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Workhorse of the Week vs DC United

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A gritty goal in the end was what DCU needed and what left FC Dallas without points.

MLS: FC Dallas at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Looks like Matt Hedges will claim another Workhorse nod for his late season performances. Ugh, more on that.

Soccer Is Cruel

I live in the DC area, so I thought long and hard about making my way down to the new stadium to watch FC Dallas in person.

Ultimately, I’m glad I didn’t make it. For one, I wasn’t feeling 100%, but on the other, sitting through that ending in person would have been even more unbearable. DCU scrapped together a lame goal to prevent FC Dallas from going home with any points on the back of some all too familiar defensive lapses.

It was an exciting game - back and forth - wide open - lots of chances. FC Dallas didn’t bunker from the get go, though they had plenty of cause to missing a few players to international play. Instead, FC Dallas got their legs under them and pushed for an opening goal that might have insured a solid point or even three. DC United likewise felt the urgency to continue to climb into playoff relevance.

For nearly 88 minutes or so, FC Dallas’ defense played well. They were scrappy. Ziegler scrambled. Matt Hedges thwarted Rooney and co multiple times. There were lots of gutsy plays. I definitely give Ryan Hollingshead some props for coming in and play really well when he could have struggled. There was a good game plan in there, but, in the end, it wasn’t enough.

One stupid mistake.

Yeah, I’m still feeling the disappointment from this match. Will this be a preview for what the playoffs might look like? Will they scrap and fight for a bunch of minutes, coming up with some brilliant saves, and ultimately give away a lame, anti-climactic goal to crash out of contention? I should keep an open mind - a lot can still happen, but this performance against DC United did not inspire generous confidence.

More concerning, FC Dallas still has the potential to cloud their playoff future a bit this weekend. With a win at home against Sporting Kansas City in the match of the year, a first or second place finish is etched in stone. A draw or loss - this team could drop as low as third. Let’s hope they put it together so the Colorado game becomes much less important.

One More Critique

I know this is nitpicking, but throwing out Pablo Aranguiz late in the match when you needed and hoped for an equalizer was a mystifying choice. There were minutes left in the match, and Aranguiz is a guy who needs possession. He's coming in cold, expected to not only keep possession, get his head up, and look for an opening, but he’s supposed to do that when his team and the defense are clearing balls in reckless directions to try to make something happen or stifle any meager opportunity. In fact, this is likely the perfect scenario for Tesho Akindele over anyone else on their roster.

Please argue against my point of view of below if you think I’m wrong, but what is there to learn from this moment for Aranguiz? If you want to bring him on, bring him on at halftime or at the 60 minute mark to push for a go ahead goal. More could be said that you want Aranguiz to stay off the field, recognize the team’s failures in this match, and be a part of future minutes with a team who avoid this kind of result altogether. Am I being too harsh?

Who to vote for?

There were solid enough performances from some guys, but I’d generally recommend a no one on this one. Ryan Hollingshead might earn some love. Maybe Reto Ziegler? Who would you make a case for in this kind of late season result? I’m in a grumpy mood, but I’m open to being persuaded.

Poll

Cast your vote for the Workhorse of the Week.

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Jesse Gonzalez
    (1 vote)
  • 33%
    Ryan Hollingshead
    (10 votes)
  • 26%
    Matt Hedges
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    Reto Ziegler
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Marquinhos Pedroso
    (0 votes)
  • 13%
    Victor Ulloa
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Abel Aguilar
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Jacori Hayes
    (0 votes)
  • 3%
    Santiago Mosquera
    (1 vote)
  • 10%
    Michael Barrios
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Pablo Aranguiz
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Tesho Akindele
    (0 votes)
  • 3%
    Maxi Urruti
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Dominique Badji
    (0 votes)
  • 6%
    No One
    (2 votes)
30 votes total Vote Now