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FC Dallas Squad Rankings: MLS Week 5

We take a look at where the roster stands, 5 weeks into the season.

MLS: Portland Timbers at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Squad Rankings. We take a look at the matches played across all competitions, and rank players based on several things: Being on the 18, subbing in, starts, minutes played, player ratings/performance (goals, assists, clean sheets, etc., etc), results (Win-Loss-Tie). I’ll also be including awards earned, such as “Man of the Match”, “Workhorse of the Week”, “MLS Team of the Week”, etc., etc.

There have been two MLS matches since the previous Squad Rankings, and FC Dallas has a win and a draw in those matches.

A player must have seen minutes in a match, to receive points for team results (Win=3 points, Loss=0 points, Tie=1 point). Friendlies and scrimmages will not be considered in the rankings.

#21 Kris Reaves (2 points), prior rank - 19. Kris will be hard pressed to even make the 18, now that FC Dallas is getting injured players back.

#20 Kyle Zobeck (3 points), prior rank - 20. Kyle has been on the bench for all 3 MLS matches. Will likely not see any more bench time, now that the top two keepers are healthy.

#19 Tesho Akindele (0-1-0, 5.1 points), prior rank - 18. Tesho has been on the bench for five matches, and has only played 14 minutes, coming off the bench in the 1-0 loss at Tauro FC. Tesho is the likely benefactor of Paxton's injury.

#18 Paxton Pomykal (1-0-0 5.9 points), prior rank - N/A. Paxton has just the one match played, and looked really good, off the bench in the win against 10-man Seattle. Pax was an unused sub, on the bench against Portland, which is pretty frustrating when you consider he turned down a U20 USMNT call-up. Paxton’s season just got a bit more frustrating:

#17 Jesse Gonzalez (1-1-0, 15.9 points),prior rank - 11. started both matches against Tauro FC, losing 1-0 on the road, while earning a 3-2 home win. Jesse has missed all three MLS matches due to a minor knee injury, but is back to full training with the team. Does Pareja hand him back the starting job right away?

#16 Cristian Colman (2-0-2, 17.0 points), prior rank - 14. Cristian hasn’t really stood out in any of the matches he has played. It is clear that Pareja is making a concerted effort to make sure Colman is getting minutes, even if they are at the tail end of the match. Colman does have one goal to his name, but hasn’t really come close to scoring since.

#15 Victor Ulloa (1-1-0, 17.3 points), prior rank - 10. Victor started both matches against Tauro FC, but only played 35 minutes in the 3-2 win against Tauro FC. Victor made the bench for both the RSL match, and the Portland Timbers match, but it’s hard to envision him getting too many minutes going forward, now that Acosta is back, and Jacori is playing lights out.

#14 Ryan Hollingshead (1-1-2, 18.8 points), prior rank - 12. Ryan featured at left winger in the first two matches, but has played at right back and left back off the bench in his last two matches. It looks like Hollingshead may have settled in as the first choice fullback off the bench, as he played very well at both the left and right back positions. It will be interesting to see who gets the start at left back, should Anton miss another match to injury.

#13 Maynor Figueroa (1-1-1, 20.3 points), prior rank - 9. Maynor saw all of his action in the two CCL matches, and started the first MLS match against Real Salt Lake. Maynor did not play very well against RSL, and has not received playing time in the two matches since.

#12 Anton Nedyalkov (1-1-1, 23.5 points), prior rank - 17. Anton s clearly the best left back on the team, and has provided a bit of nastiness to the team. While Anton has looked very good on the field, it is a serious concern for FCD that Anton can’t seem to stay on the field. Anton has now had to leave two of the three matches he has started, quite early due to injury. When He’s on the field, Anton has paired very well with Roland Lamah, and the two combined well against Seattle, earning Anton his first assist:

MLS: Portland Timbers at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

#11 Jimmy Maurer (1-0-2, 25.4 points), prior rank - 15. Jimmy has started all three MLS matches for FC Dallas, and has 10 saves, with two goals allowed. Jimmy is currently #1 in MLS with a 0.67 Goal Against Average, and #2 in MLS with 83.3% success rate on save attempts. With Jesse back fully training with the team, it will be interesting to see who gets the next start for FC Dallas.

#10 Santiago Mosquera (2-1-2, 26.8 points), prior rank - 8. Santi has played in all five matches for FC Dallas, but has rightfully lost playing time to the red hot Roland Lamah. Santi hasn’t made much of a difference off the bench in his last two matches, but is starting to show signs of improved team play.

#9 Jacori Hayes (1-0-2, 28.7 points), prior rank - 13. Jacori has arguably been the best midfielder for FC Dallas in MLS play, earning the “Workhorse of the Week” in the Week 1 draw against RSL, and earning a spot on the bench of the “MLS Team of the Week” in the draw against the Timbers. Jacori has earned praise around MLS:

Jacori has been nearly impossible to knock off the ball, and currently leads FC Dallas with an outstanding 92.3% passing accuracy, with 5 key passes, and 1 assist on the Lamah goal against Portland. Jacori also has 7 tackles, 6 interceptions, 1 clearance, and 1 block. Jacori is the player that stands to lose the most playing time, with the return of Kellyn Acosta..............or does he?

#8 Roland Lamah (2-0-2, 29.1 points), prior rank - 16. Roland has to be one of the most puzzling players to ever play for Oscar Pareja. Here is a player who tends to disappear for long stretches during a match, tends to drift out of position, isn’t overly fast, and is of little help on defense. Despite all of those negatives, Roland has become a must start player for FCD, as he currently leads the team in scoring, with 3 goals and 1 assist, all in the last 2 matches:

Roland is 1 of 5 players on the roster, who have yet to taste defeat when they’re on the field (Colman, Jimmy, Jacori, & Paxton are the others). Roland also received “Man of the Match”, and “MLS Player of the Week” honors, for his play in the 3-0 win against the Seattle Sounders. The question for Lamah is, just how long can he keep FCD’s new Designated Player (Mosquera) on the bench?

These seven players have started in all five matches that FC Dallas has played this season.

#7 Carlos Gruezo (2-1-2, 38.9 points), prior rank - 5. Carlos sees a slight drop in the rankings, mostly due to being asked to go forward more in the two most recent matches, instead of sticking to his strengths on defense. With Carlos pushing forward more, his drop off on the defensive side, is a little stunning. In the 3 MLS matches combined, Gruezo has a total of 3 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 1 block. With the return of Kellyn Acosta, it is very likely that Gruezo returns to his defensive strengths, and a return to form.

#6 Reggie Cannon (2-1-2, 39.3 points),prior rank - 6. Reggie looks to have settled in as a starter, as he has given 2 solid defensive performances in the last 2 matches, following inconsistent play in the first 3 matches. Reggie has 3 tackles, 6 interceptions, 6 clearances, and 1 block across all 3 MLS starts. Reggie has been dangerous in the attack for FCD, but it is clear that he hasn’t quite gelled with Michael Barrios yet on the right side, as it is not common to see Reggie make a good run, without receiving good service and vice versa. Reggie is averaging a decent 85.5% passing accuracy in MLS play, so it’s only a matter of time before him and Barrios work out their offensive kinks.

#5 Matt Hedges (2-1-2, 39.5 points), prior rank - 7. Matt’s play has steadily improved from week to week, and he earned “Workhorse of the Week” honors in the 1-1 draw against the Timbers. Matt has 1 interception, 1 block, 1 tackle, and 17 clearances in MLS action. While the Team Captain has yet to regain his “Defender of the Year” form, it’s clear that he is well on his way to regaining said form.

#4 Michael Barrios (2-1-2, 40.0 points), prior rank - 4. Michael has continued to run rampant through opposing defenses, with very little to show for it. Mickey has 72.8% passing accuracy, with 9 key passes, and 1 assist in MLS play. Barrios should see his passing improve, as he grows more comfortable with Reggie Cannon on the right side. If there is something besides passing that Mickey needs to improve on, it’s a more direct involvement in the attack, as Barrios only has 5 shots on goal in MLS play, and not a single shot in the Timbers draw. A key attacking player, who is going to be on the field for FCD the entire match, simply has to find a way to take more shots on goal.

#3 Reto Ziegler (2-1-2, 41.8 points), prior rank - 3. Reto has simply been the best defender on the field for FC Dallas, week in and week out. Reto has 5 tackles, 5 interceptions, 9 clearances, and a team leading 7 blocked shots in MLS play. It is quite impressive to see Reto sacrificing his body to block any shots on goal, and is one of the main reasons that Maurer has looked so comfortable in Jesse’s absence.

MLS: Seattle Sounders at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

#2 Maxi Urruti (2-1-2, 42.2 points), prior rank - 2. Maxi has terrorized defenders with his amazing work rate, and is neck and neck for the #1 spot. Maxi has an amazing 17 shots on goal in MLS play, with 1 goal, and one shot that forced the RSL own goal. Maxi has a solid 77.6% passing accuracy, with 4 key passes. It’s just a matter of time before maxis shots start going into the net on a more consistent basis, and when they do, look out MLS.

MLS: Portland Timbers at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

#1 Mauro Diaz (2-1-2, 42.6 points), prior rank - 1. Mauro continues to pace the FC Dallas attack, and has earned “Workhorse of the Week” and “MLS Team of the Week” honors in doing so. Mauro has 81.1% passing accuracy, with 11 key passes, has 9 shots on goal, and has beaten 9 defenders on the dribble in MLS action. Despite remaining a top the Squad Rankings, Mauro, much like Maxi, has yet to hit his full stride in MLS. Mauro continues to flash some of his magic, and it’s just a matter of time before he puts on a full magic show.

So what do you think? Did someone climb too far or not enough? Did someone drop more than they should have, or not enough? Let us know.