Saturday night at Dick Sporting Goods Park was supposed to be different for FC Dallas.
Head coach Schellas Hyndman switched from his 4-1-4-1 and rolled out a 4-4-2, starting speedy flankers Brek Shea and Marvin Chavez together for the first time since their last win on Aug. 27 against Sporting Kansas City.
Finally Dallas would put an end to their 270-minute scoring drought, Hyndman had hoped.
But the result didn’t change, and neither did the scoreline: a 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids.
Midfielder Andrew Jacobson left the game with a head injury on the play in which Drew Moor headed home the game-winner, and Jackson received a yellow card on a play that had Hyndman pondering the Brazilian’s "emotional intelligence."
“The thing that scared me was the reminiscing of the Columbus game when he got two yellow cards in the span of a minute, and I wouldn’t bet my house that he would not get a second yellow,” Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com of Jackson’s 30th-minute yellow card that forced the coach to make a rare first-half substitution.
“It was more of a gut feeling, and it hurt because we lost a pretty good player — but I didn’t want to see the emotional intelligence,” Hyndman continued. “It’s just too dangerous right now.”
The defeat handed Dallas their fourth consecutive 1-0 shutout loss, a stretch that's a first in franchise history.
It also brought the team within four minutes of tying the franchise record of 364-minutes without scoring a goal. Dallas currently sit at 360 minutes of scoreless soccer.
Aside from Jackson’s mental error, the injury to Jacobson hurt Dallas’ stability in the center of the pitch.
“Andrew worked really hard trying to shut down Drew Moor, who ended up getting the game-winning goal,” Hyndman added. “Without having Andrew and Daniel (Hernandez) in the center of the midfield we didn’t really have anyone else that could be doing that.”
Losing momentum heading into the last three regular season games, veteran goalkeeper Kevin Hartman said the confidence level can’t drop any more.
“It’s just a little bit frustrating, and now the confidence starts to wane a little bit and we really have to remember exactly what it is that got us where we’ve gotten,” he said. “We need to stay united. We need to make sure we have one another’s back and that we continue to fight and do whatever it takes.”
Robert Casner covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com