Game Grades Week 9 - The Red Bulls

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Another tough loss for FCD at home this week. Was the team performance the problem? Lets take a look.


The Starting XI

Raul Fernandez - 6

A solid return for the Peruvian #1. Without a few aerobatic saves from Fernandez this game could have easily gotten out of hand. Should he have done better with that rebound? Sure. Could any other keeper on this squad have done much better? Doubtful.

Andrew Jacobson - 6

The returning Captain was as good as anyone could have hoped while playing RB for this game. Not necessarily anything special but did a great job to help stymy the New York Red Bulls attack, especially with Watson getting tossed early. Nice to see him back in playing shape.

Matt Hedges - 7

The stalwart of this defensive back line was again the glue that held things together for most of the match while a man down. His one big knock for me was losing Bradley Wright-Phillips on the one play that really changed the game. It's going to be a busy week for Matt but I can't think of many other CB's I would want during a rough stretch.

Walker Zimmerman - 6

Yes the youngster got burned by Henry on the goal but not only was it Zimmerman's first senior team game of the year, let's not forget that it's Thierry Henry he got burned by, not some chump. Not excusing the goal but you have to think that was as good a learning experience as Zimm could have and I would look for that to be corrected in future games. Is he better than Keel? His upside is definitely higher.

Jair Benitez - 4

How Jair made the MLS Team of the Week I will never understand.  He was out matched all game and his crossing was "meh" at best. If Loyd Sam had a little better touch he would have had a goal late in the game after burning Benitez badly down the flank. Time for someone else to be starting LB in my opinion.

Hendry Thomas - 6

This guy is a rock in the middle for FC Dallas. I will continue to laud this man for what he brings to this team. He's not the glue that holds this team together but rather the glue that gums up the opposing midfield attack. I for one am very happy that FCD went out and got him.

Victor Ulloa - 7

Victor Ulloa is a constant reminder of what could have been under Schellas Hyndman. This one time apparent throw away player is quickly becoming one of the top young play-makers at FC Dallas. This game really showed us that he seems to have a talent for attacking that he's ready to unleash. Credit to Pareja for keeping him around and taking a chance on the young man.

Je Vaughn Watson - .....sigh......

With only 9 minutes of play I can't really give him a grade, just a frustrated sigh. I get why it was a red card but I still don't think there was anything he could have done to avoid it, other than get taken out by Dax. Moving on....

Danny Garcia - 8

Wow. Just wow. This young man was already in a tough position as the replacement of Mauro Diaz and Watson didn't do him any favors in helping to relieve the stress of Garcia's first MLS game. He was clearly outsized by Thierry Henry but didn't shy away for a second. While Garcia had every reason to have a rough game he shined when put under pressure. The young talent on this team should have fans giddy for the next couple of seasons.

Fabian Castillo - 4

I'm about to get on a soap box so bear with me here folks. I'm so tired of waiting for Fabian to grow into this world class player that we get (very) brief glances of. How many articles have been written about his potential and how he'll figure his finishing out. Well guess what? He's not figuring it out. He makes these amazing quick runs into dangerous positions and does NOTHING with the ball except either cough it up or shoot wildly off target. I think it's time to find someone who can challenge him for this spot. Who could that be? I'm not sure but he'll NEVER grow if his job isn't threatened. He is easily the most frustrating player on this roster. It's time to either start producing or sit your ass on the bench. Okay. I feel better now. Thanks for sticking around.

Blas Perez - 5.5

If not for the half ass penalty attempt this grade would be higher. Blas is such a hard worker and really tries to put himself in the best position at all times. He is the perfect example for a guy like Tex to learn from and model himself after.  Hopefully his health holds up throughout this busy May.

Oscar Pareja - 7

This loss doesn't fall at the feet of Pareja for me. I thought his subs made sense and were spot on, however I do think that Hernandez should have come on for Jair 10-15 minutes earlier than he did, but really that's just nitpicking. A tough loss for sure and it certainly doesn't get any easier with the mid week game in Seattle. Thankfully though this will be the teams only regular season trip to Century Link field.

Off The Bench

Moises Hernandez - 5.5

While he was only 5 for 15 passing the passes that were missed were all long balls pushing forward. His percentage, for me, had more to do with being forced to throw long balls forward in search of a goal than errant mistakes. Moises added a nice pop off of the bench and should, in my opinion, get the start in Seattle.

David Texeira - 4

The #10 role just doesn't suit him well. If he and Blas, or any second striker, are going to be on the pitch together I would much rather see a flat 4-4-2 so that Tex can work with a strike partner. The young Uruguayan is still a little rough around the edges but it's nothing to worry about.

Tesho Akindele - 6

I love this guys energy. Granted we've only seen him in small bursts late in games but he always gives 110% and seems to so badly want to be on the pitch. It will be interesting to see if he gets some more playing time over the next few weeks due to the incredibly busy schedule ahead for FC Dallas.

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