This was the first home game of the 2017 Major League Soccer season. Toyota Stadium will see sixteen more of these matches before the year is over. FC Dallas had two previous games during the past week, a draw in Kansas City followed by a victory over Pachuca. Maxi Urruti lead his team to another victory on Saturday against the New England Revolution with a brace and now FC Dallas sits with seven points in three games. Here are the FC Dallas player game grades after their latest comeback victory:
Chris Seitz: B
There wasn't much for Seitz to do. Lee Nguyen placed a penalty kick past him, then he had a decent save on Kei Kamara a few minutes later. Other than that, nothing really tested Seitz.
Maynor Figueroa: C+
Misfired crosses and shots galore. Figueroa did have a couple of positive attacking plays, including a beautiful switch to Barrios that led to Urruti's first goal. There were also a few mistakes he made defensively, such as his reckless tackle that resulted in a yellow card when he could have seen red.
Walker Zimmerman: B-
Zimmerman was beat more times than usual on Saturday. He lost a few 50-50 battles that we have come to expect him to win.
Matt Hedges: A
FCD's captain was the anchor to the backline. He was vocal and made great tackling plays all night. He was good in the air, too.
Hernan Grana: B+
The most impactful acquisition from this past off-season so far was a threat going forward again. He's got to be one of the top fullbacks in the league. His passing wasn't sharp on the day, but his attacking presence caused issues for the New England defense. He was still at it in the second half and caused enough of a distraction to New England's defense to allow Barrios to find some space. He knows how and when to play a great cross in, and his work rate to get back and defend is great to watch.
Roland Lamah: D
Lamah tried to do way too much with the ball. There's a difference between a player like Barrios taking somebody on with his speed before playing a cross in or taking a shot and what Lamah did. Lamah was attempting to dribble everywhere, including the center of the pitch outside the final third while he had passing options. He never really threatened goal, and if you look at Lamah's passsing chart on Jason Poon's “Scratching the Chalkboard” article, you'll see that his passing wasn't great, either.
Carlos Gruezo: B
Consistency is the word often used to describe Gruezo. You know pretty much what you're going to get every single game. Gruezo breaks up plays with ease and is an important part of building from the back and keeping possession of the ball. Gruezo constantly kept pressure on the attacking players of NE. Gruezo, like some of his teammates, had some sloppy passes on the night and wasn't effective on the attacking side of the game.
Kellyn Acosta: B-
Acosta's passing could have been cleaner, but to be fair, there weren't many options for him. Some of his teammates had off days and didn't make great runs. It also has to be said that New England did a good job of pressuring and marking FCD up until about the 70-minute mark. It was also Acosta's third game of the week, with his position on the field being one with lots of running required. It was a game that wasn't set up for Acosta to perform well, but he at least held his own.
Paxton Pomykal: B+
The 17-year old Pomykal was active to FC Dallas during his first start in Toyota Stadium. He kept up with the flow of the game and preserved possession extremely well. His game awareness was excellent, and he didn't crack under the pressure of playing professionally.
Cristian Colman: F
Turnovers, shot whiff, 50-50 duels lost, no threats to goal, gave away a penalty kick (if you didn't see the replay, it was definitely a foul worthy of a penalty kick), and came off at halftime. Let's just say it was a night to forget for Colmán.
Maxi Urruti: A+
What an extraordinary game for Urruti. You probably don't need to hear the work rate shenanigans again, but I'm going to say it anyway: Maxi works so hard for his team, Saturday night included. He must have been at least a little tired and sore from the game on Wednesday, but he was still doing the dirty work of running and pressuring the backline. His performance was out of this world, and he rewarded himself with two goals. He would've gotten a third as well, had the gods not wanted my 2-1 match prediction to come true.
Coach Oscar Pareja: A+
Oscar Pareja should always get an A+, especially after a win, because he is the best coach in MLS (history?). Also, credit needs to go to Pareja for trusting Pomykal and giving him valuable minutes. Pomykal was excellent and has a bright future ahead of him. This game probably wouldn’t have been as successful if Pareja hadn’t brilliantly played a reserve squad against Kansas early in the week because of the tired legs that would have resulted.
Michael Barrios: A
The first and most impactful sub was Michael Barrios, who got on the field and started stretching the field and providing an attacking option. He utilized his speed to find space against a gassed backline and played some meaningful balls into the middle. Barrios' first touch on the ball from Figueroa that led to the first goal was a thing of beauty. Barrios also almost had an assist at the end to Urruti.
Tesho Akindele: B+
Tesho wasn't as effective as Barrios, but he did have a nice run that led to an Urruti shot and he preoccupied Revolution defenders.
Atiba Harris: N/A
Didn't have much to do in his short defensive shift.
Construction worker: A+
When Figueroa misfired a shot by miles that went up into the Hall of Fame construction zone, this hero of a man was up to the task. A construction worker (with a cool hat, according to the New England commentary) was there and majestically climbed up to get the ball.
What do you guys think? Anything I got wrong? Anything I got right? Was Urruti your Man of the Match? Or was it the construction worker? Let us know in the comments section below.