What we learned vs. FC Dallas

The legend explains the key to the 'Caps turning things around

What we learned vs. FC Dallas

Photo Credit: 
Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports Images

 

On Saturday, our 'Caps conceded a goal in each half to a strong FC Dallas team and ended up with a disappointing 2-0 defeat.

So what did we learn?

Confidence

WATCH: Cannon playing with confidence

It’s a wonderful thing when you have it. When you are a confident team you don’t make many mistakes and you get more lucky bounces. Right now, we don’t look to be a confident group. The ‘Caps need a win, of any kind, to turn this around and become the team they know they can be.

 One player who does seem to have confidence right now is Joe Cannon. He has been on top of his game. He made some great saves and really commanded his penalty area by coming and punching crosses all game long. One of my keys to the game was a big game from Joe, but I did not think he would be this busy.

Hopefully whoever is on the field Wednesday in Edmonton can find that same level of confidence and build some momentum for the team heading into Saturday’s rematch at home to Dallas.

Early momentum not sustained

WATCH: Watson denied first half equalizer

Another key I talked about was to not drop off deep in our own half and allow constant pressure. When the first whistle went we did just that, coming out pressuring the Dallas defence and looking a sharp and confident team doing so. 

I thought for the first 20 to 25 minutes we had Dallas on the back foot and coach Schellas Hyndman was urging his team to try and do more and take control of the game.

Then we gave away a bad goal just before the half-hour mark. Yes it was unlucky that it hit Brad Rusin on the back for an own goal, but we allowed the ball to bounce inside own box from a corner and gifted Dallas the opportunity to get that goal.

It was certainly disappointing to go behind from a set play that we could and should have defended better. We lost our way a bit after the goal but managed to get through the half only a goal down. Unfortunately, we did not come into the second half with the necessary focus to turn the game around.

Stay focused

WATCH: 'Caps give up early 2nd half goal

Less than five minutes into the second half, a Dallas shot from Kenny Cooper deflects off Young-Pyo Lee right into the path of Blas Perez, and just like that we were 2-0 down looking short on confidence and struggling to try and get back into the game.

The frustration was already building for the ‘Caps after not getting the results they deserved from some strong performances. Then, to pile the disappointment from a poor performance in, you double the frustration levels.

There is no doubt in my mind that we do have a strong squad and a win, whether it be ugly or pretty, will put wind in our sails and give everybody a lift.

As you can tell, I am confident that this team will turn things around. If the players can share that same confidence, they’ll find what I’ve been saying: confidence is a wonderful thing.