FC Dallas utility man, Ryan Hollingshead has proved to be a key cog of the FC Dallas wheel in 2015. Having started at five different positions this year, he has now found a home at left back. He also found a positivity that was sometimes unmatched in the FC Dallas locker room, believing that the club still had a shot at the Supporters Shield, even in the summer when things looked to be getting derailed.
Now with the club finishing the season tied with New York Red Bulls for the shield at 60 points, with the Red Bulls taking the trophy on tiebreakers, Hollingshead takes this back to the hot and cold streaks FC Dallas is known for.
“MLS in general is a lot about when you click and start playing well and when you play your potential,” Hollingshead said. “For every team there’s those lulls. If you look at anybody’s season they’ll win three, lose three…it’s about when you hit that stride. We’re hitting ours right at the end approaching playoffs, which is perfect…we feel like we can take anybody down.”
FC Dallas were a great example of the streakiness Hollingshead is talking about, especially in the dog days of summer. Take a look between July 4 and September 27 on the schedule. Dallas won four straight and then loss three straight, only to win the next three and lose two after that.
Much like his captain, Hollingshead is grateful for the week of rest before the first game of FC Dallas’ playoff campaign. He knows it is an advantage the club cannot take for granted.
“It’s no easy task coming off of a Wednesday game and playing Saturday or even Sunday. There’s a huge advantage in that and we know it. The west is tough man, no matter who we play it’s going to be tough. Having that little edge is going to be big for us.”
Oscar Pareja’s second year in charge was the most successful regular season for FC Dallas in MLS play in the clubs history. His efforts don’t go unnoticed by Hollingshead, who scored his first MLS goal this season thanks to the roles Pareja put the former UCLA Bruin in.
“It’s Oscar’s guys, it’s the guys he brought back from the year before. It’s his team that he’s really focused on…and that’s huge. We’ve got a team of 28 guys here who have all bought into the same game plan, and the same idea, and I think that’s what has led to success.
Even though the club missed out on the shield, Hollingshead is not letting that get him down. There are bigger goals in mind.
“I don’t remember the last time a team got 60 points and didn’t win the shield. It’s a bummer…ultimately we’d rather have the MLS Cup, so we’ll shoot for that.”