The Splendid, Substandard, and Just Nasty - (Moral) Victories?

Ulloa's concentration has been on point this season - Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas had an uplifting week for the first time in a long time

We are excited to announce a new series to BigDSoccer called "The Splendid, Substandard, and Just Nasty." This piece will be modeled around the "Good, Bad, and Ugly" with an Arab-American FC Dallas fan perspective. I hope you enjoy it and, as always, please comment if you agree, think I am a moron, or have any ideas on how to expand on this subject. #DTID

The Splendid:

FC Dallas has put in admirable performances in the last two matches against Los Angeles and Real Salt Lake. Sure, you may say that one point from those two matches is not very admirable, but I look at the quality of the performances as a whole. Against Los Angeles, I saw an FC Dallas team fight back from two down after being punched in the mouth by a hungry LA Galaxy team. I also saw an FC Dallas team who (for the most part) outplayed the best (and only undefeated) team in the league right now. I saw heart from the Hoops and that is something to be excited about considering both of these matches were on the road.

Victor Ulloa and Moises Hernandez were absolutely incredible in a big moment vs. Real Salt Lake. As Drew mentioned in his recap, the young guns were very impressive, instrumental to the first shutout of the season for FC Dallas. We have all seen Ulloa turn in FC Dallas Player of the Month-like performances for this team, but the wildcard in this one was Mo Hernandez. The homegrown left back responded very well in his first start of the season at his natural left back position. Benitez had been playing well, but Oscar Pareja deemed that the veteran left back needed a rest after all the minutes the old legs picked up with four games in 14 nights. Add on Michel's hamstring tightness, and Oscar Pareja trusted his young player with a mighty task against a strong team on the road. Mo responded with a fantastic performance, hardly putting a foot out of place in the match. What impressed me more was his calm demeanor, never appearing overwhelmed at any time during the match. Vic and Mo have done their part, filling in admirably when called upon by Coach Pareja.

Finally, Tesho Akindele was excellent in these two matches on the West Coast trip for the Hoops. Tesho scored his first career MLS goal and was a menace for both the Galaxy and RSL defenses. His fight for the shirt was evident for every minute he was on the pitch. If Tesho can be the guy to start scoring and picking up the slack for his fellow strike-force, it is only a matter of time before Blas and Tex find the net and this team is back to its scoring ways.

The Substandard:

This team still cannot score from the run of play. Since Mauro Diaz has been injured, FC Dallas has a substandard four goals in six matches. Averaging less than a goal a game in this league will not cut it. We have our excuses but people need to step up and nobody has just yet. Texeira and Blas Perez need goals and they need them fast. What appeared to be a position of strength entering the season has not lived up to its expectations. The goals will come, but I hope it will not be too little too late.

The Just Nasty:

Defensive mistakes cost FC Dallas at least a point in the LA Galaxy match in the first half. Sure, the team fought back well in the second half, but the reality of the matter is that FCD would not have needed such a massive fightback had it not been for two defensive blunders that again cost this team. Benitez and Hedges were no match for Keane on that first goal, allowing one of the best strikers in this league a free strike from the edge of the 18.

Granted, the defensive performance and shutout and recovery vs. Real Salt Lake was better, but this team would be in much better shape for if they learned to stop making those substandard mistakes in crucial moments of the match. The ugliness on defense is not enough to cover the blemishes of this team in the offensive third right now.

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