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Game Grades: FC Dallas v Houston Dynamo

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Cooper pulls a Maradona and gives FCD the late win.

Cooper scores his first goal back at FC Dallas.
Cooper scores his first goal back at FC Dallas.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas did a good job in putting the last 25 minutes from Chivas behind them. After a slow start, FCD controlled the ball well through the first half and didn't have any trouble until Jair was taken out of the game. A few guys had outstanding performances while no one stuck out.

Man Of the Match - Jackson

Cooper and Michel, aside from his blunder that led to the second goal, had great days today as well. It's almost like Jackson listened to the critics from last week and used it as motivation. He was all over the pitch. He played with his head, made great passes and was a consistent threat every time he touched the ball. I question him being removed as early as he was only because until that point he was the best player on the field.

Starting XI

GK Raul Fernandez - 5.0

He is still too quick to come off his line and there still isn't a good understanding between him and his center backs. He did come up with a few nice saves, like the one from the end line near the end of the game, but that second goal was not good at all. If you are going to attack the ball, then attack it. Has to be better than that.

D Jair Benitez - 5.0

As long as Jair isn't dealing with someone the size of Atiba Harris he should be able to hold his own. To get 70+ minutes without a card is a success in its own right. Benitez was good today but didn't really do anything to stand out.

D George John - 6.0

John and Fernandez need to sit down and really figure out their communication. Early on George thought Fernandez was going to come out and scoop up the ball, instead, Houston (was it Bruin?) got a touch to it and it rolled out of play. GJ did do a great job on the fantastic free kick from Michel to be in position and get his head on the ball. Deflections happen.

D Matt Hedges - 5.0

Hedges was strong in the air again and was effective covering for Jair and Loyd when they went forward, which was often. I didn't have any notes on Hedges other than his play in the air. I guess I was too busy watching Jackson today.

D Zach Loyd - 6.5

Loyd made some great runs down the wings and was very strong on the ball in both halves. He also provided some services that were just off the mark. I know our style is to make combination passes on the wings but I think our outside backs still drift up a little too often.

M Jackson - 8.0

Wow. No way he should have been taken off unless he was just gassed. Jackson was the most creative player today and played with his head, which doesn't always happen. It would be great if he could find some consistency in his game. He was fantastic today and we could use some more of that in the future. Oh, I almost forgot, he should have scored to make it 3-0. Close, close call.

M Michel - 7.0

I know he had the terrible touch that led to Houston's first goal, but Michel was great in the middle. His free kick in to GJ was great and he provided some stability after the first 10 minutes settled down. I think this part of the field suits Michel better. I think he gets a little lost on the wings at times.

M Andrew Jacobson - 5.0

Jacobson had a nice finish off of the corner kick to make it 2-0 Dallas but didn't do much else for me. That's three games in a row where Jacobson hasn't impressed. Someone has to be the connection from the defense to DF10 or the forwards and no one has taken that roll. I think that falls on Andrews shoulders. He held the ball better today but we still need more.

M David Ferreira - 6.0

Ferreira was creative going forward again today but didn't have near as big an impact as Jackson did. His corner that led to the Jacobson goal was well struck but his free kick later in the second half was terrible. It seemed like he wasn't on the ball as much today and I'm sure we will get some more about DF10 later in the week.

F Kenny Cooper - 8.0

The Hand of Cooper. Props for him to continue the play. Cooper was all over the field today on both ends. I'm not sure he has ever played this much defense in one game in his life. He was strong on the ball and combined well with the midfielders when he dropped back. It's rare to have two target forwards play together but a little chemistry could make this a very dangerous duo.

F Blas Perez - 5.0

His bad turnover near the end of the game almost cost us 2 points. Having Blas back was nice but he still needs some time to get adjusted, I think. Perez is always good at chasing defenders out of the back and closing down passing lanes. I expect he will have some better weeks.


M Je-Vaughn Watson - 5.5

Watson didn't get much burn today but he was strong on the ball and didn't cause too many turnovers. I don't think either of the two goals where his fault even though they were right after he was subbed in.

M Fabian Castillo - 4.5

I think the idea was for Castillo to create some chances on the counter attack. The few chances he had didn't lead anywhere. I know he is young but he has to be prepared to play when Schellas calls his number.

F Eric Hassli - N/A

I couldn't see if Hassli was on or not on TV but he didn't really get a chance again today. Once he is at full fitness we will have three fantastic options at forward. Haven't had that in a long time.

Overall a well played game. The defense still has some work to do but that's what practice is for. Real Salt Lake can't be happy about their tie with neighbor Colorado so we better be ready next week.