We have to go back two weeks to our last Workhorse of the Week article to discover that Kellyn Acosta, with his massive 120+ minutes of action coming off of a hamstring injury, earned the Workhorse of the Week nod. It was a vintage and huge playoff display.
Man, FC Dallas stinks on the road.
I was hoping this team had turned a corner late in the season, figuring out how to grind out some results and weather the offensive storm. But once again, the team started slow, nearly giving up a goal within the first minute, and took a long while to get up to speed. All Portland needed to do was scrap and fight for some chances and put them away.
In some ways, you can chalk this up to some bad luck. That Asprilla goal was just beauty, pure soccer fun in all its glory. It was unstoppable. But the goal was setup by a bumbling assortment of errors and misfires. Zach Loyd played one miserable game. Portland was ready any time they gained the ball to punish FCD for their lack of concentration.
I don't know - for me, the season feels kind of over. That late goal was just a deadly little damper on any potential sense of hope I had. Portland has a lineup to really counter and deal with FC Dallas. I like both of their outside backs who seemed to strike a nice balance between getting forward and staying back. Keeping Jack Jewsbury deep also makes any FCD attacker have to work extra hard to deal with sometimes 2-4 defenders around them. Our one goal came when Watson finally got some separation on the wing and whipped in a pretty cross.
Before I get to the Workhorse recommendations, I'll say this - I was really disappointed in a swathe of FCD players. They just did not show up. Zach Loyd was bad. Victor Ulloa did not have a particularly great game. Fabian Castillo looked like he gave up on this team and stopped defending. Michael Barrios was pretty much ineffective. Blas Perez felt like a wasted sub, just too slow to make a difference.
We'll see what Oscar Pareja does in the second leg. Home field and home cooking should help. This series is still very winnable for FC Dallas, but they are going to have to work hard to overcome Portland's cohesive defense.
Anyway, vote below for this week's Workhorse.
And - I'd love to hear which player disappointed you this past weekend.
This Week's Strong Recommendations
If not for Jesse, the game could have been much worse. Much worse. This kid is still learning and gaining confidence. Let's hope these experiences will make a difference in seasons to come.
Kellyn had to run extra in this game to make up ground for disappearing outside backs and a slower Victor Ulloa. He worked his ass off, even if he wasn't perfect.
David was one of our lone offensive bright spots, and that should frighten us. We can see the flashes of why this guy could be a solid attacker in MLS, but this Sunday may be his last game in Frisco.