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Workhorse of the Week vs. Portland Timbers and Sporting Kansas City

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What a week. FC Dallas incinerated the Portland Timbers and their vegan-esque defense and followed it up with a come from behind gutsy win over Sporting Kansas City. Come inside and vote for your Workhorse of the Week.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Congratulations to Tesho Akindele for getting the Workhorse of the Week nod against the San Jose Earthquakes. A total of 22 people voted, so there simply wasn't much enthusiasm after watching FC Dallas twice claw back to level things at home. Still, he was one of the brighter spots for the team.

Before last week, I hoped for reasonable losses and gutsy draws from the brutal schedule. Everything seemed stacked up against FC Dallas.

  • Playing the hated Portland Timbers on their field in front of their fans.
  • Missing Mauro Diaz again.
  • An offense that was struggling to click without their playmaker.
  • An historic inability to win at Portland.
  • Lots of travel and little rest.
But hell yeah, FC Dallas showed up. The win against Portland was the absolute reverse of the Houston Dynamo match. The first goal led to the next. The defense bent without breaking. Portland looked like the team struggling to adjust to travel. While it wasn't an absolute perfect performance, the win is massive for this team's long term hopes. They will look back at this performance as a blueprint for dealing with the Timbers in the matches to come.

In particular, the play of Victor Ulloa and Maxi Urruti stood out for me as potential Workhorse of the Week nods. Just outstanding stuff.

The week didn't end there, with FCD jumping back on the plane to return home for a tough match against visiting Sporting Kansas City. SKC, like Portland, endured a disaster of a midweek game and no doubt were looking to rebound in a big way. FC Dallas faithful wondered if rain showers would dampen the atmosphere, but once again, the Hoops came through in a come from behind. This was a game in which a tired Victor Ulloa, back line led by Zach Loyd, and a tenacious Maxi Urruti found a way to make it happen behind another Barrios goal and a sublime free kick from Mauro Rosales. I don't know what else to say but I love watching this team.

I don't know the benefit of typing a bunch more words, but this team is finding ways to win and trust the depths of its roster. With Matt Hedges now missing time and Mauro Diaz uncertain, fans can go in to any game with the expectations that this team will find a way to get a result. And that is the FC Dallas soccer we love.

So, go vote below, and reward the player who exemplified FC Dallas' hard working spot across two games this past week.

This Week's Strong Recommendations

Maxi Urruti
Hell, yes. Here's what floored me - at the end of the Portland game, when the thing was mostly wrapped up, Maxi kept hustling. Though the ball might have got ushered out for a goal kick, Maxi kept sprinting back into action to apply pressure and help his team with a monstrous win. I know it must have felt good for Maxi to put in that kind of performance. This guy belongs with FC Dallas. Sign him to a longer term deal, Clavijo.

Victor Ulloa
His is a Hollywood success story. Cut from the team - only to claw his way back on to the roster and ultimately into a starting spot. Victor was the lynchpin of this team, the quintessential workhorse, for both games. I've had my hesitation about Ulloa. He isn't the most physical CDM in the league, but there is no doubting the immense presence he brings. His steadiness is what this team needs. Here's the problem - you can't start all three of our defensive midfielders. Does this mean Acosta comes off the bench? Who knows and who cares.

Zach Loyd
While he started on Sunday night and came in off the bench at Portland, Zach reminds us how deep the roster suddenly is. This guy would be starting for any number of MLS teams right now, and he's having to work hard to earn his starts and spots for FC Dallas. Beautiful stuff. And he doesn't seem to complain, just do his job and do it well. Some of his brilliant work against Kansas City should remind certain national team personnel that Zach deserves another look.