Reto Ziegler was a great signing for FC Dallas in 2018 - starter, set piece taker, penalty specialists, captain and steady defender. Ziegler isn’t a very flashy defender or player, but gets the job done - which at the end of the day, is really what you want from your center back.
Ziegler is a fun defender to analyze from a stat standpoint. He doesn’t register very much on the defensive side (1 tackle per 90, 1 interception per 90, 0.8 blocks per 90) as he’s not prone to lunge into tackles and often does what he can to stay upright for his challenges. After scoring four goals for Dallas in 2018, he upped that to 5 for 2019.
Probably the most important stat was the one he didn’t accumulate this year: 0 red cards. After picking three reds in 2018, Ziegler managed to stay in all the games he featured in this year.
Game That Best Sums Up Ziegler
Ziegler is a decent defender. He won’t lose you games from poor decision making, but he won’t win you games either... Oh wait. That last part was a lie. Ziegler’s best attribute is that wicked left foot of his on set pieces.
Having a defender you can pull up the field, and a left footed one no less is a luxury. It’s this kind of wicket free kick that keeps teams honest when defending set pieces against Dallas and doesn’t allow keepers to cheat in any direction.
The thing with Ziegler is that he’s just decent and he’s also on the wrong side of 30 - he’ll be turning 34 in January. So while he possesses a deadly left foot, is that enough to keep him around for 2020 and beyond? He is the current captain, and a veteran that commands respect with the league’s youngest team. But does his place here stunt the growth of someone like Callum Montgomery, who could develop into a top tier defender in MLS?