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Scratching the Chalkboard: Matt Hedges puts on a masterclass

Not the result they wanted, but the FCD defender put on a very good show.

MLS: FC Dallas at LA Galaxy Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the loss, FC Dallas and Matt Hedges had some major milestones to celebrate as the stalwart defender became the club leader with 228 starts. The record was previously held by Dallas’ all time leading goal scorer, Jason Kreis.

Hedges had a quiet but productive evening, organizing the defense and taking care of business.

Hedges’ passing chart vs LA

Hedges has steadily been a strong facilitator of building out of the back for Dallas this year. Passing was Hedges’ weakest part of his game (it wasn’t bad, it was just his weakest) but it’s no longer a problem as he’s also gotten more bold in marauding forward into the midfield before sliding a pass behind the lines.

Defensively, he had a very quiet evening. He stepped when required and clogged the passing lanes.

Then of course, there was this really well timed tackle to prevent a chance on goal:

This kind of intervention can look very routine, but can be very difficult to execute. You can see Hedges hold his run for a bit before committing. Had he committed full speed once Pavon stole Reto Ziegler’s soul, Pavon could’ve very easily danced around Hedges too with a simple touch. By timing it carefully, Hedges was able to close the angle properly before given Pavon no options.

Oh and then there’s also this:

It’s a testament to how good Hedges has been over his duration of his FCD career - that he can make a difficult tackle look so routine. But you don’t make 228 starts for this team without being pretty awesome at what you do. He may not be receiving the accolades like he did in 2016 when he won the MLS Defender of the Year award, but make no mistake that he’s still not an elite defender.