FC Dallas's tumble is hard to wrap your mind around, and it's threatening to knock the would-be contender out of the MLS playoff picture altogether.
Even in the unpredictable, inscrutable world of MLS, the fact that FC Dallas is entering the 2017 stretch run on the league’s longest winless streak (by far) is a tough one to wrap your mind around.
A year ago, this was a team that looked like a sure thing to claim the first treble. The U.S. Open Cup and Supporters' Shield were in the bag. But then Mauro Díaz tore his Achilles and even though the Argentine playmaker returned to action this June, FCD has never been the same. The dynamism, creativity and chemistry has vanished, the defense has been poor and there was an obvious lack of steel and verve in Sunday’s 3-0 thumping by Atlanta United. Dallas had no answer to the hosts’ pace or pressure and now, without a win in eight games (0-5-3), its playoff prospects are under threat.
“We were short in energy and many other areas that we couldn’t match the game and our opponent,” Dallas coach Oscar Pareja said afterward.
This is the rested and relatively healthy Shield and Open Cup holder, overrun and overwhelmed by an expansion team. It’s a stunning fall.
But, this is MLS, so there remains plenty of opportunity to rise. FCD has the Seattle Sounders up next, and if there’s a team that knows anything about riding a late surge of momentum to glory, it’s the Rave Green.
As FCD clings to its playoff life and falls again in Planet Fútbol’s power ranking—and as Toronto FC makes its own run at the treble—here’s how MLS stacks up with six weeks to go in the regular season.