FRISCO – With three games left in the regular season, Oscar Pareja says his club is treating the remaining schedule as if they were three Finals – each game a do-or-die, winner-take-all.
And he’s not wrong.
“It’s kind of like a playoff mentality already, win or go home, so we know everything is in our hands right now,” Tesho Akindele said. “We have to go out and prove that we are a good team, prove we deserve to be in the playoffs. It’s good to have everything in our own hands. It’s huge.”
“There is no other option for us,” Walker Zimmerman said. “[MLS Cup] has been our goal form the get-go and so that first step is making the playoffs. The next three games determine that, so we’re focused and we are looking forward to each game, and capitalizing on our opportunities.”
The games over the last few weeks have held their own importance – something well-documented – but time is running thin for FCD with less than three weeks remaining. A win last week against Colorado got things moving in the right direction, but the club didn’t get any help over the weekend with all three competing playoff hopefuls picking up points.
Four clubs are separated by just one point and with a game in-hand over Real Salt Lake and San Jose coming to fruition this weekend, Dallas has to make the most of their opportunity to get ahead.
“The playoffs are a fight and we knew this is starting earlier than we normally do,” defender Matt Hedges said. “Three points every game is playoff mentality and that is what we have to do now.”
“I think we have been in this scenario for the last few games,” Pareja said of the urgency. “What happened is that the [remaining] schedule gets shorter. Now we don’t have many games. We just have these three games and we need to get the points to get into the playoffs. The urgency is there, we all know and fortunately for the players, I think the last week has been very positive for them, I think the behavior on the field has been very good and the boys have to be very optimistic.”