By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Gone are sorta stars like Eddie Johnson and Jason Kreis and Kenny Cooper, replaced by Colombian-born MLS Most Valuable Player David Ferreira. And gone is the catering—bordering on pandering—to families. Instead of a Kids Zone (accessorized with inflatable toys and balloon artists) on the stage behind the team's north goal, there is now an outdoor pub/beer garden. It seemed to work, as attendance was up 21 percent. Or was it merely the team's complete makeover, rather than crafty marketing?
Arriving midway through the '08 season after leading SMU to the NCAA Tournament in 24 of his 25 years, head coach Schellas Hyndman reshaped FC Dallas into a team of unyielding fundamentals, stout defensive principles and constant ball movement. In the regular season, they lost only four games and produced a 19-game unbeaten streak. Hyndman is the MLS Coach of the Year and Ferreira the Player of the Year and FC Dallas was on the brink of a championship...and it all came crashing down on a cold, wet field in Canada before an announced sellout of 21,700 and thousands of metroplex TV viewers desperate to hop on any bandwagon displaying the least amount of wobble.
After John's self-inflicted goal, FC Dallas came this close to equalizing in overtime on shots by Ferreira (who scored their lone goal), Dax McCarty, Jeff Cunningham and even John himself, whose left-footed rocket was punched away at the last second by Colorado goalie Matt Pickens. Pure. Anguish.
Not sure if snooty sports fans would've authenticated an FC Dallas triumph as a streak-busting triumph for the metroplex's major sports, but it sure would've been a fun debate to engage in while the parade route winded through downtown Frisco's Main Street. Instead, Dallas remains stuck with the stigma: heavy on moral victories, light on tangible trophies.
To whom it may concern: Of course Drew Pearson pushed off, Hull was indeed in the crease, Clyde was prematurely, almost criminally rushed to the Majors and we regret each and every enabling of Tarpley.
Oh yeah, and Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
Thanks for nothing.