Texas Derby Games Grades

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

A 4-1 win in Houston? Is this real life?

Let's take a look at the individual performances in defense of El Capitan.

Starting XI

Chris Seitz - 8

Do I even need to explain this? Even taking the PK save out of it, Chris Seitz had a great game. Giles Barnes first touch in the 1st minute of the game could have really ruined this match early for FC Dallas but Seitz was up to the task from the get go. This performance will do nothing to quell the questions about what keeper should be starting for FCD over the next few weeks.

Jair Benitez - 4

With all of the steps forward he seemed to make last week I thought for sure that this week would be at least as solid....I was wrong. The PK called against him could have easily been called a foul outside the box but Jair should have never put himself into that position. Once again Matt Hedges and Stephan Keel had to shade his direction in order to cover, exposing the right side. Can't think that he'll get too many more chances to step it up. Is it time to see Moises or Loyd at LB?

Matt Hedges - 7

Hedges shut down Will Bruin, apparently the two have a history and it's not one of love, all night and made the Houston Dynamo goal scoring threat ineffective for most of the game. You had to feel bad for the guy having to cover for Benitez mistakes on too many occasions. I would however like to see more decisiveness from him when it comes to talking to the ref. I feel like he doesn't step up and become vocal when his players are getting hacked on the field. He's still growing into the captain role and will get it figured out soon enough.

Stephen Keel - 7

Keel was, yet again, the Energizer bunny on the pitch. Whether making great stops at the top of the box or being a nuisance on set pieces Keel was involved. While I don't think that it last when George John gets back, this pairing of Keel/Hedges really is fun to watch. Funny to think that most MLS teams thought that Keel didn't have anything left in the tank when FCD picked him up in the reentry draft.

Zach Loyd - 6

It was great to see Zach Loyd back in the starting line up. With Kellyn Acosta not even traveling to Houston it was a no-brainer to go with a healthy Loyd. Zach played solid all night and helped to free up Je-Vaughn Watson on the right side. Now that Loyd is healthy and clearly ready to play you have to wonder what this means for Kellyn Acosta, who has been great so far this year.

Hendry Thomas - 6.5

Hendry does such a great job at being a disruptor to opposing midfields and Saturday was no exception. Yes he's going to pick up cards of varying colors but that's not something we didn't all know coming into this year. He seems to be able to work with Michel, Jacobson, or Moffat, and makes them all more effective. I still want to see 90 minutes with Moffat and Thomas in the midfield. Could we see that this weekend against Seattle?

Michel - 5

And this score is figuring in the successful PK. Michel coughed up balls in the midfield all night. If not for Thomas, Seitz, and the CB's his issues would have been even more apparent. He gave away a ball in the final minutes of the game that, if not for the great work of Seitz, would have easily been a goal for Houston. He's a creative spark off the bench, which is where he should always start the game. With Jacobson and Moffat getting closer to health this shouldn't be an issue in the coming weeks.

Fabian Castillo - 5.5

I know he drew the critical tackle from Horst that ended in a red card but other than that he didn't do much. Castillo had a hard time cracking Ricardo Clark, Kofi Sarkodie, and Horst all night. Not the usual performance from the young Colombian and not one that anyone should think will become a regular thing. Everyone has an off night and Castillo's seemed to be last Saturday.

Mauro Diaz - 7.5

The guy takes a hacking and just keeps going. Teams are quickly learning that they can foul Diaz but that just leads to a free kick that can be just as dangerous as not fouling him. I'm trying to remember the last time we've seen a player come into this league with this much vision. Henry maybe? Not to say he's Henry caliber but the vision of the field he possesses isn't matched by many. Let's all say a prayer, to what ever you pray too, that he stays healthy.

Je-Vaughn Watson - 8

Was this Watson's coming out game this year? The Jamaican veteran just continues to build on already strong performances this season. Even the Dynamo announcers noted that he just seemed to be happier in Dallas and that he's found a team to call home. Welcome home Je Vaughn. Welcome home. Thanks again to the MLS Disciplinary Committee for doing the right thing and rescinding his red card from the Portland match.

David Texiera - 5

I'm not sure if Blas had a slight injury or if Pareja was just wanting to get the youngster some minutes in a big match but you can see flashes of what this young man can be. Tex was unlucky not score in the second half with a great run in on the back post. If not for a great save be Tally Hall, a Save of the Week nominee no less, the young Uruguayan would have netted his first FCD goal. I feel like he just needs a little more time to build up some confidence. A goal in an FCD kit would go a long way to building that.

Oscar Pareja - 8

Another notch on the belt for Papi with an impressive win in his first Texas Derby as head coach. The Tex start was a little surprising but as we should all be learning by now: In Papi We Trust. Pareja has done a fantastic job at the helm so far. Let's hope he can keep it going this weekend against a Seattle team that may just be hitting its stride.

Off The Bench

Blas Perez - 5

While not factoring in much into the action one thing has to be given to Blas, when he steps on the field the energy increased 5 fold. Blas brings a presence to the pitch that youngsters like Texeira, Tesho Akindele, and others should learn from.

Victor Ulloa - 6.5

A solid 20 minutes for the ever more impressive youngster. He stepped in for Thomas during a time of pressure from Houston and helped to lock down the middle of the field for the remainder of the game. It's crazy to think of how deep FC Dallas is at the d-mid spot.

Peter Luccin - 6

I would be very interested to see what a Thomas/Luccin midfield would look like for the majority of a game. Another nice cleanup job by the veteran Frenchman.

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