FC Dallas headed into Sunday needing two things: A victory for themselves and a little help from Minnesota United FC. If The Loons could hold the San Jose Earthquakes to at least a tie, and Dallas won or tied, then the Texas side would be the sixth and final spot for the 2017 playoffs. Decision Day 2017 was one for the history books. Dallas would do everything in their power to ensure that final spot, but San Jose Earthquakes were in charge of their fate Sunday afternoon.
FC Dallas Destroy LA Galaxy but San Jose Prevail
Quick Start for Galaxy
Dallas started the match Sunday in the worst possible way. A corner kick for the LA Galaxy found the back of the net as fans were still finding their seats. It all but summed up the 2017 season for Dallas fans. Knowing everything would come down to the match in California, everyone in Frisco, TX was glued to their phones for updates. It wasn’t long after that we all heard updates of the Earthquakes taking a 1-0 lead at Avaya Stadium. Everything was going just as it sadly seemed it would: The epic FC Dallas collapse of 2017 would finish in demise.
Roller Coaster of Emotion
Dallas would wake up not long after conceding, and quickly found their groove. Roland Lamah would level the score for Dallas in the 37th minute after the Galaxy could not clear a corner. Just as that was happening, Minnesota United had equaled the game in California. News quickly spread in Frisco and the doom and gloom quickly turned to hope. Not long after, Dallas’ Matt Hedges would find himself on the score sheet, tapping in another corner that the Galaxy failed to clear. In a span of eight minutes, Dallas had gone from truly out and down to taking that final playoff spot.
Roland Lamah would double his tally five minutes into the second half, and Dallas would control the match thereafter. All eyes (and phones) were tuned to the match on the West Coast, as news came in that Chris Wondolowski had scored for San Jose. Dallas back out of the playoffs. Dallas would add 2 more goals behind Michael Barrios and Mauro Diaz, but everyone knew those goals would mean nothing if the other match remained 2-1.
Francisco Calvo would tie things up in the 81st minute in San Jose. Sheer jubilation in Texas. News flew down rows and across sections about what was happening elsewhere. Cheers and joyful celebrations quickly turned to prayer and hope, as Minnesota would need to hold strong for at least eight more minutes.
Game, Set, Match, Season
As things were wrapping up uneventfully in Frisco, you could feel the anticipation and uncertainty of fans in Toyota Stadium. (And honestly, as I’m typing this and reliving it in my head, my hands are starting to sweat). Time seemed to stand still, as the Galaxy players had all but given up in the game.
Just as it seemed everything would end as Dallas fans had hoped, lady luck decided to look the other way.
In the 93rd minute of the final match of the 2017 regular season, Marcos Ureña would place the final dagger in the hearts of Dallas’ fans. San Jose launched forward a free kick, controlled it, had a shot go wide, but Wondolowski was there to play it back across goal, and Ureña was there to finish. The update came through with about a minute left in the match in Frisco. It was unbelievable. As others became aware of what happened, fans began leaving the stadium. Decision Day 2017 was by far one to never forget, but one Dallas fans would want to never remember.
FC Dallas would finish seventh place, tied on points with San Jose. Tiebreakers being total wins, Dallas came up two wins short. One cannot simply look past the abysmal second half of the FC Dallas season though. The seemingly endless stretch of losses and ties in the long summer months were the true story of 2017 for Dallas. It should not have come down to Decision Day 2017 for a team so highly touted from last year’s stellar season. All focus now is turned to the 2017 MLS Playoffs which start this week. Dallas will have plenty of time to figure out how to get back to winning ways for 2018 and beyond.