September 16, 2012
NO QUIT IN THEM
Gutsy win over Vancouver boosts FCD’s confidence for stretch run
FRISCO, Texas---The win was a long time coming, more than 96 minutes, but if Saturday’s FC Dallas 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps shows anything, it’s that the team is determined to make a stretch run for the playoffs.
The win was a huge one for the Hoops, as they closed the gap on the Whitecaps for the fifth and final playoff spot in the MLS West. Dallas improves to 9-12-9, 36 points, one point behind the Whitecaps, who after losing five straight are 10-12-7, 37pts.
“It happens by itself, the determination that you saw today and the reward,” said FCD coach Schellas Hyndman after the win. “So many times teams work very hard and you don’t get the points. It’s hard to keep coming back. We ran into setting a record this year with the least amount of wins or number of games that we’ve gone without winning. Everybody let me know about it. It took an effect on the players as well, but they never gave up. They never quit. They kept on fighting. So I think the determination is there. How does this go forward? I think right now probably not too many teams out there want to play FC Dallas. There was a time we played Houston where we had seven of our first 11 injured. Seven of the first 11 were injured. We were starting academy players for many games. So now we’re finding some results. The most important thing is, when you work so hard, that you get something for it and I think tonight was one of those nights where they got the three points. I don’t know if I need to be a motivator. They will motivate themselves.”
Saturday’s win certainly could be viewed as a testament to the team’s determination. Despite coming close to scoring many times during the game, some bad luck and excellent play from Whitecaps goalkeeper Brad Knighton kept the game scoreless for more than 90 minutes. But the Hoops didn’t give up until the goal was scored six minutes into stoppage time.
Julian de Guzman finally put the game away after a ball that squirted out of the penalty area fell to his feet 24 yards out, and he volleyed a shot through traffic into the net.
“I was sitting in a position to get to whatever came out of the box after the corner kick,” said de Guzman.” When it came to me, I had enough time to bring it down with my chest and hit it on the volley. When the ball hit the back of the net, it was like a dream come true. Especially because of all the opportunities we had that we were unable to put away.”
“Unable to put away” might be an understatement.
The Hoops' best chance came in the 16th minute, after referee Allen Chapman called a foul in the penalty area and awarded a penalty kick. David Ferreira took the shot, but Knighton guessed correctly, dove to his right and made the save.
FCD could have gone up twice in the span of a minute at the close of the first half. In the 41st minute, Brek Shea worked his way down to the end and sent a low cross into the area. Ferreira met it perfectly, but his shot hit the left post. Less than a minute later, Shea drove a shot from 20 yards out that was pushed over the bar by Knighton.
The Hoops continued to put pressure on Knighton, who was making only his third start of the season, all through the game. In the 66th minute, Shea got free on a through ball, but Knighton made the save.