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The playoff scene tonight in MLS; Dallas on the brink

Oct 12, 2013, 6:28 PM EST

Portland Timbers v FC Dallas Getty Images

The limited schedule of Major League Soccer matches this weekend means limited possibilities where official qualification and elimination are concerned for Round 33. But there is something, at least, that can happen tonight in terms of putting those telling indicator marks next to another club in the official standings.

(The schedule during FIFA dates really should be less than “limited,” it should be eliminated entirely – but we’ve banged that old pot until it’s all dented and barely recognizable as content cookware, so let’s just move on …)

Dallas’ season will be on the brink when Schellas Hydman’s team meets Chicago at Toyota Stadium outside Dallas. Anything but all three points tonight against Frank Klopas’ Fire and its curtains on FCD’s playoff hopes for this year. Hyndman’s team has not won a playoff match since 2010, when it went to the MLS Cup final.

It’s almost certainly academic, anyway; Dallas, currently eighth in the West, would need to win out (three matches remaining) and then have lots of results fall its way to somehow find its way into the 10-team “second season” field.

FCD actually has an OK team right now; not great, but OK. But it took too long to get here.

Management didn’t have it right to begin with, with woefully insufficient midfield depth. They’ve never quite gotten the Fabian Castillo riddle solved (so much raw talent, so little command of how to use it) and they kept an ineffective David Ferreira in the lineup too long. All that led to dropped points. Further, if Blas Perez isn’t around (he’s not this weekend, again) then the forward spot becomes a problem.

The team’s summer additions have helped … but this is Exhibit A of how you need to get it right (or get close, at least) in January and February, not in July and August.

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