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FC Dallas vs Nashville SC: Game grades

The game was dull until it wasn’t for FC Dallas.

MLS: Nashville SC at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday evening, FC Dallas won 2-0 against Nashville FC, with both goals coming after the 85th minutes of the match. One was a penalty scored by Franco Jara on a foul drawn by Paul Arriola off the ball inside the box and the other came on a Messi-esque counter-attacking goal from Alan Velasco.

Here’s a brief breakdown of how the FC Dallas players performed as they moved up to 7th in the Western Conference:

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Maarten Paes (GK) - 5.8

Paes didn’t have too much to do in terms of saving difficult shots in goal (he saved one shot which generated 0.2 xCG), but his distribution from the back was pretty good. Paes completed 95% of his passes and 87.5% of his long passes, which is probably his best passing performance all year.

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Nanu (RB) - 3.6

Apart from his dribbling, Nanu did not have that great of a game in his first start for FC Dallas. He completed slightly under 55% of his total actions which was down over 10% from last week. As a whole, his passing was pretty bad as he completed just 66% of his passes and none of his 6 passes into the penalty area. Defensively, he didn’t have much to do as he just attempted two defensive duals. It wasn’t all bad defensively for Nanu, as he did intercept the ball 6 times throughout the match, but in the next game I hope that he will be more efficient with his opportunities, especially with his passing.

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Matt Hedges (CB) - 4.7

Hedges had an all-around alright game. Like most of the defense, he didn’t have much to do defensively but did a mediocre job with his opportunities. His passing overall was slightly below average, as he completed 81% of his passes. However, his long range passing was not that impressive, completing just 44% of his long passes and 25% of his passes to the final third. Also, his forward passing was nothing to get excited about, as he completed just 71%.

MLS: 2022 Dallas Media Day USA TODAY NETWORK

Jose Martinez (CB) - 4.2

While Hedges did a decent job defending and displayed a subpar standard of passing, Martinez was the opposite. He ranked above average in his passing, however, he ranked very low defensively. Martinez completed nearly 88% of his passes and showcased some quality passes too. He completed 50% of his long balls and 6 of his 10 passes to the final third. Defensively, Martinez did not receive many opportunities yet he only completed 50% of his defensive duels, recovered the ball 8 times, and intercepted the ball just twice while also picking up another yellow card in the process. Therefore, I would like to see a bit more tidiness in the back from Martinez when he is defending.

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Marco Farfan (LB) - 5.75

Unlike Nanu, Farfan was far more efficient in this match, as he succeeded in nearly 70% of his total actions. In regards to his passing, he was fairly productive and completed around 78% of his passes. However, his playmaking was not that great as he failed to complete any of his 4 crosses and attempted just one pass to the final third. Like Nanu, Farfan didn’t have much to do defensively but when he was called upon, he delivered and completed 100% of his defensive duels.

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Brandon Servania (CM) - 7.6

Servania had an all-around good game, as he ranked above-average for all five of our statistical categories for midfielders. He displayed production on the offensive and defensive end as he recovered the ball 7 times in the game, including 5 times in the opposition half and completed a good 57% of his offensive duels. He also completed 100% of his passes to the final third, including the one which led to the Alan Velasco goal and nearly had a goal himself. So overall, a very solid performance from Servania.

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Edwin Cerrillo (CDM) - 5.8

Outside of his offensive production (which isn’t really required much of CDM’s, depending on their role on the team), Cerrillo did his job, as he protected the backline and progressed the ball forward. He attempted 6 defensive duals throughout the game and completed 67% which is above-average for his position. He also recovered the ball 10 times throughout the match, which again is slightly above average. In regards to his ball progression, Cerrillo completed nearly 95% of his forward passes and completed 100% of his passes to the final third. While Cerrillo didn’t attempt many of these passes, he doesn’t have much control over the number of opportunities he receives so it was nice to see him perform well with his limited chances.

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Paxton Pomykal (CM) - 5.6

While Pomykal picked up another silly yellow card, which was a bit better than his one from the last game, he had a solid game overall. His defensive and offensive production wasn’t that great, but Pomykal’s passing really stood out. He completed nearly 90% of his total passes, which for a CM who likes to get forward, is very impressive. Additionally, Pomykal completed 50% of his long passes, 80% of his passes to the final third, and 75% of his forward passes, all of which were about average for his position. While he had a successful day passing the ball, Pomykal completed 25% of both his offensive and defensive duels, which ranks him well-below average. Therefore, I would like to see Pomykal be more effective with his duals in the future.

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Paul Arriola (RW) - 6.15

Arriola had another solid overall performance for FC Dallas, as he ranked above 5.5 for every statistic except for pressing/defense (which is likely due to how bad Nashville’s offense was on the day). He drew the penalty which led to the first goal, completed 4 of his 6 passes to the penalty area and 62.5% of his offensive duels. He lost the ball just 7 times compared to last week’s 9 times and ranked well above average for his percentages of total actions and duels won, which represents his all-around respectable performance.

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Jesus Ferreira (CF) - 4.9

Over the last three games, I’m beginning to observe a pattern with Jesus Ferreira and it’s a pattern that I hope will change over the next coming weeks. Jesus presses and wins the ball back really well, as he did today and every other week, and he is average in about every other category (which includes total actions, passing, dribbling, and aerials) but he has struggled in the shooting department. In this game, Ferreira did not perform well in his total actions as he completed just 38%, which was down a massive 20% from last week and Ferreira’s shooting continues to plague him as he has generated a total of 1.3 expected goals from his last three games and hasn’t scored yet, so I would expect him to put away one of these chances soon and if he can’t, more production will be required from the wingers and bench on this team if FC Dallas are going to score goals.

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Jader Obrian (LW) - 3.65

Obrian failed to build off his poor performance last week, as he really struggled in his total actions, dribbling, and defending categories. Apart from his passing, Obrian really struggled to get into the game, attempting just two offensive duals and no dribbles. He also did not attempt any pass into the final third and generated just one foul during his time on the pitch. Defensively, he registered just 1 recovery and 0 defensive duels in the game and to sum it up, he recorded just 28 total actions in the match, meaning he was barely involved at all. Some of this lack of involvement in the game is on Obrian but I suspect some of this is also coaching or player tendencies and I would expect Velasco to start next week against the Timbers.


Alan Velasco (LW) - 5.6

While Obrian was barely involved in the game, Velasco recorded nearly double the number of total actions per 90. His dribbling potential was on full display as you can see with his goal to ice the game where he drifted by at least 3 defenders on a solo counterattack. While this goal will make FC Dallas fans very excited for the future, some of his struggles were also observable as Velasco completed just 60% of his passes (0% of his forward passes) and just 33% of his dribbles. Being efficient while attempting a high output is something that Velasco struggled with at Independiente; however, for a 19-year-old making his debut in a completely foreign country, FC Dallas fans have the right to be excited about this young kid and I would expect for him to start in place of Obrian next week.

Facundo Quignón - N/A

Ema Twumasi - N/A

Franco Jara - N/A

Nkosi Tafari - N/A