For an FC Dallas team that has had as much success as they have had in the past two years, collecting three points at Gillette Stadium remains a daunting task.
FC Dallas lost 2-0 to the New England Revolution on Saturday night, extending their winless streak in Massachusetts to eight games dating back to 2003.
Head coach Schellas Hyndman credited the Revolution for bouncing back after squandering a three-goal lead against the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night.
“I think it was a well-earned win by the Revolution,” Hyndman told reporters. “After the game against Philadelphia, where they scored four goals in the first half and then get it tied, I think there was a lot of soul searching and I think Steve [Nicol, Revs head coach] did a good job of getting the boys focused and bringing something out tonight.”
Despite giving New England props for doing their job right, it doesn't mean FCD weren't upset with the result. With Real Salt Lake’s win earlier in the day over the Seattle Sounders, FC Dallas’ grip on the last automatic playoff berth in the Western Conference loosened slightly, with RSL only one point back of the third position.
“Obviously we are upset at the fact,” said FCD goalkeeper Kevin Hartman. “We have high expectations of ourselves and to come in and to play against New England. Unfortunately, they were able to put one away early, and as we continued to push, they were able to pick up the second one on a corner kick, which frustrates us even more. We don’t want to be giving up set-piece goals.
“[The loss is] something we are going to have to come back from as quickly as possible,” he added. “We’ve had as big of a break as we’ve had in a really long time in the past week-and-a-half and it’s something we are going to work our way back into it.”
FC Dallas were without winger Marvin Chávez (ankle injury) and center back Ugo Ihemelu (yellow-card accumulation), and a fatigued Brek Shea was pulled at halftime.
“I probably shouldn’t have had [Shea] out there,” said Hyndman. “He was very tired and it showed. But the type of player he is, he wants to always contribute.”
Added Shea, “I was trying to help the attack and help the team and try and get crosses in, shots off — just trying to get an assist or a goal. Obviously, it didn’t happen. I’m a little banged up from the past couple of games. I’m dealing with a groin issue; it kind of bothered me tonight, so that was part of it.”
Hartman didn’t see any poor defensive structure from interim center back Andrew Jacobson, but noted the importance of Ihemelu to central defense partner George John.
“You’re going to miss a guy like Ugo who has been with us for a numbers of years and certainly has quite a relationship with George John,” said Hartman.
The loss to the Revs comes only days after the tragic death of FC Dallas legend Bobby Rhine. Team captain Daniel Hernandez honored the former player by writing Rhine’s No. 19 and initials on the captain’s armband.
With the remainder of the season dedicated to Rhine, Hartman & Co. felt an uneasiness leaving New England with no points to show for.
“It’s emotional,” he said. “You want to win games and dedicate it to Bobby, but when you’re not able to do it because you’re not good enough as a soccer team, it makes you feel like you’ve hurt somebody even though you haven’t.”