Baseball is a game of streaks and slumps over the course of 162 games, but in the MLS where the season is only 34 games long, there isn’t a ton of room for an extended slump.
That’s the dilemma FC Dallas is starting right down the barrel 11 matches into the season. After starting the season with 13 points in five contests, the Hoops have now only totaled three points in the past six matches and now sit a full six points out of the top spot in the Western Conference. Even more daunting, they are just five points ahead of the San Jose Earthquakes, who they lost to last week, for the final playoff spot in the conference.
So now the task at hand, with Chivas USA, is to find a way to stop the bleeding.
This next match against Chivas on Saturday may be the most important match of the season thus far for FC Dallas. First off, the Hoops desperately need to get back on a winning trend. They’ve dropped their last four matches, and for the most part it hasn’t even been close. In those four losses, FC Dallas has scored only three goals after scoring 13 goals in their first five matches of the season. Granted, they are playing much better competition, but for a team that wants to be in the mix, that’s more of an excuse than a valid reason.
Also, the next two to three games don’t play into FC Dallas’ hands very well. After the match against Chivas, the Hoops go on the road to play at Los Angeles on Wednesday and Real Salt Lake that following Saturday–both of whom are serious contenders again for the Western Conference and MLS Cup crown. The odds of FC Dallas coming out with even one point are very slim, so three points here is so very vital for this squad.
The good news is that FC Dallas has already beaten Chivas once this season. Back on March 22, the Hoops scored all three of their goals in the last 20 minutes of the match. Mauro Diaz had a hand in the first two goals of the match and FC Dallas really dominated the entire match and came away with a much deserved three points.
The Hoops are going to need that same type of performance and that same result this time around as well. This slide has to stop now and this is the best shot they’re going to have at doing that for a while. If they can’t, then this slump will just keep going on and on and it could end up costing FC Dallas a shot at the playoffs when the season’s all said and done.
But for everyone’s sake, let’s hope they put this one away like they should.