Congratulations to NO ONE, your Workhorse of the Week winner last week against the Houston Dynamo. By some kind of strange polling error that I am going to chalk to some vile botnet, Carlos Gruezo got the same number of votes as No One, but Carlos Gruezo was pretty awful against Houston. He doesn't deserve his name anywhere near this award, so we'll give him his first runner up.
A week later, how great it is to celebrate a huge bounce back win over the Montreal Impact?
Over the course of 90 minutes, FC Dallas went from looking better to dominating. Many FCD fans breathed a sigh of relief to see the offense and defense clicking again, putting together not just a clean sheet but enough firepower to overcome what looked like one of the most improved teams in the league. The question is - can this team keep it up?
Yes. Here's the thing - this team is still obviously figuring things out. Carlos Gruezo, Maynor Figuero, and Max Urruti represent through huge changes in the starting lineup, and while each has flashed some real quality, we've not yet seen a true 90 minutes where everyone is on the same page. Even Fabian Castillo and Michael Barrios have yet to show their late season ruthlessness. It's amazing that Ryan Hollingshead didn't begin this season at RB. This team definitely has room to grow.
Best of all, Mauro Diaz is a wizard. He is in stellar form. In many ways, he carried this team on his back on Saturday evening. Early in the season, he looks the legit part of a potential MVP.
Enough with this, let's vote. Cast your vote below for the Workhorse of the Week, the player who exemplified FCD's grit and hard working spirit.
This Week's Honorable Recommendations
Generally, I like to nominate players who did gritty work in the trenches for this award, but I have to hand it to Mauro. He was the lone bright spot for FC Dallas last week against Houston, and it felt like he was the heart of this team and made up for a less effective Fabian Castillo. His free kick goal was beautiful, but before that, notice how often he was taking hard fouls and keeping the attack going by sheer force of will. This kid is unbelievable.
What was Pareja thinking starting Atiba over Hollingshead? Granted, Ryan may have had an injury or something in the course of the preseason, but returning him to the starting lineup was one of the best moves Oscar could make. Ryan was solid. He was nowhere near as eager to attack as Atiba was, and yet he still had plenty of chances around the box. He was dangerous and solid defensively. You can't ask for much more.
I just know Matt and Jesse had some long conversations after the Houston game. You got to think Matt took charge this week and helped this defense get back in shape. They face a tough road test against DCU this weekend, so expect Matt to shine.