Late Sunday night, another defensive gem from the FC Dallas back line was put on display. This week, young but veteran defender Zach Loyd stole the show with a outstanding job filling in at central defense.
For the seventh game in a row, the team wasn't beaten, and over that stretch the play of Loyd has been nothing but exceptional. Loyd has always been a consistent player for FCD, but he seems to really be entering his finest hour in The Hoops' uniform and we are all witnessing to it.
During FC Dallas' 1-0 win over Chivas USA in Carson, Loyd pieced together a fantastic personal game that included completing 27 of 30 passes and accounting for 10 clearances.
Loyd spent much of the night in a different role. Instead of patrolling the sidelines, running up and down, JeVaughn Watson filled that role and Loyd filled in for Stephen Keel centrally alongside Matt Hedges. I was interested in how Loyd would handle this change, especially considering how well he had began to play on the right side.
I think a great measuring stick for a player's maturity and overall talent is to see how well they can play multiple positions and/or sides of the field. Loyd being able to successfully move inside to the central defender role really goes a long way to highlight how mature of a player he is.
I think this also reflects on Oscar Pareja's job of understanding his player's strengths and the confidence he has in them to play multiple positions well and become more useful players. Having a guy like Loyd, Michel or Watson who can play multiple positions without a second thought is a very key asset when those summer months start to roll in. The more versatility these players can show, the more unpredictable the team's dynamic is, and the more time off OP can spread around.
Zach Loyd is quickly becoming one the most reliable players on this team, and I'm starting to think that of more players each week.
If this team can continue to get points against conference opponents, I have no doubt this team will not only be a contender for a playoff spot, but will be one of the teams that others are trying to chase.
What are your thoughts on my choice? Who was your man of the match? Vote and comment below. DTID!