FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman had a bad night Wednesday. He will have to shift focus to the Portland Timbers, though.
Hyndman was involved in confrontation with his own player, Brek Shea, who was substituted off during the second half, and watched defender Jair Benitez miss a potential tying penalty in stoppage time against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Instead of a morale-boosting draw against the best MLS team this year, Hyndman was left to second-guess himself after a 2-1 loss.
"'Who can take it?'" Hyndman said about the penalty as Shea and David Ferreira - two players who would normally take the kick - were out of the match.
Benitez turned out to be the wrong choice, as he lifted the penalty high as FC Dallas wasted a golden chance to add to its first win in 14 matches.
Now, Dallas (4-10-7) is left with just one win in its last 15 games, a 2-1 win against the struggling Colorado Rapids last weekend.
How FCD responds at FC Dallas Stadium this weekend against Portland this week could determine its season.
"It's unfortunate we weren't able to convert," Dallas defender Zach Loyd said, "but that's the way the game goes. We were unlucky not to get a result.
"The guys keep showing up and we keep fighting to the last whistle. It shows a lot of character from the guys and hopefully going forward, we get results."
Dallas will need a result against Portland (5-10-4) to stay off the bottom of the Western Conference, as both clubs enter the game level on 19 points - tied with Toronto FC for the fewest points in MLS.
Portland lost, 1-0, to Chivas USA on Wednesday and is the only winless team in MLS with seven losses and two draws on the road this season.
Timbers striker Kris Boyd thought the team played well against Chivas USA, but just needed one thing to change against Dallas.
"I think the only change that we really want is the three points," Boyd said.
Portland midfielder Eric Alexander, who used to play for Dallas, knows well it will not be easy to secure a win in Texas.
"I know what it's going to take to win there," Alexander said, "especially as a road team and it's going to be really tough."