Last week I said that “scrap” doesn’t mean much if a team can’t generate consistent opportunities. But I’m starting to think that may be wrong. This team might not ever be a well oiled machine, but hell, are there any well oiled machines in MLS? It’s a league that’s won by good luck in the playoffs. It doesn’t matter whether you finish 1st or 6th in your conference, if you can generate results in the playoffs then you can bring home the Cup. While the New England Revolution aren’t the best team to laud FC Dallas’ ability to grind out results against, a win away from home should never go unappreciated.
A star is born
It’s time to call him what he is. When you’re 22 years old and leading one of the only undefeated teams in MLS, you’re a big deal. If you watched Hayes last year, you should have been able to tell that he could contribute to the team (I’ve liked him since the Fan Post days), but no one expected for him to bench Kellyn Acosta like many of us called for in this Quick Burn. He’s growing right before our eyes and it’s a joy to watch. His first MLS goal is proof of his expanding skill set.
In his two starts last year, he was subbed off at half and picked up a red card in 37 minutes. He’s always had the engine, but lacked the composure and technical ability to be a true box to box midfielder, but we’re seeing those improve with every game. Despite receiving some recent criticisms for tactical stagnation, you have to give credit where credit is due. Oscar Pareja has done wonders with young Jacori Hayes.
Roland Lamah has arrived
If you don’t think Jacori Hayes is FC Dallas’ best player, then you should think it’s Lamah, the 30-year-old TAM player that many think is eating the kids’ minutes. It’s hard to deny that he’s contributed to Dallas’ attack more than any other player this season and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
It’s time to accept Roland Lamah into our team. No more calling him overpaid, no more saying he’s stealing minutes, and no more questions about where he fits into Dallas’ game plan. He has finally become the player that our expectations had hoped when we heard that Dallas was added a former Belgian international and Premier League player.
Ziegler must improve
I hate always having something negative in to say in these articles, but I feel that it’s time that someone called out Reto Ziegler. This isn’t me calling for him to be benched, I just want to be the first to point out that he hasn’t received proportional criticism for his play this season. He’s been about as good as this promo video.
Ziegler came with the reputation of being able to split defenses with long balls, but we haven’t seen much of that yet. What I have seen is poor decision making out of the back, bad one on one defending, even worse positioning, and a knack for ball watching.
Here he doesn’t close Blanco down well enough.
Here a miscommunication almost leads to a goal.
Here Teal Bunbury beats him out for a dangerous header.
The game after a clean sheet is a weird time to call a defender out, but I’ve been watching him allow goals and opportunities like this all season without any criticism. Yes, you could pick moments from a season that make all defenders look bad, and we have for Matt Hedges. It just wasn’t fair that Ziegler hasn’t been called out either. He’s underwhelming and I’ll feel much better about the back line if he begins to make some adjustments.