Congratulations to Ryan Hollingshead for earning the last season version of this award for his performance against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Playing at Seattle is not easy, and FC Dallas has only been recently figuring out how to carve out results in their opponent's home turf. That rising experience showed in the first half, as FC Dallas looked the sharper and better coached of the two teams. Mauro Diaz was brilliant in this one, and Fabian Castillo's early goal gave FCD lots of confidence.
The second half wasn't all bad, but Seattle adjusted and took it to FC Dallas a bit. A few mistakes were enough to give the Sounders the slim openings they needed to grab two beautiful goals and carry an advantage into next Sunday's game in Frisco. The result was pretty deflating, as many fans were hoping FCD had shown enough improvement over the last five games to really turn the tables and grab a big win away.
It wasn't so.
This is one of those difficult games to judge, because for a long stretch, FCD looked great. Then some dumb mistakes erased a lot of that goodwill. You can blame it on refs, missing a pretty clear handball call and not being even across the board, but the ref performance is out of the players' hands. It really came down to them staying sharp, regrouping, and stepping up, especially after giving up the tying goal.
The good news is - that away goal can be really helpful. Seattle will be coming into Frisco looking to pick their spots and stay strong at the back. A draw is enough to get through (doesn't that sound eerily familiar?). FCD will need to be sharp and not waste any opportunities.
Let's hope this is not the second to the last Workhorse we will vote on this season.
This Week's Strong Recommendations
Zach is a beast. Zach and Hedges combined for some wonderful "owning" of Martins and Dempsey, keeping them relatively quiet until a gorgeous free kick did the result in.
Mauro had an assist on the night, but he was really special. He stepped up to the challenge and was showcasing some of his skills against an at times befuddled Seattle team. Very possibly the best player on the pitch.