FC Dallas (pictured), one of the year's MLS success stories, celebrates after scoring against visiting Real Esteli in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. (Photo: Mexsport)
FRISCO, Texas -- It seems that every time you turn around, FC Dallas plays in an important game.
FCD captured the U.S. Open Cup with a 4-2 triumph over the New England Revolution last Tuesday, clinching a spot in the 2017/18 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
On Saturday, it became the first Major League Soccer club to clinch a playoff spot by playing New York City FC -- one of the Eastern Conference's top teams – to an entertaining 2-2 draw.
This coming weekend, the Western Conference leader (15-7-8, 52 points) will visit Real Salt Lake as its quest for the Supporters Shield continues.
And, on September 28, Dallas (1-1-0, 4) can take a major step towards the SCCL quarterfinals with a win at Guatemala’s Suchitepequez (1-1-0, 4).
"We know we’re a good team and can play with the best of them," defender Ryan Hollingshead said. "Our idea going forward is to come out and play with everything that we have. We have to focus on what’s ahead of us. The message all week has been that good teams know how to bounce back, not just when things are going bad, but also when things are going well."
Head coach Oscar Pareja liked his team's attitude after the NYC FC deadlock.
"I came into the locker room and everyone was upset," he commented. "They just won a title. Three days ago, they were celebrating the club’s first title in 19 years. Tonight, I found people that wanted more…more than a point on the road. That is not a bad feeling."
Pareja believed that the NYC FC encounter was a possible preview of the MLS Cup final.
"People will come to watch performances like tonight with so many good players," remarked the 48-year-old. "It was difficult for me to stop our players from going for the win. I was asking them to close out the game with seven minutes to go and they wanted more."
Dallas has no plans of slowing down.
"We have our eyes set on a couple more trophies," Hollingshead finished.