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FC Dallas vs Portland Timbers: Game grades

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

MLS: Portland Timbers at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Last Saturday, FC Dallas won 4-1 against the Portland Timbers, behind a hat trick from striker Jesus Ferreira around the 30-minute mark of the first half.

Here’s a brief breakdown of how FC Dallas players performed as they moved up into 5th in the Western Conference:

MLS: Portland Timbers at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Maarten Paes (GK) - 4.3

Paes didn’t have too much to do in terms of saving shots as the Timbers generated around one expected goal in the match. However, Paes did alright with his limited opportunities, saving 2 of 3 shots on goal. Passing-wise, Paes was not great as he completed just 81% of his total passes and 60% of his long passes, both below-average for goalkeepers. He also claimed 2 of 7 crosses, which is pretty impressive and above-average for goalkeepers.

MLS: Portland Timbers at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Nanu (RB) - 5.85

Nanu improved in his second start in the FC Dallas, as he generated an assist and showcased a more all-around performance. Nanu’s passing was good as he completed nearly 88% of his total passes, 83% of his forward passes, and two of his three long balls. Defensively Nanu applied nearly 22 pressures per 90, which is very high for players in his position, and completed 6 of his 10 defensive duels, which is slightly above average for his position. However, Nanu’s dribbling, his best trait, was pretty poor as he attempted 5 dribbles and failed to complete any and only completed one of his ten offensive duels.

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

Matt Hedges (CB) - 5.2

Like his partner, Hedges didn’t need to do too much defensive work throughout most of the game, so he ranked about average in our defensive grades. However, Hedges was dominant in the air, winning 8 out of his 9 aerial duels. His passing out of the back was not anything special as he completed 83% of his passes and just 40% of his long balls but he did complete nearly 77% of his forward passes, which is above-average for CB’s.

SOCCER: MAR 12 MLS - Nashville SC at FC Dallas Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jose Martinez (CB) - 5.2

Martinez, like Hedges, was also pretty good in the air against the Timbers, completing 3 out of his 4 aerial duels in the match. However, he was not as solid defensively as Hedges, as the Spaniard did not apply pressure very much (just 4 presses in the game) and even when he did, he was not successful (25%). Additionally, Martinez did not register a single defensive dual in the match, which shows that he was probably dropping back a bit too much and not marking his opponent very well. Although his defending wasn’t very good, Martinez’s passing out of the back was solid as he completed just under 86% of his passes, 76% of his forward passes and 78% of his 9 passes to the final third, all of which are at least average or above-average for his position.

SOCCER: MAR 12 MLS - Nashville SC at FC Dallas Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Marco Farfan (LB) - 5.9

Like most of his games, Farfan excelled defensively but did not show too much promise going forward and setting up opportunities for his teammates. Like his teammate Nanu, Farfan applied a lot of pressure (over 19 times per 90) and succeeded often (50%). He also succeeded in all of his defensive duels in the match and recovered the ball over 13 times per 90 (all well above-average for his position). While he was basically unbeatable defensively, Farfan was very vulnerable going forward, completing just 33% of his offensive duels, attempting just one cross and zero passes to the penalty area. In his future games, hopefully, Farfan can build off his impressive performances defensively and start churning out some results on the offensive/playmaking end.

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

Brandon Servania (CM) - 6.6

Following up his good game against Nashville, Servania had another good game, this time showcasing his defensive abilities while most of his other grades were about average. The American international completed all four of his defensive duels in the match, but only recovered the ball 5 times. He attempted a good amount of passes in the match, but not at a very high completion percentage, as he completed just 75% of his total passes, 33% of his long passes, 50% of his passes to the final third, and 68% of his forward passes, all of which are below-average for players in his position.

MLS: Portland Timbers at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Edwin Cerrillo (CDM) - 5.1

Like Jesus Ferreira, I’m beginning to notice a trend in Cerrillo’s statistics as he usually performs poorly offensively but makes up for his mishaps and his minimal offensive threat through being solid defensively and displaying average passing from the back. I made this observation about Jesus just before his breakout game this week, so hopefully, something similar will happen with Cerrillo in Dallas’ next game against Chicago.

MLS: Portland Timbers at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Paxton Pomykal (CM) - 5.3

While Servania was solid defensively and was very inefficient going forward, Pomykal was quite the opposite. The American completed 4 of his 5 offensive duals, while also completing all of his 6 long balls in the game. Like Servania, Pomykal registered a through ball and shot assist in the match, but also suffered three fouls in the match. While he was above-average offensively, Pomykal struggled to win his defensive duels, as he completed just 4 of his 10 defensive duels in the match.

MLS: Portland Timbers at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Arriola (RW) - 5.8

Arriola got himself in on the action Saturday, as he nabbed a goal in the 77th minute of the match to prevent any hope of a comeback for the Timbers. However, outside of this goal, Arriola was not very efficient in the game as he struggled with his dribbling and offensive duals and ranked about average in his passing, playmaking, and defensive grades. The American failed to complete any of his 5 dribbles in the match and any of his 6 offensive duels in the match, providing no dribbling threat whatsoever. He also completed just under 70% of his total passes and 47% of his total actions, which are both below-average for his position indicating that Arriola was not very efficient with his opportunities in the match. However, Arriola looked good with some of his playmaking and passing as he completed 9 of his 10 forward passes, 86% of his 7 passes to the final third, and also attempted 4 passes into the penalty area. So although Arriola got himself on the scoreboard and created some opportunities for his teammates, he needs to be more efficient and a bit smarter on the ball.

MLS: Portland Timbers at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Jesus Ferreira (CF) - 10

Up until this week, I had begun to notice a pattern with Jesus Ferreira of him pressing and winning the ball back very well, while also ranking about average in everything except for his shooting. I had suggested that if this trend did not change soon, “more production will be required from the wingers and bench on this team if FC Dallas are going to score goals”. Well after his performance Saturday against the Timbers, I think you could say that trend has changed! In contrast to his performances over the last three weeks, Jesus displayed clinical finishing in this match and even took on as many shots in this game as he did in the last three weeks. He also improved his passing to be slightly above-average and actually won some of his aerial duels (2 out of 3), to go along with his typically above-average pressing grade. Surprisingly, Jesus did not attempt a single dribble and did not win any of his four offensive duals, but this is still a breakout and impressive performance for him and hopefully, he can build off this in Dallas’ next outing against Chicago.

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

Alan Velasco (LW) - 7.3

Similar to Arriola, Velasco was a bit lousy in terms of his passing and total actions but made up for it with his playmaking and his willingness to constantly take on defenders in his attempt to create some opportunities to score. Velasco was slightly better than Arriola with his overall passing and total actions, but still below-average as the Argentine succeeded in just 49% of his total actions and 71% of his passes. However, Velasco made up for this with his playmaking as he registered a smooth assist for the opening goal of the game to Jesus Ferreira. In addition to this assist, Velasco completed all of crosses and passes to the final third and penalty area. While he didn’t attempt many of these passes, Velasco nevertheless still showcased his promise and his potential for future games, so FC Dallas fans should still be excited about their club-record signing.


Facundo Quignón - N/A

Ema Twumasi - N/A

Franco Jara - N/A

Jader Obrian - N/A

Tsiki Ntsabeleng - N/A