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Big D Soccer, Man of the Match vs New England: The Outside Backs

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The defense stepped up in a big way on Saturday night against New England.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night, I witnessed one of the most comprehensive performances I've seen from FC Dallas all season. Games like this make my job a little harder, but I absolutely welcome the challenge.

As much as I want to give Tesho Akindele my nod for Man of the Match for a third straight game, I think it's worth highlighting the excellent play not by just one, but both the of outside defenders, Zach Loyd and Moises Hernandez.

As I was watching the game, I was thinking about how grateful the team is to have two guys that basically are identical in style of play. Both guys are gritty defenders who play smart, while also exhibiting stellar offensive talent. Both have plenty of pace to get up the sides, and the ability to move with the ball and create tasteful and crafty passes. For defensemen, they play the wings very well.

It's great to know that if we want, the team can basically have six in the midfield and really shove it down the opponent's throat (ask Bobby Shuttleworth about those 24 shots.)

What really astonished me about the two players was their energy. In the final third of the game, Moises went on an absolute tear and then ripped an on-target shot that was punched away, and then seemed to track all the way back to the opposite box with ease.

It was mentioned in the post-game quotes that that team wanted to expose New England's tendency to crowd the middle, and even without Fabian Castillo, FCD's widened style of play was very effective and led to both goals, as well as a handful of other chances.

The team is playing well right now, no doubt about that, and I don't see any reason to not have Mo and Zach as consistent first-choice guys. I'm excited to see how much more efficient the team can be when the wings have Mauro for a longer portion of the game to help create chances and to feed.

I'm sorry if I offended any of you with my multiple-player choice, but I just couldn't reward one and deprive the other.

What were your thoughts on the match? Who was your Man of the Match? Vote and comment below!