It’s almost fitting that FC Dallas’ playoff hopes ended the way it did.
Mental lapses have cost Dallas all season, and once again a temporary loss of concentration left the team to wonder what could have been. A 3-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders on Sunday ended their postseason contention one week before the end of the campaign, and left head coach Schellas Hyndman to rue the result.
“Something we had been talking about all week was being careful with their quick free kicks,” Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Sunday evening. “That second goal, a nothing ball that turns into a pass and leads into the game winning goal.”
With the match tied after nearly an hour, FCD turned off for just a moment after a soft foul on Fredy Montero. The Colombian quickly played a ball down the left wing to a completely free Christian Tiffert while the Dallas defense scrambled to recover. The German’s cross found Brad Evans and within the blink of an eye, the Dallas playoff hopes were dashed.
“We’ve got to get better at that,” Hyndman said. “I think the way you get better at that is just getting more and more experience. Another way you get better at it is to have depth on your team where you can take a player out and have him think about it for awhile.”
The loss stings doubly for Dallas given the lifeline they were handed just before kick off. In Vancouver. Portland’s first road victory of the season meant that a Dallas result would stretch the playoff race to the final week of the season. But in the end the mental mistakes killed what was a positive start.
“I thought we were very focused coming out and we had a lot of enthusiasm to match their energy,” Hyndman said. “We just saw the result with Portland and Vancouver so we knew we had a door open and needed to take advantage of it.”
In the end, Hyndman and company head home with a home game left against Chivas USA before a long off-season, their first without the playoffs since 2009.
“For us it’s very, very disappointing,” Hyndman said. “But I think we left it all on the field tonight.”