Congratulations to last week's Workhorse of the Week winner, Carlos Gruezo, making a strong debut. Walker Zimmerman came in second. Great to see a bunch of votes and some good opinions. Keep it up!
I guess everyone was a little confident about Saturday evening. FC Dallas did a wonderful thing by owning this rivalry last year, but each day is a new day. In MLS, things change pretty quickly, so you got to be careful of assuming who the frontrunner might be for a particular series. Did FCD go into this game a little too confident? Did the players expect Houston to not show up or play with fresh intensity? Was FCD hoping to start the game with a little timidity and build from there?
Whatever it was, it was bad. Awful. Disgusting. Pathetic. Miserable.
No one showed up for FC Dallas. After the first goal, the back line seemed to implode. Even the normally stalwart Matt Hedges got flustered. The midfield seemed pretty much non-existent, unable to user their speed to any sort of advantage. Max Urruti looked annoyed. Fabian Castillo was a surprise start but maybe should have taken the day off. Carlos Gruezo and Kellyn Acosta had no answers for Houston's relentlessness.
FC Dallas is not good on the road, typically, but this was a team that just didn't look up to it.
Luckily, it's only game no. 2 in a long season. Maybe it is FCD's youth that leads to these kinds of results. Guys like Jesse Gonzalez are still learning the game. Walker Zimmerman needs more minutes. We can hope that these guys learn from this kind of flat-flooted performance and grow stronger. Or, if the problem is worse, Pareja can find the tweaks to put them in a better position to respond down a goal or two.
My honest gut, though? FCD's defense is going to be more problematic than at first glance. With the loss of Watson, the only regular starter on that back line is Matt Hedges. Figueroa, Zimmerman, and Harris still have question marks on whether or not they are going to cement their positions. Will Zach Loyd, Moises Hernandez, Ryan Hollingshead, or someone else break into the lineup? We'll see.
And don't count out the possibility that if Jesse continues to struggle a little, we might see Chris Seitz between the posts sooner rather than later to give him a break.
Down below, vote on the Workhorse of the Week. Last season, one commenter suggested adding an option of "No One" to vote for. Many of you are going to choose that option this week. Go for it.
This Week's Partial Recommendation
Mauro seemed the only player ready for the moment. He did his best to create few opportunities for FC Dallas on Saturday night. It wasn't enough, but I did want to mention him as one player you might potentially choose to vote for in the slaughter that was that 5-0 defeat.