By Will Martin
The month of May is one that Coach Oscar Pareja and FC Dallas would very much like to turn the page and move on from. A winless month continued with two road games in the last week.
Beginning with seemingly another 2-1 loss in Los Angeles with the Galaxy and World Cup non-invitee Landon Donovan, who was not included on the team coached by Jurgen Klinsman. Translation: A soccer great was given the snub. How did Landon respond to this?
“I’m disappointed. I’m sad,” Landon said Saturday. “I’m human, and I wanted to go. I really wanted to go. I’m at peace with it. I respect the decision. I just feel in my heart that I deserve to be there, and that’s the pill that’s hardest to swallow.”
“The other strikers we see that inch ahead of him,” Klinsman explained Friday. “We feel those guys are a little step ahead of Landon in certain areas. That’s why we made that decision.”
Donovan wasn’t available in the midweek matchup with FC Dallas, nor was he needed as the Galaxy-playing a stretch of three games in nine days-took advantage of an injury riddled team Pareja with no Michel, Hendry Thomas, Mauro Diaz, or George John.
The Galaxy on May 21 would end a four game skid and escape the Western Conference cellar from a three way tie with Chivas USA, Portland, and San Jose.
Robbie Keane got the scoring started in the 24th minute when he found the net, assisted by Gyasi Zardes for the early 1-0 lead. Zardes would also crash the nets with a beautiful header in the 44th minute on a pass from Juninho for a 2-0 lead.
Tesho Akindele would get the lone goal for FC Dallas on a feed from Jair Benitez as the Galaxy improved to 3-3-3 with the 2-1 win. For FC Dallas their record fell to 5-6-2, five losses in six games, six losses in eight tries.
FC Dallas’ loss at StubHub Center was one where the Red For 90 Boys controlled most aspects of the game. Including shots on goal (12-11) , corner kicks (5-2) , shots on target (5-4) , fouls (10-9), even duels won (61-46). None of that mattered as FC Dallas looked ahead to a Saturday night matchup with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The team from Utah came into play on the May 24 undefeated on the season and in drawing to a scoreless game, allowed two points to not be taken on a team that has not tasted victory in seven games. Even so the Claret and Cobalt improved their season record to 6-0-6 while FC Dallas fell to 5-6-3 good enough for 18 points.
To recap there was a 4-1 loss at DC United in the rain followed by 1-0 home loss to the Red Bulls, 2-1 losses in Seattle, San Jose, and Los Angeles. Neither FC Dallas nor Real Salt Lake were able to do much of anything on the offensive side of the ball. A match statistically dominated by the RSL by a 2-1 count all around. The defensemen of Oscar Pareja did just enough to allow for a much needed point to be gained in Rio Tinto country.
The FCD now comes home to close out a very forgetful month of May on the 31st with the San Jose Earthquakes. In minute 55 Nat Borchers had a chance to be the hero except for a header that was cleared of goal. Minute 66 Tesho Akindele received the perfect cross only to place the kick wide right.
It was one of those nights for FC Dallas. The good news is they now get to look forward to some home cooking for two straight weeks with the Earthquakes and then a reunion with Coach Pareja’s old team the Colorado Rapids on June 7. A look at the standings shows FC Dallas in fourth place with their 5-6-3 record in a virtual tie with the Colorado Rapids and 8 points behind the Seattle Sounders in the West.
May has been a tough, brutal, winless, battle scarred month for Team Pareja. June can only get better.
5/31 vs San Jose Earthquakes 7:30 p.m.