As far as season openers go, FC Dallas can be happy with a 1-1 draw with in-state rival Houston to start the 2010 campaign.
Schellas Hyndman’s team may have been outshot 12-9 by the Dynamo, but he did like the resiliency his club showed in the tie, especially coming from behind after Mike Chabala had put Houston ahead. FCD’s Atiba Harris answered two minutes later to tie things up.
“It’s probably very typical for the first game of the year,” Hyndman said. “I thought there was a lot of energy from both teams. I thought it was a good game from the beginning to the end.
“I was very pleased with our play because we were down a goal to a very good team. It’s not often that teams can come back and tie a game or score on Houston. They have that mentality of stepping onto you when you’re down. I was very pleased with our mental attitude of coming back.”
For FCD starting midfielder Dax McCarty, the final outcome was a fair result.
“If you look overall at the entire game, you could say that both teams had their chances,” McCarty said. “Obviously, I think both teams kind of lacked a little bit of sharpness in the final third. It’s not a loss to start the season, which is always positive. We would like to get the win but we can build off this.”
McCarty added that both teams showed plenty of rust in their respective openers.
“It’s certainly frustrating when you’re trying to build off the momentum of last year when you’re playing great,” he said.
With the clubs tied 1-1 at the break, Hyndman kept his message to his team fairly simple.
“I was very positive with the boys at halftime,” he said. “When you’re at home, there’s a lot of pressure to perform and find success. We just tried to pick it up before we went out there … and keep our composure for the second half.”
After being outshot 7-3 in the opening half, FCD logged six shots, compared with Houston’s five, in the final 45 minutes—something that could be attributed to the home team having the wind at their back.
“I think it really puts you back on your heels when you’re trying to defend (against the wind),” Hyndman said. “It seems like the other team wins a lot of the second balls, so they get second chances. Saying that … maybe we had a better half in the second half.”
However, while the end result was largely positive for FCD, there was a huge negative, too. It came in the 55th minute when center back Kyle Davies suffered a broken right arm and had to leave the field.
Davies started on Saturday because normal starter Ugo Ihemelu suffered a strained left hamstring earlier in the week and was unable to play.
Hyndman called Davies’ injury a “a broken arm and dislocation at the elbow,” adding that the defender will be out for “probably eight weeks.”
However, the FCD coach does expect Ihemelu to return soon.
FCD goalscorer Harris did well at right midfield. Speedy Honduran Marvin Chavez had been one of FCD’s top performers in that position before being sidelined by a knee injury nearly a month ago.
Harris clearly took his opportunity to impress on Saturday.
“I thought he did fine, [and] what a great goal,” Hyndman said. “He’s competing for every ball. He’s strong. He’s winning head balls. He’s fighting or defending head balls. He’s a good player for us.”
Watch match highlights HERE.