Congratulations to Je-Vaughn Watson for keeping up his excellent play and taking this past week's Workhorse of the Week prize by a nice lead. Matt Hedges and Ryan Hollingshead round out the top three.
If you look at last week's poll, by the way, you'll notice quite a few other players got a vote or two, which is a great sign. It means lots of players are contributing to a turn in this team's fortunes. Keep it up.
What a difference another week makes!
Orlando City was missing Kaka and Brek Shea. They are limping along, which happens to a bunch of teams in this league with its salary cap and roster rules. Depth is incredibly valuable. FCD is going through some of the same things, but they came in with far more offensive firepower than Orlando could handle. And despite an uneven first half, Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo put this team on their back and grabbed a huge 3 points away from home.
I was pretty pessimistic, certain that this team would give up some dumb goal. And while Dan Kennedy did give up a juicy penalty, Rivas couldn't finish it off. On top of the win away, the team got another clean sheet with a makeshift back line that looks to be held together with nothing but talent and hard work (and maybe a bit of duct tape). How many times can I say "huge 3 points" in this article?
Orlando had no answer for Mauro and Fabian's offensive creation, and it was beautiful to see a guy like Victor Ulloa get that far up the field and tap a perfect pass to David Texeira.
Now, the team heads back home with lots of confidence, trusting that things are clicking again.
They'll need it against a wounded DC United side that may be the best team in the league.
Today and for the rest of the week, take a moment and vote on your Workhorse of the Week.
As I pointed out in last week's comments, there are really no rules to this. If you want to vote for a goal scorer, go for it, but typically, I try to encourage us to lean toward a player who maybe didn't show up on the stat sheet but did the dirty, hard work to preserve the result. Take my suggestions just as one option, and if you have other ideas, share below.
This Week's Strong Recommendations
Kellyn didn't get his name called a bunch of times, but he and Victor are finding out how to be a nice tag team in the midfield. When Victor gets forward, Kellyn stays back, shielding that back line. Here's one simple example of the kind of dirty, simple work that he did against Orlando.
At about the 66 minute mark, Matt Hedges turned the ball over to Orlando with a sloppy pass. There was potential for Orlando to get in a fast break and pressure FCD who had a bunch of players up the field in attack mode. In fact, as you can see from the screen cap below, there was an enticing potential outlet pass on the right side.
So what does Kellyn do? He does his damn job and simply steps up to pressure and redirect the ball enough that Ryan Hollingshead is able to close down that lane and dull the potential attack. It's a simple play that deserves to be called out, because it will never make the stat sheet but helps the team win.
As good as FC Dallas may be feeling about Victor Ulloa and Kellyn Acosta this year, can you imagine the potential there is for this duo in another couple of years?
See above. I don't think he was particularly great at left back, but he seems willing to do anything and everything for this team. (I'm sorry, Drew, but it's hard to call left back his best position after a decent game against a depleted Orlando side. Slow down a bit.) You can't fault that. In fact, it kind of epitomizes this weekly feature.
He got an assist. He was good. He made David Texeira seem passable as a striker. Maybe that's a little mean, but seriously, keep it up.