FC Dallas travelled to Vancouver and defeated the Whitecaps by a 2-1 score. The game wasn’t pretty at times, but was riveting at times. There were several players that stood out in this one, and that helped FC Dallas regain the top spot in the Western Conference with only five regular season games to go.
For rating purposes, 6 is the rating given for an average MLS performance.
Man of the Match
Matt Hedges (8.6) - To some, Urruti would be the obvious choice as the Man of the Match, but that’s not the case. Matt Hedges had one hell of a game, finishing with an astounding 10 clearances, three tackles, three interceptions, one blocked shot, two aerials won, and 80% passing.
If that wasn’t enough, the team captain came up big when it mattered most:
Jesse Gonzalez (6.1) - Jesse only faced two shots all night, and had one save. Simply concerned with booting the ball deep, Jesse struggled with only 34.6% passing. Not the greatest showing by him, but the team continues to get road wins with him as the net-minder, and results are what count the most.
Marquinhos Pedroso (6.2) - Pedroso had his second rough showing in a week, finishing with only four clearances on defense, and committing three fouls, one of which resulted in a yellow card. It wasn’t all bad for the Brazilian, who finished with a team high (amongst starters) 96.3% passing accuracy.
Reggie Cannon (6.7) - Reggie had a solid night, sure there were issues dealing with Davies on his side of the pitch, but they were no more than can be expected. He is simply a rock at right back for FCD, and what some people may consider a bad day for him at the office, is a good day for most right backs in MLS. Cannon would finish with a team-leading five tackles, four clearances, one blocked shot, two aerials won, and 72.7% passing accuracy. He really didn’t offer much going forward in this match, but that could very well have been part of the game plan all along.
Reto Ziegler (6.7) - Reto isn’t the sexiest of center backs (no, I’m not talking about his looks), but he is a grinder, who squeezes every ounce of defense from each and every play. I honestly don’t recall hearing his name called once, but you look at the stat line at the end of the match, and Reto somehow found a way be everywhere in the backline. He finished with two tackles, one interception, eight clearances, two aerials won, and 91.3% passing with one key pass.
Carlos Gruezo (6.5) & Victor Ulloa( 6.8) - Ulloa and Gruezo were not really involved with the attack for FC Dallas, but that was by design. They were both tasked with helping contain the Vancouver attack, and helping the defense move the ball forward to the attackers. With the attackers making themselves quite threatening on the night, Gruezo and Ulloa really weren’t needed in the attack after all.
Michael Barrios (7.3) - Does everyone remember when Roland Lamah was running away with the team MVP? Yeah, me neither. There’s currently another player running away with that honor. Coming into this match, Barrios had six goals and three assists since July 28 (eight games), and he delivered yet again:
WATCH: A critical corner kick resulted in a header from Matt Hedges that resulted in the game winning goal. pic.twitter.com/1V3dLi5tpg— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) September 24, 2018
Yes, It’s the Hedges goal again, but if you look closer, you will notice an unmarked Barrios skying to deliver an assist on the game winning goal. Barrios, the most diminutive player on the pitch for FCD, won two headers on the night, and finished with three shots on goal (four shot attempts), plus four key passes, one of them his fourth assist of the season.
Santiago Mosquera (7.6) - Santiago opened up the scoring:
This is Mosquera’s fourth goal, in his last four games played, as he begins to heat up just in time for the playoff push. It should be noted that during the last 10 games, the wings for FCD have combined for 10 goals and five assists, despite Mosquera only playing in six of those matches.
Maximiliano Urruti (7.4) - Any other match, and Urruti is your Man of the Match, as he had excellent placement on his set piece delivery. Urruti would finish with two assists, both on set pieces, and had what could be considered his best match at his new position.
Cristian Colman (6.8) - Colman got his first start since May 31st. You guys remember that game don’t you? It was the red card game at the LA Galaxy. At that time, Colman was finally starting to perform well for FCD while starting four matches in a row, but would suffer an ankle injury the following week that would derail his momentum. Fast forward to this weekend’s match, and Colman delivered a performance reminiscent of those starts. He displayed solid hold up play that FCD has sorely lacked, and won an astounding 11 aerials in 76 minutes of play. His touch continues to be an issue, as he only had 50% passing accuracy, and had two shot attempts (none on goal). It wasn’t a star making performance, but it was a rock solid performance, that if you count his pre-injury starts, would make this his fifth solid start in a row, and likely the reason he received a call up to the Paraguay National team. Like it or not, the starting spot is likely Colman’s to lose from here on out.
Tesho Akindele (6.1) - I have to admit that this rating is way generous, and has more to do with Tesho being on the field as FCD pulled out a win, than his actual performance.
Pablo Aranguiz (6.2) - Pablo really didn’t get much action, but he helped FCD close out the win in a tough road environ.
Maynor Figueroa (6.4) - Maynor was on the field shortly before FCD took the final lead, and helped secure the victory with one interception and three big clearances.
Oscar Pareja (7.6) - A huge win on the road is exactly what FCD needed. People will remember that defense and set pieces won the day, but this game had plenty of back an forth action through out. The teams combined for 29 shot attempts, even though less than a third were on goal. At the end of the night, FCD found a way to win, and Pareja had a lot to do with that.