FC Dallas vs Real Salt Lake: Game Grades

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The first shutout of the year led to some solid grades...for the defense.

[Editor's note: I'll be filling in for Jay this week

Starting XI

Chris Seitz - 7

This was one of those games that we saw the best and worst of what Seitz brings to the table. Thankfully the best was seen a little more than the worst in this one as he made a couple good stops, kept the defense well organized and made sure to be strong off his line. How Oscar Pareja handles possible the one true roster battle between him and Raul Fernandez will be interesting from here on out. Just when Fernandez plays well, Seitz steps in and plays a little better.

Zach Loyd - 7

Quite possibly his best game in a year or so for FCD. That ridiculous recovery run in the first half was something we haven't seen out of him in some time. He made some solid crosses in the game as well, something we haven't really seen out of him in a while either. Maybe we can finally say that Loyd is back. Maybe.

Matt Hedges - 8

The club's ironman continues to do well with a different partner in the middle with him. It was good to see him minimize the errors in the back and keep his line together throughout the game.

Walker Zimmerman - 7

It looks like he learned from some lessons these last few weeks and put it to good use.

Moises Hernandez - 7

Good to see him stay at home a little more than run forward into the attack like Jair Benitez and Michel do. That was a smart coaching decision on Pareja's part to instruct him to work that way. He showed well in recovery on the wings though when he needed to and was a fairly calming player to have on the left side of the field, which has been a true trouble spot for FCD this season when you look and see where all the goals are coming from.

Victor Ulloa - 7

More and more, this kid is getting comfortable and confident on the field. I love seeing it. He does good things in the middle of the field, and the few bad passes that he had really weren't a big enough deal to knock his grade down any further. Also, he had some slick passing in the midfield that he must have picked up from watching Mauro Diaz play earlier this year.

Adam Moffat - 7

Solid, just solid from the Scot. While he and Ulloa didn't add a ton to the attack, it was good to see him finally have a positive outing in a FC Dallas uniform. He made sure to keep Real Salt Lake's midfield in check, particularly Javier Morales. At the end of the day, when he is at his best as a destroyer in the midfield, we'll be better off.

Je-Vaughn Watson - 6

The more I watched Watson in this game, the more I realized he was one of the few actually really working his tail off up top. Defensively he was getting back when he needed to, something he failed to do in LA on Wednesday. Yes, he had a lot of unsuccessful passes but the majority of them were placed into the penalty box where no one was at. Had someone up front been on their game, maybe, just maybe one of those works out and we're talking about a different game.

Fabian Castillo - 5

Good to see his effort show up on the defensive end for a change but it is so hard to get excited about him on the ball anymore. Either he dribbles himself into trouble, dribbles himself into a horrible angle to shoot from or his passing is just off the mark. He is still the most dangerous player on the field for FCD, which right now isn't saying a lot.

Tesho Akindele - 5

He had some decent runs and is showing why Pareja is putting some faith in him to start two games in a row like this. While he doesn't have a ton to show for yet like a couple other rookies in this league, he is at least gaining the experience that he needs and is growing with each passing second on the field.

Blas Perez - 4

He and Tesho were kind of changing positions left and right in this one to help with the defensive side of things, which I give both a pass at here. But between the finishing and bad passing (just look at his numbers, for every good pass he had on the night, he had two equally bad ones). At some point he is going to hit the back of the net here and get back into his groove. Let us just hope that it comes sooner rather than later.

Oscar Pareja - 6

I know some of you did not like the substitutions in this one from Pareja but it was all tactical. Andres Escobar should have been brought on much earlier for Watson or Tesho, I'm good I'll stick with that one. But the other two, I'm totally fine with them coming in late to kill off the game. It is one of those things that we just have to trust Pareja with here. He still beats the socks off how Schellas Hyndman used to handle his subs.

Substitutions

Andres Escobar - 3

He was on the field the longest of the three subs but boy did his effort lack. Maybe that is why Pareja didn't bring him on earlier enough.

Stephen Keel - Incomplete

Jair Benitez - Incomplete

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