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MLS Playoff Push: Dallas Edition

Dallas is currently tied for the last spot in the playoffs. Well, not really…

Even though both Dallas and Colorado have 34 points (and Dallas has a huge goal differential lead), they were 0-2-1 against the Rapids this year, so they’ll lose the tiebreaker even if they finish neck & neck in points.

They need to win outright. It could happen.

They finish the year with Toronto, Salt Lake and L.A., none of which are in the MLS elite. But, two of those games are away, which has been bad news for them this year (3-5-5).

Then again, they have been finishing very strong. No losses in five straight results.

The fact is though, they were very lucky to draw with SJE last weekend. If Ed Hochuli were a MLS ref, he would likely have been the culprit on that 89th minute call that cost the Quakes the win. It was a debatable penalty, at best. At worst, it was a straight up scam. Since it was at Pizza Hut Park, let’s call it what it was: a homecooked deep dish gift. 

They haven’t needed to rely on late penalties to win every game lately though. Kenny Cooper has been their savior this year and could break the team single season goals scored record. Cunningham has been a nice addition too. But I just don’t see the former Burn making its way into the postseason this year. Why?

I think Toronto will shock them this weekend at Pizza Hut Park. Barrett has been playing fantastic, and Dallas’s mojo appears to be running out. Then, they have a midweek game against Mexican-partner Tigres UANL before facing RSL in its new stadium. I think they’ll be exhausted by then and flame out of the playoff hunt with a second straight loss.

Even if they can come away with a win in the season’s final game at the HDC vs. L.A., I think it will be too little, too late for Dallas.

In order to make me look stupid, Dallas will need Cunningham to continue his freakish tear. He’s amazing (when he wants to be). They’ll also need Dario Sala to keep impressing between the posts. He’s been one of the more underrated keepers in the league for a long while now.

They will also need Schellas Hyndman to continue to earn his keep with his new peers: MLS head coaches.

There is still no biographical information on Hyndman on the FC Dallas Official Website even though he was hired in June.  I guess they either have a lazy webmaster or Hyndman’s been too busy trying to keep the Hoops in the hunt he hasn’t had the time to give them any bio material.

All I really knew about him when he was hired was that he was with SMU for nearly a quarter century and  was a damn good NCAA coach. He’s slowly become more comfortable in MLS. After starting his tenure 1-3-3, he has managed his squad to a 5-3-3 record since the All-Star game. He seems to be coming into his own as a pro coach and could help his squad achieve quite a dramatic turnaround.

You know one thing I did learn about Hyndman recently?

He has a black belt in karate. Which is pretty fitting if you think about it.

To Dallas, Hyndman has been like Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid. He’s helped them escape their fate as a bullied underdog, and gotten them just a few steps from the big tournament.

Now, the question is whether they can take those final steps.