Congratulations to Jesse Gonzalez for earning a solid Workhorse of the Week nod for his performance at Real Salt Lake. Matt Hedges and Ezequiel Cirigliano rounded out the top three.
There were moments in this long and grueling season when I wasn't sure whether FC Dallas was going to manage more than a wildcard spot. FCD started out the year in great form, and they ended it in great form. The ups and downs were in the middle as they dealt with injuries, international call-ups, tough schedules, hostile environments, and stinkers. We can certainly look back and wonder what might have been with a draw here or a win there. It shows that a season is a team effort, and there were moments when everyone contributed, from Ryan Hollingshead's sub super performances to Kellyn Acosta's sudden rise in the midfield to late Jesse Gonzalez grabbing the keeper spot. What a season!
Against San Jose, FC Dallas showed why they deserve that top spot in the West. The result was equal parts skill and equal parts determination against a fierce opponent. San Jose was lucky to get the benefit of some referee decisions in their last game, but in this game, they got what they deserved despite coming out with lots of energy and eagerness to take hold.
That red card to Garcia was the turning point, and it WAS deserved.
No, Mauro did not exaggerate what was essentially a cheap shot. (Read the rest of that weird comment on MLSSoccer.com.)
This game wasn't all roses for FCD. Going down early to a goal that gave a blueprint of sorts for other teams looking to take advantage of FCD's defense had many of us a bit nervous. But with Castillo, Mauro, Barrios, and Ulloa leading the way, our guys stormed back. The goals were classic stuff, the result of hard work, good positioning, and relentlessness.
Basically, the definition of what it means to be a workhorse.
So, let's get to it - our last vote of this fine regular season for FC Dallas' Workhorse of the Week.
This Week's Strong Recommendations
When your CDM is scoring goals, you are doing okay. Heck of a game from Ulloa.
Is this one of the better signings of the Pareja/Clavijo era? Could we keep this guy around longer?
Zach sacrifices all for this team, including his pretty little head.