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Scratching the Chalkboard: Homegrowns Deliver Solid Performance

Ulloa and Cannon step up for Dallas.

MLS: FC Dallas at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, depending on your point of view, FC Dallas either walked away from Houston with a solidly earned point or missed a chance at taking all three points. Houston is good at home (6-2-2) and a point on the road against a Western Conference team is also a three point swing (one point earned and two points dropped for the opposition) and is generally a good thing. We’ve hammered the point here (pun intended) that if any team in this league can win at home and draw on the road, they’ll be in great shape.

Away points are good, however with the way the second half unfolded, the result may have left a foul taste in your mouth and wonder if two points were actually dropped given Roland Lamah scuffed his penalty and fired his shot at an open net into the crossbar.

Maddeningly, I think both points of view are valid as I’m simultaneously believing Dallas did well to earn a point but also should’ve secured the win too. I do think it was incredibly foolish and arrogant of Lamah to waive off Reto Ziegler from the PK. Maybe they can work it out, but that has got to be awkward and uncomfortable for the bus ride home.

Anyways, onto the chalkboards!

Ulloa Quietly Great (Again)

Homegrown stud Victor Ulloa continues to embody everything great about the city of Dallas; humble, hard working, unassuming and just gets on with the job.

Ulloa’s passing chart vs HOU (Green - successful pass. Red - unsuccessful pass. Yellow - key pass.)
Ulloa’s defensive actions vs HOU (Orange - recovery. Green - successful tackle. Blue - interception. Purple - clearance.)

Sure, Houston was gassed after the 15th minute and played tired for the majority of the game but it didn’t take away from Ulloa’s read of the game or his ability to cycle the ball carefully and quickly, while simultaneously shielding the defense from the counter and recovering the ball cleanly.

Ulloa certainly isn’t flashy but, on the night of his 100th MLS start, he represented the club and the city well.

Reggie Cannon’s Got Game

Cannon is still raw and still figuring out how to pick his spots going forward, but much like his Homegrown counterpart Ulloa, he’s been incredibly reliable and dependable on the fullback spot.

Cannon’s passing chart vs HOU (Green - successful pass. Red - unsuccessful pass. Yellow - key pass.)
Cannon’s defensive actions vs HOU (Orange - recovery. Green - successful tackle. Blue - interception. Purple - clearance.)

Keeping in mind that this is Reggie’s first season as a starter, and just his second year as a professional, it’s impressive to see the young fullback remain a mainstay in his spot. Cannon got forward when he could (which was often and regularly) and made critical tackles when the team needed him too in a significant match.

Saturday’s match may have been a disappointment to some, but when you have a Texas Derby and your own step up well in a big game, and the other team doesn’t even field a single Homegrown, you gotta feel pretty good about it overall.