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FC Dallas vs. Atlanta United: Player Ratings

On a night when there were fireworks on and off the field, some players ignited, but others did not.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas hosted Eastern Conference leaders Atlanta United FC on Independence Day (4th of July!). FC Dallas would rally from a 2-1 deficit, behind the most unlikely of heroes, for a 3-2 win

For rating purposes, 6 is the rating for an average MLS performance.


Man of the Match:

Tesho Akindele (7.8) - Tesho came on as the second FCD sub of the match in the 74th minute, with FC Dallas trailing 2-1. You could practically hear a collective groan from FCD fans, many who question why Tesho is still on the roster. In the 85th minute, Tesho reminded everyone, just why Pareja keeps him around:

Tesho’s first goal of the season leveled the game at 2 a piece, and completely stunned everyone who had questioned his entrance into the match. Tesho was not satisfied just having silenced all of his critics, and giving FCD new life. 2 minutes later, Tesho would become the hero FC Dallas deserved:


Starters:

Jesse Gonzalez (6.5) - Jessie found himself under siege by the best attack in MLS, and allowed 2 goals, while finishing with 4 saves.

Matt Hedges (6.7) - Matt and the rest of the defense handled the Atlanta attack very well for the better part of the first half, but Atlanta eventually got their attack going to the tune of 2 goals. Matt had a solid game, but solid isn’t good enough to shut out a dynamic attack such as the one FCD faced Wednesday night. In an odd fact, Matt and the entire backline, finished with zero tackles against Atlanta. Matt did finish with 4 of the 6 blocked shots FCD had in the match.

Reto Ziegler (7.4) - While Reto and the rest of the defense did not have the most memorable of nights defensively, Reto actually had a night to remember. In the 22nd minute, Reto showed off that set piece taking ability we all kept hearing about:

Besides giving FCD the early 1-0 lead, and set piece talking points for the future, Reto also gave the fans a new celebration to talk about:

Maynor Figueroa (6.2) - Maynor had one of those games that make FCD fans lament the lack of options at left-back. Maynor had a team leading 4 clearances against Atlanta, but all FCD fans will ever remember is this:

Reggie Cannon (6.3) - As the highlight of Atlanta’s first goal shows, Reggie was beaten by the league’s top scorer. Reggie had a rough game on the defensive side of the field, and had his second sub par game in a row.

Carlos Gruezo (7.5) - While Tesho was being a hero, Reto was showing off his set piece/dancing skills, and Maxi was being Maxi, Gruezo was quietly having one of his best games of the season. Gruezo was primarily tasked with shutting down Almiron, a task that he handled with aplomb:

Gruezo was FCDs best defender against Atlanta United, and finished with 2 tackles, a game high 4 interceptions, 1 clearance, 1 blocked shots, and committed 2 fouls. Besides helping neutralize Almiron, and putting on a really good defensive performance, Gruezo was also heavily involved in the FCD attack. Gruezo finished with 2 shots on goal, 84.1% passing accuracy, and 1 key pass.

Gruezo has been tasked with pushing forward more this season, and as a result, has struggled with either attacking or defending for the better part of the season. In the last few matches, we have finally begun to see Gruezo find a way to balance attacking and defending for an entire match. We are witnessing Gruezo transform from a deep lying defensive midfielder, to more of a box to box midfielder. A fact that could pay off for FCD the rest of the season, and well into the future.

Victor Ulloa (6.5) - It’s hard to believe that Vic only had 1 defensive action for the entire match (1 tackle), but that’s because Vic was tasked with pushing forward more, and providing a link between the backline and the FCD attack. Vic finished with 89.6% passing, and 3 key passes.

Santiago Mosquera (6.1) - Santi followed a great performance off the bench against Minnesota United FC, with a poor performance starting against Atlanta United FC. Santi pulled the kind of disappearing act, that was generally reserved for Roland Lamah last season.

Michael Barrios (6.3) - Michael finds himself in a bit of a slump. Not that Michael has been having a good season, but his most recent performances have seen him become one of the weakest starters for this team. Michael finished with a game low (not including GKs) 61.9% passing accuracy, which is a dip from last weeks 65% passing.

Maximiliano Urruti (7.8) - One of the best defending forwards in the league (if not the best), and on a night when the entire backline finished with no tackles, Maxi finished with 5 tackles. On the attacking side of things, Maxi had this beautiful play leading to the equalizer:

Maxi finished with 4 shot attempts (1 shot on goal), 3 key passes, he beat 4 defenders on the dribble, and 79% passing.

Roland Lamah (6.7) - Roland had an up and down game, that saw him struggle with passing (67.9%), and get a yellow card. Lamah did still manage to make himself a factor, as he continued his recent aerial dominance, finishing with 5 aerials won for a second match in a row. Roland also beat 4 defenders on the dribble, had 1 key pass, attempted 3 crosses ( completed 1) and drew 4 fouls.


Bench

Tesho Akindele (7.8) , Man of the Match

Ryan Hollingshead ( 6.4) - Ryan came on for Maynor in the 81st minute, and had a key pass to Urruti, that lead to the equalizer.

Kellyn Acosta (6.3) - Acosta came on for Mosquera in the 56th minute, and was more involved in 30+ minutes, than the player he replace. Acosta wasn’t great, but he was solid, and that alone is an improvement on his recent run of performances.


Coach

Oscar Pareja (7.5) - While all the fans have been busy questioning Papis choices of subs, those questionable subs have been going out on the field and making Papi look like a genius.

Those are your rating for this match. Finally, there’s this: