FC Dallas had one of the most frustrating performances of the season, as they looked lifeless, and without any kind of creativity in the attacking third. The backline had real difficulties handling the Columbus Crews high press, and it looked like Pareja was simply satisfied to settle for a 0-0 draw in his own backyard.
For rating purposes, 6 is the rating given for an average MLS performance.
Man of the Match
Victor Ulloa( 7.3) - Ulloa had a great defensive performance on the night. Used as more of a box to box midfielder in the match, Ulloa spent the majority of the match, putting out fires all over the field. He finished with a team leading five tackles, tied for the team lead with three interceptions, one clearance, one aerial won, two blocked shots, and 84.4% passing.
Jesse Gonzalez (6.8) - Jesse got his first shutout in MLS play, since June 30th against the Loons, and only his second clean sheet of the MLS season. Although the Crew attempted 17 shots on the night, only one shot was on target, and provided Jesse with his lone save of the game. A clean sheet is still a good thing for a GK, regardless of the match outcome, and something for Gonzalez to build on moving forward.
Matt Hedges (6.3) - The biggest news of the match, besides the result, was the team captain not returning to the field after halftime. While the backline struggled to deal with the Crew high press, any chance of making the right backline adjustments at the half, went right out the door with Matt out of the picture. Matt is currently under Concussion Protocol, and is being monitored for symptoms. Return date is not known.
Marquinhos Pedroso (6.2) - Pedroso was clearly targeted by the Crew, and he struggled to deal with the high press for the entire match. He never really turned the ball over, but he was very shaky when on the ball, and never really got involved in the attack.
Reggie Cannon (6.8), Reto Ziegler (6.8) - Reggie and Reto were the two strongest players in the backline for FCD. Reto may have had his troubles with the Crew high press, but he handled it like a true veteran, and lead FCD with seven clearances on the night. Reggie stood out by being the most effective backline passer, finishing with 95.6% passing accuracy, three interceptions, and two clearances.
Carlos Gruezo (6.7) - Gruezo was lined up on the right side of the field, and even though he spent a large portion of the game in a deep position, he only had one tackle and one blocked shot on defense. He was mainly used to help get the ball out of the back, past the high press, and to the other midfielders/attacking players. Gruezo excelled in that role, leading the team with 95.7% passing accuracy, although it completely made him a non-factor in the attack.
Michael Barrios (6.6), Santiago Mosquera (6.3), Maximiliano Urruti (6.5), Dominique Badji (6.3) - The FC Dallas attack never got going, as the Crew did a fabulous job of frustrating the FCD attackers. The Crew keyed on Mosquera, and kept him contained throughout the match. FC Dallas would finish with only nine shot attempts, with only one of them on goal.
Tesho Akindele (6.3), Abel Aguilar (6.2), Maynor Figueroa (6.2) - Maynor came on to start the second half, in place of the injured Hedges. Aguilar and Tesho both played well enough off the bench, but provided little to the attack.
Oscar Pareja (6.6) - Many were left puzzled with the subs that Papi used in this match, as they were considered “safe”, and not indicative of a team trying to force the issue down the stretch by going all out for the win. The sad truth is that the subs were mostly forced on Pareja. Maynor had to come on for Hedges, and this gave the Columbus Crew a second player besides Pedroso, to target with their attacks. With two players in the backline making inviting targets for the opposition, Papi opted to bring on a third defensive midfielder in the form of Aguilar, to further help the defense. Now hamstrung by the defensive leaning substitutions, Tesho was brought in to essentially help kill off the match, while providing a weapon in case a counter should develop in the final minutes.
Richard Farley works for the Portland Timbers, and provides a wonderful breakdown of how the Columbus Crew gave FCD fits throughout the match. Do yourself a favor, and check out his twitter thread on the FCD vs. Columbus match. I promise you will not be disappointed: