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FC Dallas vs San Jose Earthquakes: Game Grades

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Another draw leads to more interesting discussion on game grades.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

If you just saw the box score for Saturday night’s game against the Quakes, you would have thought it was a wide open match with a lot of scoring chances.  The final scoreline was pretty deceptive. Without Maruo Diaz in the lineup, FC Dallas struggled to find any sort of offense for the most of the match. Once Rosales entered, the team looked a little more familiar going forward. Going without your star midfielder and still being able to grind out positive results isn’t the end of the world. It’s definitely not ideal, but it’s still early in the season and I choose to look at this glass as half full.

Let’s take a look at how the team played.

Maximiliano Urruti (B) – Struggled to get going in the first half. There were a lot of times in the first 45 minutes that he faded back into the number 10 role to receive the ball. Maxi has the technical ability to make things happen from a little further back, but his best position will always be receiving the ball going towards the goal. Once Rosales was subbed in, Maxi looked like the poaching striker that we have come to know in the early part of the season. He did great to follow his own shot and put the header off the woodwork.

Tesho Akindele (B+) - For the first half of the game, Tesho was the best offense player on the field for FC Dallas. He was all over the place trying to find open pockets of space on the San Jose’s side of the field. Tesho has now scored goals in back to back games and really been a bright spot in an otherwise stagnant offense. Hopefully he is able to keep up his great work rate and continued to be rewarded.

Fabian Castillo (B-) – Fabian was absent a lot of the night.  He has struggled as of late to make things happen. Without Mauro in the squad, teams are sitting on Fabian. They have been sliding their defense over to his side and not letting him take people on with pace. Without a playmaker in the middle, Castillo is having to play a little more one touch soccer, not allowing him to get in space. I’m not necessarily worried about him. He still has his speed and he will be punishing teams again in no time.

Kellyn Acosta (B-) – Kellyn had a better match than he did last week. He still struggled going forward but did an alright job with Gruezo protecting the back line. Aside from falling asleep on a quick restart by San Jose (that lead to the second goal) he did a decent job of forcing them to try to go out wide to find a way into the final third. I’m still waiting for him to return to the form of late last year. It’s in there somewhere.

Carlos Gruezo (B) – Is Carlos going to lead MLS with yellow cards this year?  He has four in his first six matches. I am impressed how he seems to calm down, somewhat, to where he hasn’t gotten that second yellow yet. In regards to the game on Saturday night, he had an average night. He did what was expected from him and like Acosta, had a lapse in concentration allowing San Jose to get their second goal. Other than that, he was again all over the field making plays and closing down on the Quakes midfielders. I am really excited to see how he plays against Portland this week. No red cards this week!!

Michael Barrios (B-) – A lot of the same from Michael as we’ve seen these past couple of games. Without Diaz in the lineup, the attacking game plan seems to be running down the right side through Barrios and Hollingshead. Even though it seems to to be the most successful way of attacking, it still is a very basic attack that is able to be snuffed out. Michael’s tracking back on defense was really solid again Saturday night. Hollingshead and Barriors’ covering of each other has been a thing of beauty.

Ryan Hollingshead (B+) – Defensively, Ryan had an alright game. I would like him to do a little more on that first goal, but overall he had another solid match. Offensively, Hollingshead was terrific. He continued to make those overlapping runs as well as continuing his runs inside. One of his runs inside set up the PK. He had a smart run and nice first touch forcing a clumsy challenge in the box. I say it every week, but I am still really impressed on how much he has improved.

Matt Hedges (B+) - Was very solid tonight.  He was being bodied up all night by Chirs Wondolowski and Quincy Amarikwa and held his own. When he was forced to run a ball down in the corner, he was able to make the smart play out of trouble, whether by playing it out of bounds or just clearing it down field.  Matt also had some  last ditch defending, saving goal late in the match with a nice clearing header.

Walker Zimmerman (B-) – Really wasn’t called on to make that many plays tonight but when he was called on, he wasn’t able to stop the San Jose attack.  Wondo had him all turned around and was free on goal. Those are the moments where we need Walker to do a little more.

Maynor Figueroa (B) - Maynor didn’t have a lot of action Saturday night but held his own most of the night. He did a really good job of staying connected with the rest of the back line.  I was really impressed with what he showed going forward. The balls Maynor is able to whip in the box were very dangerous. They had pace and were put in very dangerous spots. It’s easy to see why Oscar keeps calling on him.

Chris Seitz (B+) – ‘Oh Baby Setiz!!’ Another start, another draw. It’s asking a lot, but I would love to see him get a hand on that Wondo goal. Seitz had a nice game and came up big late in the match to help secure one point.  I do love how Chris attacks every corner.  Balls very rarely come down in the box. It will be interesting to see if Chris is in net when we travel to Portland this week.

Oscar Pareja (C) - This game was begging for Rosales from the first kick off. When he was subbed into the match, the offense came out of its funk and looked dangerous again. If I can see that, surely Oscar can too. He has never been a coach who is scared to mix things (see Zimmerman in the second leg of the Portland playoff series) but he continues to go with a more static lineup. The only thing I can think of is that he was possibly saving Rosales for our midweek trip to Portland. With that being said, back to back home draws isn’t great.


Mauro Rosales (B+) - Oh how the match changed the minute he came on the field. He filled the number 10 void with ease and start unlocking this offense again. With Mauro sitting behind him, Urruti looked dangerous again. Hopefully Rosales’ knees are up for a midweek match on turf. It looks like he will play a big part if FC Dallas gets a result there.

Victor Ulloa (Incomplete) Wasn’t on the field long enough to really make an impact.

Atiba Harris (Incomplete) - Didn’t play long enough to make an impact.

Getting a draw against a decent San Jose teams isn’t the end of the world. With that being said, I feel like most of us were disappointed with the result, as we should be. Luckily we have a midweek match against Portland. If we go up there and come back with three points no one will care about the the San Jose result.  Here’s to Mauro (either one) in the number 10 role and a win. Bring on the Timbers , and in the words Dan Hunt, "3 more points!!"

Let me know where you think everyone graded out at.