While the result was great, there were some bigger standout performances and some other things that may be worth keeping an eye on going into the playoff match at Seattle later this month.
Santiago Mosquera return to form
Was Sunday’s Santi’s best performance to date in a Dallas uniform? I mean, it is hard not to argue that it was. Maybe the two goals scored against Houston last fall was it, but Sunday’s goal and assist output was enough for me. We got to see the dangerous and crafty winger at his best. Sure it was against a young and inexperienced Sporting defense but if there is one thing that is true about a guy like Mosquera, is that he needs momentum and goals to keep going. So this was exactly what he needed after dealing with injuries and on the field struggles in 2019.
The Ferreira-Acosta-Servania trio
Our own Ben Lyon pulled these numbers in the Big D Soccer Slack channel earlier today and its worth repeating:
FCD first started a Ferreira-Acosta-Servania midfield on July 20th at Spork picking up a 2-0 win. They’ve started together in the midfield 6 other times. FCD’s record when they start together (5 Home, 2 Away) is 4-0-3 (2.14ppg) with a goal difference of +14. Paxton’s a super sub or a false winger until one of them isn’t available.
There truly is something about the way the team plays with both Brandon Servania and Bryan Acosta in the midfield, floating between a #6 and a #8. It also frees up Jesus Ferreira to do his best David Ferreira impersonation, while adding his own flare to it with goals like this:
As much as you want Paxton Pomykal out on the field for the playoffs, there really isn’t anything wrong in bringing him off the bench at this point, if this trio is healthy.
Michael Barrios and his most underrated season yet
Let’s just get this out in the open, Barrios finished the year with 15 assists, which tied him with likely MLS MVP Carlos Vela for third in the league. Third! We get worked up so much around here about the lack of a finisher and yet we still have a guy dishing it from the wings like this.
It is kind of insane when you look at the top five in MLS in assists. Barrios is definitely not like any other when you stack him against Maxi Morales, Vela, Carlos Gil and Diego Valeri.
I know it will be a long-shot but I kind of hope he gets some end of the year love from the media, coaches and players when they vote on things like Best XI. Historically in MLS, a 15 assist season gets you some consideration for those things.
Dominque Badji picked the wrong day to be hurt
A lot of folks have been clamoring for a game without Badji at left wing. Some that I’ve talked to would have liked to see him return to the lone striker spot over Cobra (which I disagree with at this point). Instead on Sunday, Badji was out due to a quad strain.
Given how the results went on the field, it was certainly not the right day to be out. I’m not saying Badji would have scored some goals or helped create chances but he certainly got passed on the depth charts going into the post season after Mosquera had the outing that he had.
Paxton Pomykal decline
We know he’s been dealing with some injuries as of late and that he hasn’t looked quite like himself since earlier in the summer. But seeing how things went yesterday really make you wonder if this club absolutely needs Pomykal to be successful in the playoffs. Right now, I don’t think they absolutely have to rely on him. Which may end up being a good thing in the long run if he is able to contribute off the bench.
Still, it is something to ponder going into the playoffs.