Welcome to the fourth installment of Squad Rankings. A lot has happened since our last Squad Rankings, all the way back in MLS week 5. Since we’re playing catch-up, we’ll keep it simple today, and update how all the players have fared this year so far. Now that we’re deep into the heart of the FC Dallas schedule, you can expect the Squad rankings every week for the remainder of the season.
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.
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.
#22 Paxton Pomykal - Paxton, due to injury, has only made the 18, twice this year. Now healthy, he stands to see plenty of minutes, with FCD about to begin US Open Cup play.
#20 Kyle Zobek - Kyle has made the bench six times this year.
#20 Kris Reaves - Currently injured, Kris has made the bench six times this year.
#19 Tesho Akindele - Tesho has only seen action off the bench four times this year, but could see plenty of action in the US Open Cup.
#18 Ryan Hollingshead - Ryan has only one start (against Tauro FC), and has seen action off the bench five times this year. Could see a serious uptick in minutes, mostly due to the start of US Open Cup play, and the injury to starting left back Anton Nedyalkov.
#17 Kellyn Acosta - Since returning to the lineup, Kellyn has three starts, and one appearance off the bench. It's pretty clear that Pareja is bringing him along slowly though, and he is not yet a player that will be asked to play 90 minutes every week. Look for Acosta to rocket up the rankings, as he rounds into form.
#16 Jesse Gonzalez - Jesse has three starts on the year, and just saw his first start since the CCL. Now healthy, Jesse made a glorious return to the starting lineup, and will be hard to unseat.
#15 Maynor Figueroa - Maynor has four starts, and has twice come off the bench. Maynor is cemented as the first choice defender off the bench, and should see several starts in the coming weeks, due to a combination of injuries, suspensions, and match congestion.
#14 Cristian Colman - Cristian has three starts, and five appearances off the bench. Colman has failed to cement himself as part of the current rotation, but will have another chance to make his case for added minutes, with the start of US Open Cup play .
#13 Victor Ulloa - Victor has seven starts this year. While he hasn't been a difference maker, Ulloa has been so consistent in his solid play, that he continues to get starts in a crowded midfield.
#12 Anton Nedyalkov - Anton has started 10 matches for FCD, and is unquestionably the first choice left back. The Bulgarian Barbarian has also become a fan favorite, and his loss for 6-to-8 weeks due to collar bone injury, could cost the team dearly.
#11 Carlos Gruezo - Carlos is having a down year so far. He has nine starts, and three appearances off the bench, but has not been a "must start" player for FCD. Gruezo has been inconsistent so far this year, and having a crowded midfield could result in Gruezo becoming a situational starter.
#10 Michael Barrios - Michael has 10 starts, with three appearances off the bench. Michael has one assist, and has yet to score, despite attempting 15 shots. Sadly, most of those shots have resembled this one:
Barrios still remains a disruptive player for opposing defenses, but his lack of scoring has been a detriment to the team.
#9 Santiago Mosquera - Despite starting eight matches, and coming off the bench four times, Santi has only recently began to look in form. Santi has one goal and two assists so far, but has been one of the most dangerous players on the field for FCD in recent weeks.
#8 Mauro Diaz - Mauro this far down? Despite being one of the best players on the team, Mauro has only started five of the last 10 matches played by FCD (not playing in two). It also should be noted that Mauro has not really featured in the seven points FCD earned on the road. Mauro has one goal and four assists in MLS action, but three of those assists all came in one glorious game (against LAG).
#7 Reto Ziegler - Reto has been a rock solid defender for FC Dallas, from day 1. His red card, and subsequent suspension, really dropped him several spots. Don’t expect Reto to fall any further, as he is a “must start” player for FCD.
#6 Jimmy Maurer - Jimmy has been a real find for FC Dallas, and has the third most minutes in MLS play for the team. starting 10 MLS games. Jimmy has 29 saves in MLS play, with three clean sheets, but his shaky performance in his last two matches, allowed an opening for Jesse Gonzalez to step in and take back the starting GK job. Jimmy can still expect to see starts in US Open Cup play, and will have ample opportunity to challenge Jesse for that starting position.
#5 Roland Lamah - Roland is second on the team in scoring, with five goals in MLS action, despite only attempting 12 shots. Roland also has four assists in MLS play, which is tied with Diaz for the team lead. Roland has nine starts, and has come off the bench three times, across all competitions.
#4 Jacori Hayes - Jacori has been a complete revelation for Oscar Pareja, and last week’s 4-3-3 formation, was a clear indication that Papi must find a way to get Jacori on the field, now that Acosta is healthy. Jacori has only seen MLS action, and has eight starts, with three appearances off the bench. Jacori only has one goal, and one assist, but his outstanding play has earned him three Workhorse of the Weeks, two Man of the Match, one MLS Team of the Week, and one appearance on the bench for MLS Team of the Week. Despite all his accolades, Jacori also leads the team with 87.4% passing, which has all but made Jacori a “must start” player for FCD.
#3 Matt Hedges - Matt is the undisputed Iron Man for the Hoops. Hedges leads the team with 1,160 minutes across all competitions, which does not include all the injury time minutes in his 13 starts. The team captain has yet to retain his Defender of the Year form from 2016, but has still anchored one of the best defenses in MLS.
#2 Reggie Cannon - Reggie is second on the team in minutes played, and is the only player besides Hedges, to start every match across all competitions for FC Dallas. Reggie is second on the team in tackles (24 tackles), second on the team in interceptions (23 interceptions), and very recently scored his first MLS goal:
Reggie Cannon (aka Arjen Robben) scored his first MLS goal against Vancouver on Saturday. The 19-yr-old #FCD right back cut in on his left foot and hit a curler far post that surprised even him. pic.twitter.com/ujtw9eISbX— Scuffed (@zlebmada) May 20, 2018
With the team captain about to miss his first match of the season due to card accumulation, Reggie will soon be the only player on the roster to start every single match for the team.
#1 Maxi Urruti - Maxi Urruti leads FC Dallas in MLS scoring with six goals on 37 shot attempts (15 shots on goal), with one assist. Those numbers don’t really tell the whole story. In the first 5 MLS matches, Urruti attempted 22 shots, with only eight of those shots on goal, leading to just one goal scored. This resulted in Oscar Pareja benching Urruti for the sixth MLS match (Philadelphia Union), and forcing him to come off the bench for the first time this season.
Urruti got the message, since coming off the bench, he has 15 shot attempts, with seven of those shots on goal, leading to five goals and one assist. Urruti has been on fire, and has a goal or an assist in the last six matches played, with two Man of the Match performances, and one appearance on the bench for the MLS Team of the Week.
With the upcoming schedule congestion, the start of FCD involvement in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, plus returning key players (Acosta, Gonzalez), and a significant injury to a starter (Anton Nedyalkov), you can expect a lot more rotation that we have seen to date. Also, some of the kids that were sent out on loan, and a returning Paxton Pomykal, will be given a chance (through USOC action) to make a push for minutes with the senior team. Not to mention the Summer Transfer window fast approaching. This could all lead to some serious roster battles in the coming weeks.