Saturday night, FC Dallas went to a place they have struggled to win in the past couple of years and got a commanding 3-0 win. It was nice to see FCD finally put some goals into the back of the net. They ended the night with three goals but could have easily had five or six.
Overall, it was a very professional win. Go on the road and a beat a team than you are better than. With the victory, Dallas, captured first place in the West along with the best ppg record and goal differential.
This team is really good, they make it look really easy and we probably take the team for advantage. Enough about the game, let’s see how everyone graded out.
Maxi Urruti - A+
I keep waiting for Maxi to come back down to the Earth. He is on a blistering pace right now. Saturday night Maxi scored two more goals, getting his season total to six, already. He is currently on pace to score 25 goals this year. The most amazing thing about how Maxi is currently playing is the efficiency he is doing it at. He isn’t taking a lot of shots (25) but has been able to capitalize on his chances. I have always loved Maxi and am very happy to see the form he is currently in.
Tesho Akindele - A
Tesho won’t show up on the stat sheet Saturday night, but he was a wrecking ball in the box. It was Tesho’s pressure and not giving up on the play that lead to the penalty. His pressure continued throughout the night setting up a goal line clearance from RSL and whiffing on a shot that dinked off the post. Tesho’s strong start to the season continued, which has been nice. It seemed like for stretches of last year, he lost his form and confidence. He looks like he has found it and the team is definitely better off for it.
Roland Lamah - B
Roley had more of a quiet half. He had a few nice moments in the first half, but overall wasn’t a big factor in the match. To be fair, I honestly believe him being subbed at halftime had more to do with a formation change than his playing.
Michael Barrios - A
It was good to see Mikey back in the starting lineup. Once RSL starting pushing forward, Michael was able to get those little legs of his going. He was a really nice save away from getting one goal and a goal line clearance from getting another. Michael hasn’t scored as much this year so far, but has been plenty dangerous. His goals will come.
Kellyn Acosta - A-
Another solid match for Kellyn. He walked away with an assist and would have another if not for Tesho whiffing on an open net. It is such a gift to have Kellyn on the field. His ability to play different positions allows for major flexibility during the match, which Papi has been able to utilize.
Victor Ulloa - B+
It was good to Vic get the start Saturday night. I truly believe he is one of the most underrated players on the team. The team doesn’t win the USOC championship or the Supporters Shield without his late game heroics last year. He played a solid game and got better as the game wore on. In the first half, Vic and Kellyn were overrun a bit in the midfield. In the second half, Papi changed to a 4-2-3-1 and his impact became more visible. The best thing about Vic is that you know what you are going to get with him in the midfield. He will stay home, track runners and cut down on angles. He is going to be a big piece going forward and will be needed before this season is all said and done.
Matt Hedges - A+
Outstanding match for Matty. Hedges was a monster on the back line, winning headers, following and disrupting runs and stepping up to stop passes into the box. It was good to see Matt get his first goal of the year. His ability to go after the ball on corners really is amazing. On the flip side, that ability is what makes this team’s struggles on set pieces even more confusing.
Walker Zimmerman - A
Like Matty, Walker had a another great match. According to the 19th minute (go listen to the podcast if you aren’t already) Walker had 8 clearances on the night. He was everywhere and was playing like a man possessed. As well as the team has been playing, you could probably point back to Walker and Matty being the biggest reasons why. I hope he stays through the summer. He is going to be needed come late fall.
Maynor Figueroa - B+
Maynor was solid Saturday night. He really wasn’t challenged much on the night, but was able to hand his duties in a very professional way. For Maynor, when you don’t hear much about him, it usually means he is having a good night. Overall, i thought he had a good night on Saturday.
Hernan Grana - B+
I love Grana, but he makes me nervous. He is great getting forward and can very dangerous in the attacking final third. However, when opposed by a speedy winger, he can somewhat struggle. Saturday night, I thought he struggled a bit trying to keep up with Lennon. Overall, he didn’t break, but he was sure bending on his defensive tracking. I keep having to remind myself that Grana was brought in for more offense than anything else. Papi has Atiba on the bench if he wants a more defensive minded fullback. However, this team needs Grana’s offensive prowess right now, which is why he probably keeps getting rolled out.
Jesse Gonzalez - A
Is Jesse the most laid back goalie in the league? He doesn’t panic in net. His save in the first half where he juggled the ball off of a hard shot and ended up just palming the ball with RSL players around was great. He wasn’t worried at all and just casually grabbed the ball. In a lot of ways, it encapsulated the way the team is playing right now. They are super relaxed and just playing soccer. They know they are good enough and are just getting results.
Carlos Gruezo - A-
Came in at the start of the second half and made an immediate impact. Carlos was able to slow down RSL in the midfield and force them to play more out wide. It’s amazing how his engine just doesn’t stop. He closes down on just about everyone in the midfield and does it all match. His insertion into the match more or less sealed the match up for FCD.
Cristian Colman - B
Say what you want about Colman, but I know I haven’t gotten off his bandwagon yet. I know it’s not as full as it once was, but I haven’t lost hope in him. He has all the tools and will eventually get out of this scoring drought he is in. When he does, I will be expecting apologies for all of you. Y’all know who you are.
Atiba Harris - NA
The closer. #GoodGuyAtiba came in and helped see the game out. His role has obviously been reduced this year, but he is nice to have off the bench. His height is a definite plus late in games to cut down on any crosses and his fresh legs allow him to run down players. Atiba might not be a sexy pick off the bench, but he is solid player who serves a purpose and does it really well.
Oscar Pareja - A
A very professional win for the guys. They came in and got the result they were looking for. Yes it stunk that Javi wasn’t able to get into the match, but Papi isn’t about curtain calls. He is about winning and doing everything we can to get the result. His decisions showed a lot about his thoughts on the season this year. He is all business.
The good times roll on for us fans. Yes we might complain about this player or that player but at the end of the day, this team is steamrolling the league and is on pace for 70+ points this year. That is insane. This is all without Mauro too. Enjoy the ride. We are in the golden years of this organization and it won’t last forever. While it does, I want to make sure I am at stadium to support them and soak it all in.
This Sunday, NYCFC comes in for Mother’s Day. Hopefully we are able to keep the good times going (we will). With NYCFC coming to Frisco, that means we don’t have to go play in their Mickey Mouse stadium this year (thank God). It should be a high scoring match that everyone’s moms will absolutely love (hopefully?).
That’s it from me. As always, let me know your thoughts and compliments on how right about everything I am.