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What we learned against Seattle Sounders: Pablo Aranguiz and Dominque Badji impress

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Stuff you want to hear, plus some stuff you don’t.

MLS: FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

We didn’t play well, but when a team that’s only scored two goals off of set pieces all season scores two goals from set pieces, then there’s a little bad luck involved. Most weren’t expecting FC Dallas to go into Seattle while they’re hot and take three points from them, but I think the VAR controversy left a bad taste in the mouths of many that made the result feel worse than it was. So let’s start off with that.

A hot take on the Ziegler red card

Before reading this, remember that I am a well documented critic of Ziegler. He loses a lot of one on ones, often has poor positioning, and already had two red cards before this. I think he’s serviceable, but nothing more.

Is what Ruidíaz did dirty? Yes. Does that justify Reto Ziegler’s behavior? Absolutely not. A player of Ziegler’s experience cannot react that way. He’s already shown he has a short fuse and this is just more damning evidence.

Headbutting players is hardly unheard of. Players take every chance they can to get in the head of opponents and love throwing elbows, stepping on toes, and doing whatever they can do to give themselves an advantage. If you analyzed every single player during every single corner and set piece, I am certain that you will find unsavory extracurriculars are common. I understand being upset that VAR failed, but don’t forget to hold Ziegler responsible for losing his cool because of what is only a marginally dirty move in soccer, and one that he should be able to handle. For a guy that’s supposed to be a veteran presence he has done a poor job putting the team ahead of his emotions.

Badji makes his mark

How much more beautiful could the beginning of Dominque Badji’s time with FCD be? Our target man striker scored a tap-in from a Michael Barrios cross. Is it beautiful? Not really. But it’s exactly what Dallas need to be competitive and it’s exactly what they’ve been needing for a long time. Ever since Oscar Pareja gave up on starting Cristian Colman, Dallas have lacked a true number 9. Badji’s goal felt like a prophecy fulfilled. If he can continue to fill that tactical role that Dallas have desperately needed filled, then no matter how well Kellyn Acosta is playing Dallas shouldn’t regret the trade.

Aránguiz dazzles

Just as we were beginning to cool our expectations on Pablo Aranguiz and were being told that he was one for the future, he shows that he has something to offer now. While Pareja seems to be enjoying the Maxi Urruti as a 10 experiment, Aránguiz’s play may force Pareja to play a more traditional 4-2-3-1 with Aránguiz starting. I’d like to see Pablo play more just to better gauge his talent, but also to see a great number 10 dropping Barrios dimes for nostalgia’s sake (I still miss you Mauro). Matt Doyle thinks that we lack a superstar that is capable of carrying the team and I have to agree that our “top-end talent” is questionable. I don’t want to crush Aránguiz with my massive expectations quite yet, but I think the plan is for him to grow into that role next year. Anything he contributes this year is just icing on top.