By Ridge Mahoney
The fifth season of Schellas Hyndman's tenure at FC Dallas has been the most disappointing, and he announced today it will be his last.
“I truly appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the FC Dallas family for the last five years,” Hyndman said in a team press release issued today. “After a lot of thought and consideration, I feel the time is right for me to step down as head coach of FC Dallas. I want to thank the Hunt family for their support and friendship, our players, coaches and front office for their dedication and effort during my time here, and especially the great FC Dallas fans.”
Hyndman departs with a 62-57-58 record during his stint that includes the team’s only MLS Cup appearance, in 2010. He also won MLS Coach of the Year honors that year. In 2011 FC Dallas posted the first victory by an MLS team in Mexico when it defeated UNAM, 1-0, in a Concacaf Champions League group match in Mexico City.
Rapids coachOscar Pareja has been mentioned in several reports as a possible successor. FC Dallas Chairman Clark Hunt, who played for Hyndman during the coach’s 24-year reign at Southern Methodist University, said the search for a replacement would begin immediately and did not mention any candidates.
“My family and I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Schellas both as a coach and as a person, and we sincerely appreciate his contributions to the club over the last 5 ½ seasons,” Hunt said. “Having had the pleasure of knowing him for the last 30 years, I have seen first-hand his commitment to his craft and the passion he has for the game. We wish him well in the next chapter of his life, and he will be missed.”
Hyndman will end his tenure with FCD next weekend at San Jose. His final home game will be this Saturday against Seattle.
He left SMU to take over FC Dallas for the 2009 season. FCD missed the playoffs his first season, then finished third in 2010 and knocked off Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles on its way to MLS Cup, which it lost to Colorado, 2-1, in overtime on an own goal.
FCD got back to the playoffs in 2011 but lost in the first round to New York. After falling short of the postseason in 2012, FCD blew through the early portion of its 2013 schedule, winning six of its first eight games and losing only one of its first 11. But a 10-game winless run that began June 1 against Colorado dragged it down the standings and four losses in the last five games eliminated it from playoff contention.
This year’s team is 10-11-11, which betters the 9-13-12 mark of last year, but a head coach has to answer when a team that looked like a serious contender in May plummets so quickly. In meetings during the past few days FCD management arrived at a tough solution. Not known is whether Hyndman preferred to make the announcement now rather than at season's end or FCD wanted a change to become official as soon as possible.
Dan Hunt, vice president of Hunt Sports Group, said, “We are very grateful for Schellas’ hard work and commitment to FC Dallas. Whether with our fans, our front office or in our community, he has always represented FCD and our family with class, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future.”