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by Michael Funke

In Schellas Hyndman’s first full year as head coach, it was a tale of two seasons for the 2009 FC Dallas squad, categorized by an abysmal start, only to turn the season around and become arguably the hottest team in the league at season’s end. After recording only one win through their first 11 games, FC Dallas caught fire by winning five of their last seven, only to fall in the season finale 2-1 to the Seattle Sounders. It was that second half collapse that allowed eventual MLS champion Real Salt Lake to slip into the fifth and final spot of the playoffs.

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44 APRIL 2010

ut it was that same postseason run that opened the eyes of many FC Dallas players, including defenseman Blake Wagner.

“Unfortunately, we came up a bit short.

Real Salt Lake had a great run toward the end of the season and they continued it. It just shows you that once you get to the playoffs, anything can happen. It doesn’t matter if you’re the team with the least points or the team with the most points. Anybody has a chance.”

In 2010, FC Dallas will be looking to continue last season’s late heroics, and it will all start with the offense. In 2009, FC Dallas led the league in total offense with 50 goals. A large part of that offense was powered by reigning Budweiser Golden Boot award

winner Jeff Cunningham, who led the league in goals with a career high of 17. After the departure of scoring leader Kenny Cooper to 1860 Munich in the middle of the season, Cunningham became the only viable scoring option for FC Dallas up top, recording all of his 17 goals in the last 16 games of the season, including a four-goal effort in a 6-0 win over the Kansas City Wizards on August 1st. If the club is going to carry last season’s run into their 2010 campaign, Cunningham will have to continue to play at a high level.

Behind Cunningham, the FC Dallas midfield will be called upon to blossom even further. With Dax McCarty, Eric Avila, Marvin Chavez, Heath Pearce (who was signed late last season and is a candidate to make the U.S. World Cup team), and David Ferreira, the FC Dallas midfield is arguably one of the best, and deepest, in the league. It will be their ability to dictate play that will determine the success of the club this season.

After being added to the squad late last season, Chavez played in only seven games in FC Dallas’ 2009 campaign. The 26-year old Honduran has been one of the most impressive performers during the preseason. Meanwhile, Ferreira’s first year in MLS was largely viewed as a success. The 30-yearold Colombian started all 30 games for FC Dallas in 2009, scoring eight goals and assisting in seven others, all while being considered for the league’s top newcomer award. For his impressive MLS debut last season, Ferreira was rewarded with a new contract for the 2010 campain, which makes his MLS MVP finalist teammate Cunningham happy to see.

“The second half of the season, I thought he was one of the top players in the league. He was the difference for us. I thought when he played and had a good game, the team generally did well. He was the difference for us in the second half of the season.”

Fellow FC Dallas midfielder McCarty agreed.

“We scored the most goals in the league last year and I think he was a big part of that. Once he got adjusted [to the physicality of the league], I think he was a big part of our turnaround. With him back, I think we’re going to be just as strong as we were at the end of last season.” Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84
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