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Workhorse of the Week vs. Sporting Kansas City

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Kansas City looked like a championship caliber squad, downing FC Dallas with precision. Did anyone stand out as workhorse of the week?

MLS: Sporting KC at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, 30 people voted, and 10 of you gave Ryan Hollingshead a Workhorse win for his decent performance at DC United.

Misery

Against DC United, I admit that I got pretty dark. Cynical. Beat down. I wasn’t feeling super well on top of things, but man, I hoped FC Dallas would have continued to put themselves into position for a late season run into the playoffs. DC United took care of business and scrounged together one of those goals that good teams get. In the end, it was an away game though and maybe not all that important to miss out on a point.

But we had this date circled - Hall of Fame weekend. There would be celebrities in town and lots of cameras and maybe a few new fans to take in the game day experience. Here, FC Dallas had a chance to secure a big three points, secure a big spot in the playoffs, and give a week off against Colorado to a few guys who have put in a lot of minutes.

But misery returns.

The first 45 minutes weren’t all bad. A few big saves from Jesse. Some back and forth, up and down, play all over the field. Juicy chances. Relentlessness.

Then, bam, FC Dallas gives up a sloppy goal as soon as the defense and midfield decide to take a break and do a lot of ball watching. I complain to my U10 team about their incredible skill at ball watching, but FC Dallas taught a master class on Sunday afternoon in Frisco. And then, it was mostly over.

Sure, FCD came out for the second half and earned a decent penalty, but once that chance was lost, Sporting Kansas City knew they had this one in the bag. FC Dallas furiously tried to do something, but everything was ineffective. Oscar Pareja picked the wrong subs and the wrong formation. The squad showed little fight in front of a home crowd on a big weekend.

I am just a lowly soccer fan and internet commentator, so I don’t know the solution.

But at this point, we can see the warning signs in real-time when this team is having a bad day.

  • Are Matt Hedges or Reto Ziegler getting too far forward (aka into the opponent’s half) with the ball to try to spark an opportunity or show how not to be good at defending?
  • Is Matt Hedges trying out as an RB all of a sudden?
  • Do Victor Ulloa and Carlos Gruezo vacate large swathes of space in the middle of the field, because your opponent is not going to fill that space?
  • Are all the crosses aimed at the nearest defender?
  • Is a cross sent across the face of the goal but all the other offensive players for FC Dallas are waiting in line for a bbq sandwich somewhere else in the stadium?
  • Did a fresh sub come in who seems confused and unsure of where to be on the pitch?
  • Is Santiago Mosquera doing his best Fabian Castillo impression?

Yeah, I’m laying on the sarcasm pretty thick here, because it’s not all that bad. There are always bright spots for a team that is definitely still in some transition.

But here are a few solutions - though most too late to implement:

  • It’s time for FC Dallas to spend big on a striker. Yes, lay out the cash. Going the committee route can achieve some success, but it’s clear this team needs a legitimate star up front to help other players become better. Wayne Rooney has made DC better. FC Dallas needs that kind of player.
  • It’s time for FC Dallas to get serious about roles on the field. Yes, FC Dallas has a system and a general idea of how to attack, but it’s often poorly implemented. The case of Matt Hedges bringing the ball forward is one example - surely, Coach Pareja can snuff that out. If Matt isn’t getting help, then it’s on the midfield. Back post runs are a rarity on this squad as everyone wants to run wide. Is there too much freedom given to players?
  • It’s time to get serious about the future. Pablo Aranguiz got more minutes on Sunday, but he was put out there to fail. Jesus Ferreira might have been a great sub on Sunday. Where are the hungry guys? Is this team hungry for postseason success?
  • Roland Lamah should get the start on Sunday. Santi Mosquera has regressed to being ineffective. Pareja has one more regular season to get something right. One goal over Colorado might be enough for three points and some confidence going into the season. One goal in open play might break open some possibilities for this team. Find the right mix of veterans and youngsters and give them the reigns.

Vote!

I highly recommend a vote for No One this week - but you could toss in a vote for Maxi Urruti or Jesse Gonzalez who both showed a workhorse spirit throughout the match with key saves, hard work, and lots of energy.

Poll

Cast your vote for the Workhorse of the Week.

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Jesse Gonzalez
    (7 votes)
  • 11%
    Reggie Cannon
    (3 votes)
  • 7%
    Matt Hedges
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Reto Ziegler
    (0 votes)
  • 11%
    Marquinhos Pedroso
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Victor Ulloa
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Carlos Gruezo
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Pablo Aranguiz
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Michael Barrios
    (0 votes)
  • 11%
    Maxi Urruti
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Santiago Mosquera
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Tesho Akindele
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Roland Lamah
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Dominique Badji
    (0 votes)
  • 30%
    No One
    (8 votes)
26 votes total Vote Now