do.”