Another game, another time for marks in our continued winless streak. This season is looking a lot like last season with a better start. Personally, I welcome our soon to be incoming new soccer overlords, and want them to remember that a few comped tickets can do a lot to influence your standing. Yes, kids, I'm completely open to bribery. But for now, I'm going to keep it consistent with my rating system.
If you couldn't figure it out last week, my system is a 1-10 scoring system. I watch each game with specific highlights focused on more (Goals, cards, etc). I generally knock everybody down a full point in losses, and bump them up a point in wins. So this week, you'll see a lot of below 5s. Just the nature of the beast.
Starting from the back, moving to the front.
Raul Fernandez- 5, despite being let down by his D twice on the two goals, it was clear who the better goalie on the field was. Side note, did you know Rickets is the highest paid goalie in MLS? While big, he was nothing on Raul. Fernandez made some amazing saves, and his service was accurate and playable. He was one of the better players on the field.
George John- 3.5, John was victimized for the first 30 letting hard pressure up the middle. And he's one of the best athletes on the field, and should never be out jumped as he was on the first goal. He, Hedges, and Erick tightened up after awhile, but there was some damage done. His free kicks in the back half were acceptable.
Matt Hedges- 3.5, Also victimized up the field in the first 30, but had some key clearances to keep the game close in the 2nd half. Just seems that the transition to him, Erick and John as the 3 back players is taking some time to gel.
Michel- 2.5, All the pressure came down his side. And he was caught watching AGAIN on a goal. Go ahead and re-watch the Nagbe goal. While tracking back, Michel has no idea where Darlington is. That is not what you want in a defender. The worst part is that there is no one that can come close to his quality on free kicks or even crosses. It's become where he's a necessary evil. Downgraded an additional half point for frustration with the same mistakes again.
Kellyn Acosta- 5.5, Hello Real Deal. It's going to be tough to say goodbye to him in 3 years when Europe comes calling. He's creative on the offensive end, accurate, and has shown that he's the 2nd best defensive wing we've got in just 2 games. As he gets stronger, he'll only get more and more dangerous. Ideally, when Zach comes back next weekend, he'll be paired with Erick as a D-mid and be the one that goes forward more. This guy is a weapon.
Erick- 4, Not as influential as he was in the first 30 of last week, but he's gaining fitness, and going the full 90 shows that. Though that'll hurt him for Wednesday, but we'll see. After the first 30 onslaught discussed in John and Hedges comments, the 3 shut down the middle of the field and made all attacks come from the wing (which Michel was obliged to let come). He's definitely the D-mid asnwer, whether it be the 4-4-2 or the 4-5-1, or whatever the hell SH had us running out there, a 4-1-4-1 perhaps?
Mauro Diaz- 6, Man of the match. The goal showed amazing creativity that we've missed with the fall off of DF10 (who we'll get to). His fitness is the only thing holding him back from being the key to the next iteration of the FC Dallas attack. He'll be fun to watch. Only knock on his game was him going ghost before being subbed out in the 2nd half.
David Ferreira- 2, Now, I will seriously ask why he's still on the field? The captain blew two golden opportunities to get on the scoreboard, and he turned over the ball a ton (13 was my count, though I claim 0 accuracy on this number). He's not even taking corners anymore, but none of these are his worst sin. His worst sin was WALKING AROUND DURING THE RUN OF PLAY. This is unacceptable, and if he's going to demonstrate leadership by example as a policy for his captainhood, then he needs to not laze about. Castillo, Diaz, Acosta, and the entire team keys off of him. We. Need. Better.
Another quick point about DF10. Early in the year, he was up there as one of the most fouled players in the league. Teams have discovered that they no longer need to foul him. His passing accuracy going forward is not what it used to be when he was an All-Star level player, and not even what it needs to be for him to be above average. He's on the field to distribute, and he hasn't.
Jackson- 3, Didn't have the same offensive effort as last week, and had a number of turnovers. He did show up on D a lot more this week, but that's not why I've dropped him down so far. After getting his card, he completely lost his composure, and decided to try to draw the foul that wasn't coming whenever he got the ball. This, again, is unacceptable, and I'm glad he was subbed off, even if it was for a turnover machine. Add in the 4 fouls given, and he was the 3rd worst player on the field for FCD.
Fabian Castillo- 5, This is the Fabi Castillo that gets fans excited. He was creative, exciting, and keyed the offense for the entire first half. His assist to Mauro was his best touch I've seen him take in months. And he even contributed on the defensive end!!! This is progress. If we only counted the first half, he'd be a 7. But then there's the 2nd half, and he was there, but the team had so little offense that it dragged him down, and I saw him walking around a ton as well, which is a huge sin.
Blas Perez- 3, Worst game I've seen him play. Did just fine as a target, but completely lost his composure like Jackson after his card, and tried to play draw the foul as opposed to keeping the attack going. You aren't Greg Paulus. You are Blas F*cking Perez. Get your head together and be the offensive force this team needs.
Ramon Nunez- 3.5, had a good shot or two, but consistently turned over the ball whenever it came to him in the final 15 minutes of the game. That's not what we need from a sub. This team in general needs to learn that possession is key to, you know, putting the ball in the back of the net. And making silly turnovers isn't how to score when you're down 1.
Je-Vaughn Watson- 2.5, He did have a decent shot, so that's something. Here's watson in a nutshell. He had 7 passes attempted in the run of play. 5 were turnovers. At least his subbing made positional sense, I guess. He just doesn't belong in this league.
Kenny Cooper- Inc., Came on for the final 12 minutes, and had 2 touches.
Schellas Hyndman- 2, this is a grade cumulative of our frustration, so a bit unfair, but we've now suffered the second longest winless streak in club history, and the second double digit winless streak in 2 years. But I'm only scoring on Game Grades for this one game. So let's check out what he did.
He put out a lineup that essentially was a 4-1-4-1. Erick was the only guy playing D-mid, and it took awhile for the 3 to gel, which led to early pressure as well as a portion of the blame in the 2nd goal. Taking DF10 off set pieces was curious. He's struggling and it seems the way he could rebuild confidence would be through good set pieces. Taking that away just leaves us with his limited play, and thus a horrible game. By the time everything started working as it should, the team was down 2-1.
The biggest knock I've had on Hyndman is his lack of 2nd half adjustments, and subs that make no sense. However, his subs did make sense today, even if the players he put in didn't work out. Pulling Mauro when he was clearly gassed made sense and this made Castillo move from the wing to the middle. It was more of a 4-4-2 at that point. But it didn't get enough time to go forward. Jackson frustrated himself off the field, and Watson was brought in. This moved everything back to the 4-5-1, with Erick and Watson as the d-mids. Then, with the final push needed, He brought in cooper for Acosta, which weakened the back portion, with something like a 3-2-3-2.
The issue with these formations is that the subs aren't good enough to make these changes successful. However, it is all he had. That sounds like an excuse, and it kind of is. But let's bring it back to reality and face facts. He started a formation that needed time to gel, during which time the opponents took a 2-1 lead. His changes led to nothing positive, and they've now put up a total of 6 points in the standings in two and a half months.
How does he have his job again?
Feel free to comment on this and rip me to shreds. You can see my background on last week's post and enjoy it as well. See you in the comment sections!