Editorial (May 31, 2018) — Wednesday’s late-night match proved to be another heart-stopper for FC Dallas fans. A team with a lot of potential continues to show that they can get the job done. That being said, the sweaty palms and high blood pressure after nearly every match is not fun.
FC Dallas Fans Breathe a Sigh of Relief After Escaping Stub Hub Center With Close Win
FC Dallas looked sharp and cohesive in the 4-3-3 formation Wednesday night against the LA Galaxy. The middle three of Kellyn Acosta, Carlos Gruezo, and Victor Ulloa looked balanced and ruthless on defense. Missing key defenders Matt Hedges and Anton Nedyalkov, The Hoops played one of the best matches of the season.
But things got interesting late, and FC Dallas fans were left sweating it out for the final 20 minutes. And it didn’t help that the match ended just before midnight local time. Not like we need to sleep anyways when you’re pulse has been 140 for the last hour. One should not have to suffer such physical stress after winning matches like that.
First Things First: Ryan Hollingshead
The MVP of the match last night is undoubtedly Ryan Hollingshead. Filling in at left back, the UCLA product (and great attacking option…and goalkeeper) played a major role in the first two goals for FC Dallas. He scored the first goal after a beautiful build-up passing sequence by the away side.
Ryan then provided the assist to Cristian Colmán’s header to put Dallas up 2-0 in the first half. As if that wasn’t enough, he also provided a goal-line clearance to break up momentous Galaxy attack. He’s a true utility player and a major contributor day in and day out for this side. His contribution on the field and sacrifices off the field have earned him a reputation of one of the most well-rounded individuals in the league.
Extra Time or Too Much Time?
Dallas has been subject to an enormous amount of stoppage time recently. The last three games alone, each second half has seen a minimum of seven minutes of stoppage time. And that minimum has been really stretched.
Granted, Dallas has shown signs of time-wasting just like any normal team holding a narrow lead would do, especially on the road. But MLS and PRO seem to be cracking down on this and will not tolerate it. Just go back and watch the last 20 minutes of Dallas’ match against Toronto FC from last Friday.
Last night was no exception.
Head referee Drew Fischer had done a phenomenal job in the first half. A couple missed calls here or there, but overall he called a really clean and fluid match. The second half seemed to fall apart with Colmán’s straight red card in the 80th minute. Even the LA announcers were confused on the call, and there was no VAR review from Fischer. If anything, Michael Ciani of LA should have also been shown a straight red as well for shoving FC Dallas players multiple times right in front of the ref.
Just Hang On (Again)
A few cramps (real, not “play-acting” like some people think it was) before and after the ejection, so maybe three to four minutes of stoppage. But as all FC Dallas fans feel, the league has it out for us, so a healthy eight minutes (and more) were given last night in hopes of a Dallas meltdown. And it nearly happened, though Dallas was able to hang on and secure back-to-back road wins.
FC Dallas fans have ridden the MLS roller coaster the last few years. Having gone from MLS Cup contenders and winning trophies, to completely falling apart and missing playoffs, this side has shown the good and the bad. The frustration certainly shows in the players when these things happen, but it’s the fan-base that suffers as well.
As bystanders, the most we can do is provide a positive playing environment and positive feedback to the players and staff. We can’t have any physical direct impact in the actual gameplay. So suffering defeat (or hanging on for dear life for a win) and not really having any direct impact to change the outcome can drive someone insane. But we have to remember: these players and coaches are literally doing everything they can to succeed. It is extremely difficult to assess and adjust your style of play in the middle of a game. Deep breath, count to 10, scream into a pillow, and trust and believe in your side.
Dallas escaped Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s wrath again last night, leaving the home team angry and confused. They had won two in a row without Zlatan, and then he comes back and they lose again. Sigi Schmid has a lot on his plate, and he has to figure it out quick if he wants to keep his job.
FC Dcomess come back home to finish off the nine-day, three match stretch. They’ll face LAFC at home Saturday evening, where the high temperature is expected to be around 100 degrees. Water breaks will definitely be required, and players will be pushed to the limit. Let’s just hope those in attendance (raising my hand) won’t have their stress levels pushed to the limit this time.
FC Dallas Fans: trust the process. Trust Papi. Busca La Forma.