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Dallas Soccer News - FC Dallas Real Salt Lake, Marcelo Saragosa, Yura Movsisyan

FC Dallas Eliminated from Playoffs with Loss

Published 10/19/2008 1:57:50 AM by staff from mlsnet
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When FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman entered the dressing room at halftime against Real Salt Lake on Saturday night, he knew his team needed some kind result for their playoff chances to remain intact.   Heading into the match Dallas was a point behind Real Salt Lake in the standings, who were sitting in the third and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Hoops were already playing a man down at the break with goalscorer Marcelo Saragosa getting sent off just a half hour into the match. Before seeing two yellow cards, Saragosa put Dallas in the lead with a goal in the seventh minute. But, just minutes after he left the game, Dallas gave up that lead on a Yura Movsisyan goal in the 35th.

Up until his team went a man down Hyndman felt his players were on the right track to win. But the ejection of Saragosa changed everything.   "It started off great with the first goal," said Hyndman. "And then we picked up a silly yellow [from] Marcelo, and then the second yellow put us a man down, and gave them a chance to do what they wanted to do and score a goal. From then on it was just trying to play at altitude and trying to find a way to score."

The hardest part to swallow for Hyndman is that one of his goals he stated to his team is to finish the game at full strength, 11 players on the field. With the playoffs on the line he knew that emotions would be running high during the match, and he wanted his players to be the ones in control.

"This was a must-win game for us, obviously, and that's the frustrating part," said Hyndman. "One of the things we said, we go on the field with 11 players, we come off with 11 players. We knew emotions were going to be quite high here, and we weren't able to do that."

The uneven matchup of numbers on the field was difficult, but striker Kenny Cooper said that Hyndman made sure his team would be prepared for such situations.

"It's something we've prepared for in the past," said Cooper. "Schellas is great in that he doesn't leave a stone unturned. So, it's not a situation we're unfamiliar with. It's something we practice a lot on training."

Playing with 10 men made Dallas much more vulnerable defensively. The added space made the remain players have to work harder to cover more ground, and that began to wear on the FC Dallas players like Victor Sikora, who was getting a start in place of the suspended Andre Rocha. Hyndman was pleased with Sikora's effort, but needed to insert some fresh legs late in the match as he brought on Dominic Oduro for Sikora in the 70th minute.

"I thought he did fine," Hyndman said of Sikora. "He just ran out of gas, he was working awfully hard on both sides of the ball, and that made it a little bit difficult. We were in desperation. Going with three in the back, and trying to get fresh legs up front. Trying to get some speed up there and make something out of nothing."

The last two goals from Salt Lake in the second half came from a combination of problems. The added room from playing a man down didn't help, but neither did the fact that Dallas needed to equalize. The Hoops pushed desperately for goal as their time was running out, which opened even more space behind the Dallas defense.

"It really doesn't matter," said Hyndman. "It doesn't matter whether we lose 2-1 or 10-1. What we were trying to do was get a goal and try and salvage the season."

With the loss, in combination with New York and Kansas City each winning their matches, FC Dallas are now mathematically out of the playoff race. Hyndman heard of the other results from around the league when his team came into the dressing room at halftime, but he opted not to tell his players the news.

Label: FC Dallas Real Salt Lake, Marcelo Saragosa, Yura Movsisyan
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