After the wet and wild week we've seen in Colorado, it's nice to know that there's still some soccer to look forward to. It's a good game as well, with FC Dallas coming to town in yet another 'six-point' affair. I exchanged a bit of Q&A with Alfredo Cuvi of Big D Soccer ahead of it.
His answers to my Dallas questions are below, and you can go to Big D Soccer to check out what I had to say about our Rapids. Let's go!
BW: They're turning around from it now, but I was expecting 2013 FC Dallas to be more like they were in the first half of the season than they have been in the second half. What was the biggest reason for the slight slide that knocked them out of the top spot and into the playoff scrap with the Rapids?
BDS: You're being too kind by calling it a "slight" slide. It was an abject disaster.
The biggest reason was a perfect storm of injuries, poor management, and everyone slumping at the same time. Everything that could have gone wrong, did. The thing that drives most FCD fans crazy is that the damage could have been minimized with some better coaching adjustments. Players playing at less than 100% because of injuries should have rested, ineffective players should have been benched, ineffective formations should have been dispensed with.
The adjustments have finally begun to happen, but by now the damage has been done. Now it's time for Dallas to try and fix things.
BW: That Acosta kid seems like a pretty legit player. Any other youngsters we should watch out for on Saturday?
BDS: Kellyn Acosta has really impressed for someone so young, but other than him Dallas doesn't have youngsters that look as ready as he does. Academies don't usually produce starters, so seeing the number of Dallas academy prospects that don't pan out isn't unusual. It's great for once though to finally see a product come through. Here's to hoping that Acosta continues to improve upon his early positive showings.
BW: Hyndman has come under some scrutiny and quite a few fans seem to think his time has come, from what I've seen. What is the bare minimum that this team needs to accomplish to convince the fanbase he should stay another year, MLS Cup? A turnaround back into the playoffs? Just a decent finish?
BDS: The real shame here is that before, FCD looked to be a top 3 contender, if not an outright shield contender. While slumps and injuries can't be pegged on him, his refusal to adjust until it was too late has really damaged his reputation. Convincing people he should stay another year is a real tough sell.
A deep playoff run might cool fans' tempers. That's about the only thing I can see swaying opinions drastically, and even that might not be enough given the luck that factors into the playoffs. He would need to show real shrewd management skills from here out. I don't think the Hunts will fire him, but supporters are more or less done waiting for him to show his true ability.
Thanks again to Alfredo, head over to Big D Soccer for more on the Hoops.