You have to tip your hat to Coop. He has been playing out of position the whole year, but always seems to give it his all. The low point of missing the penalty kick against the Galaxy is a distant memory after that powerful penalty kick effort on Wednesday night against Portland. With that spot kick, I believe Kenny regained his confidence and has really been playing well as of late. The perfect penalty kick sent a message to the rest of the league. Coop is back! He tracks down balls and holds off well when he comes in centrally. The numbers are not where we thought them to be, but Cooper has been playing his heart out.
Here at BigDSoccer, we (especially me) tend to pick a scapegoat for the season and ride him for every mistake FC Dallas makes while that particular player is on the field. However, nothing makes me happier than a player playing well and shutting us critics up. That is exactly what Mr. Watson did. Since AJ went down with an injury, JeVaughn has played well. He has actually looked good in an attacking position. His defending abilities are suspect at times, but he can contribute to the attack off the bench in the future. I still don't think he has the quality to start on this team, but can be a serviceable backup when called upon.
You want to talk about a player who went from indifferent to favorite in the eyes of spectators in just one match? The answer would be the bruising Frenchman, Eric Hassli. When I found out the Hassli was starting the match on Saturday, I was a little bit worried. Cooper had started to look good and I thought Eric was just not ready yet. I was so wrong. From the opening kickoff, Hassli was an absolute terror for the United back line. He won almost every ball sent forward to him, did well in laying off a pass to Jackson for the opening goal, and fought hard every minute he was on the pitch. Great passion from Hassli. I am very excited for our three headed attack. We need a nickname for them, though.
A homegrown player playing out of position (in the center of defense I might add) for 90 minutes in a "trap" game. To me, that sounds like a recipe for disaster. However, London proved us all wrong with a solid outing on Saturday night at center back. He worked well with Hedges and hardly put a foot wrong all game. Really, I forgot he was a rookie. He looked calm, composed, and collected on the ball. Woody was always involved on corner kicks, nearly getting his head on a couple of them late in the game. I am very happy for this kid. He has looked excellent so far in an FC Dallas uniform.
Zach Loyd - Gets beat more than should, but continues to be a force on the wings and a 100 percent effort guy.
Blas Perez - Captained the side on Saturday in the absence of DF10. Always hustling after the ball.
Walker Zimmerman - Made his first team debut on Saturday. If John can't go next week, interesting to see who starts.
Ramon Nunez - Made the bench for the first time this season vs. DC United. Welcome back, Ramon!
Feel free to fill this section in on your own. I honestly have not seen anybody whose stock has decreased over the last couple of games. Even Bobby Warshaw has contributed by being a ball-winner in the second half of games. FC Dallas has had their depth tested over the last week or so and has managed to pass that test.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
1. If you had to start one on Saturday, would you start Cooper or Hassli?
2. Am I the only one who forgave Watson for every bad thing he has ever done in his life after the goal on Saturday?
3. Were you impressed with Eric Hassli's play on Saturday?
4. Was I correct in not having any player trending down?