Eight seconds...That's how long professional bull riders have to stay mounted on their beast to obtain points in their sport.
It's also how long it took the New York Red Bulls to score their first goal Sunday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium - and they never looked back.
The Dynamo were looking to Sunday's regular season home finale as an opportunity to move up the ranks in the Eastern Conference. After the 3-0 defeat to the first-place Red Bulls, they now find themselves outside the playoff picture, needing a bit of help next week at DC United in the final match of the regular season to make the playoffs.
Here are five things Hair Balls took from Sunday.
5. Cahill's blast The sold-out crowd at BBVA was not yet settled into their seats before the home team found themselves in the hole. Eight seconds into the match, Australian international Tim Cahill sent a rocket into the net for his 11th goal of the year. The tally was the fastest goal in MLS history, breaking Dwayne De Rosario's record of 11 seconds set in 2003.
Who would've thought that the game winner would be scored seconds from the opening whistle, that the remaining 89 minutes and 52 seconds of the match would be obsolete.
"It's a sour one, but I don't think the first goal... necessarily killed us for the rest of the afternoon," Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said after the match.
4. Clear it off the line The Dynamo's defense fell victim to their inability to clear the ball from dangerous areas - most notably their own 18 yard box. When the Dynamo failed to clear a corner kick in the 64th minute, the Red Bulls put the rebound back in the air. Ibrahim Sekagya was in the right position to head the ball into an empty net to double the score for the Red Bulls.
Ten minutes later, Dynamo defender Jermaine Taylor tried to clear the ball from the Dynamo penalty area. His clearance, unfortunately, ricocheted off of Corey Ashe, and in front of Red Bull's Bradley Wright-Phillips. Needless to say, the freak accident gifted the Red Bulls their third goal of the match.
3. Ball not bouncing the Orange way
You could say that all three goals were a lucky bounce of the ball for NYRB. On Sunday, the Dynamo received no such luck. In the 59th minute, Kofi Sarkodie whipped a cross into box for Boniek Garcia. He was able to head the pass, but put the shot just to the left of the post. Late in the match, Will Bruin had opportunities to put the Dynamo on the scoresheet. Both times, however, Bruin's far post shots went just wide of the frame.
Even after suffering their second lop-sided home defeat to the Red Bulls, Kinnear has kept his faith in his players.
"I'm never down on these guys, "Kinnear said. "We're all a little bit disappointed in the result; we all kind of get a little bit quiet and introverted when things don't go your way. But never once have I lost confidence in this group."
2. Playoff picture complicated for Dynamo After Sunday's results, the Dynamo sit in a tie for fifth place with the New England Revolution, but the Revs hold the tie breakers because of a higher goal differential. With one match remaining, they no longer control their own destiny. First thing's first, they have to go into RFK Stadium and secure a victory against DC United, next Sunday, October 27 at 12:30 pm CST. They also need a bit of help.
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They currently sit at 48 points. A win Sunday would bump the Dynamo to 51 points. If one of the three teams ahead of the Dynamo - the Revolution, Chicago Fire, or Montreal Impact - lose or draw, the Dynamo would leap from them for a playoff spot. If they draw with United, they need the Revolution to lose their home finale against the Columbus Crew.
A loss and that's all she wrote for the 2013 season.
1. Champions League road match comes at inopportune time Needless to say, the Dynamo need a result on Sunday. And there's nothing better to keep the Dynamo sharp than another important match. On Thursday, the Dynamo end their group stage of the 2013-2014 CONCACAF Champions League with a road match in Panama against Arabe Unido. The Dynamo sit atop Group I with 7 points, one ahead of AU. The Dynamo need at least a draw to advance to knockout stage of the tournament, which would be set to resume January or February of 2014.
A loss and that's all she wrote for the CCL.