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FC Dallas vs Seattle Sounders: Game grades

FC Dallas picked up their latest win thanks to some late-game heroics.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Last Saturday, FC Dallas drew 2-0 against a depleted Sounders team who just won the CONCACAF Champions League.

Here’s a brief breakdown of how the FC Dallas players performed as they remained in the 4th position in the Western Conference:

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Maarten Paes (GK) - 3.9

Paes had a decent game in goal (although he didn’t have much to do); however, his distribution out of the back definitely left some things to be desired. The Dutch international wasn’t involved much at all in the buildup as he attained grades below the 25th percentile for total and long passes. Additionally, when Paes received the ball, his distribution wasn’t that great as he completed just 75% of his passes (eighth percentile) and 40% of his long passes (10th percentile). Granted, Paes wasn’t needed much for his distribution because Dallas were able to dominate possession and the game, but sharpening up his passing will definitely be something Paes looks to do next week against the Galaxy.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Ema Twumasi (RB) - 7.5

After his last couple of poor performances as the starting right-back for FC Dallas, Twumasi had an improvement across the board against the Sounders, as he did a good job of involving himself in the attack and setting up a goal to notch his first assist of the season. I think Twumasi (and the rest of the Dallas team) definitely benefited from the fact that this was mostly a reserve Sounders team looking to just gain a point out of the game which enabled him to go forward more and not have to rely on coming back on defense as much. This is supported by the contrast between Twumasi’s offensive and defensive statistics. Defensively, Twumasi ranked in the bottom third percentile in pressures, 18th percentile in defensive duels, and 50th percentile for recoveries, so overall well below-average defensively. Offensively, Twumasi ranked in 61st percentile for crosses, 43rd percentile for offensive duels, 57th percentile for passes to the final third, and 42nd percentile for forward passes, so overall about average. I think this type of game benefits fullbacks like Twumasi so hopefully he can get a bit more involved in the buildup in future games like this moving forward.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Hedges (CB) - 6.3

Hedges had a good overall performance against the Sounders, as he attained high aerial grades (he nearly scored three goals) and had a high passing grade. Although Hedges had a low defensive grade, this was likely due to the fact that the Sounders couldn’t muster up any opportunities going forward so Hedges did the best with what he was given. The American completed 90% of his passes, 95% of his forward passes, two of his three long balls, and three of his five passes to the final third, all of which ranks him above-average for center backs. Therefore, I think if he can maintain this crucial role in the buildup with a bit more tidying up defensively, Hedges will be one of the best center backs in the Western Conference or even all of Major League Soccer.

MLS: Houston Dynamo FC at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Martinez (CB) - 6.3

Apart from his aerial duels (which were pretty much nonexistent), Martinez had a fairly similar game to Hedges, as he had good passing and overall grades, but he didn’t do much defensively at all. Martinez was a bit worse than Hedges in the passing department, as he completed 87% of his passes, none of his three long balls, 33% of his passes to the final third, and 74% of his forward passes. Even though Martinez was a decent bit below Hedges, he still ranked in the 59th percentile for his passing grade. The reason for Martinez’s slightly better grade was that he was more efficient with his defensive opportunities as the Colombian held a much higher pressing and defensive dual success rate than Hedges, even though both had very low attempts because of the nature of the game.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Marco Farfan (LB) - 5.4

Like Twumasi, Farfan didn’t have much work to do defensively; however, his playmaking was fairly poor in this match. In my time analyzing Dallas, Farfan has been much more of a defensive fullback than an attacking fullback (like Nanu or Twumasi). Now while the American has made strides this season in his offensive game, being in a game like this where he is required to create chances instead of preventing them isn’t best suited for Farfan’s game right now. He failed to complete his lone cross in the match and didn’t attempt a single pass into the penalty area. Additionally, Farfan did not succeed in any of his two dribbles in the match and recorded no progressive runs and just two progressive passes. However, with his limited defensive opportunities, Farfan shut things down with his 83% defensive duel success rate (87th percentile). Hopefully this is a learning experience for Farfan and the next time he finds himself in a game like this, he will know how to better approach and break down a solid backline and defensive-minded team.

MLS: Houston Dynamo FC at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Tsiki Ntsabeleng (CM) - 7.2

In his second consecutive start for FC Dallas, Ntsabeleng had a fairly good all-around game. The South African ranked well above average for each major category apart from his defending, which was slightly below average. He did a good job of playing his role in the buildup and progressing the attack, as he ranked above the 78th percentile for forward passes and above the 85th percentile for progressive passes. As a whole, Ntsabeleng’s passing was very good, as he completed 93% of his total passes (88th percentile) and he didn’t lose the ball very often (six times in the match and just once in his own half). The fact that Ntsabeleng maintained possession of the ball fairly well is a great sign for the future, as when young players jump up a level in competition, they typically tend not to be very composed and calm on the ball, which leads to a lot of turnovers.

SOCCER: ARP 23 MLS - Houston Dynamo at FC Dallas Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Facundo Quignon (CDM) - 7.6

Like most of the midfield and backline for Dallas, Quignon had a solid game and ranked above average in each major area of his game, apart from his defending, likely due to Seattle’s inability to progress the ball forward. The Argentine completed 92% of his passes (74th percentile) and ranked above the 70th percentile for passes to the final third and forward passes. From these statistics, we can tell that Quignon did a good job of progressing the ball forward and being that transition between defense and attack. There’s not much more to say about the other aspects of Quignon’s game (specifically defensively) because he didn’t have many opportunities to showcase his skills.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Paxton Pomykal (CM) - 8

Pomykal had a very good all-around performance as he ranked above the 60th percentile for each major category. One statistic that stood out to me was Pomykal’s 21 pressures (75th percentile) in the match and his success rate of 48% (91st percentile). With so many pressures, you would think that Pomykal’s success rate would drop, but in fact, it increased, which is very impressive. In a game where Seattle had little of the ball, Pomykal was able to still carve out a defensive role which speaks to his quality and effort. In addition to this strong defensive output, Pomykal completed a good chunk of his passes. Specifically, the American succeeded in 89% of his total passes (74th percentile), six of his eight passes to the final third (55th percentile), and 80% of his forward passes (60th percentile). From these statistics, you can see that this was a truly well-rounded performance from Pomykal and he’ll look to continue this momentum in his next MLS performance against the LA Galaxy.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Arriola (RW) - 7.8

Arriola had a pretty good game across the board as he ranked above average in each major category apart from his dribbling, while also making some very incisive runs (although he didn’t receive the ball on many of them) and scoring a goal to put the game to bed. Arriola’s playmaking in this match was also pretty good as he ranked in the 97th percentile for progressive passes, and 78th percentile for progressive distance per pass while completing all of his four passes to the penalty area. All of this creative play did generate some results for FC Dallas, as Arriola recorded three-shot assists in the match. Complementing his playmaking ability, Arriola also showed his ability to get forward without the ball and receive it in dangerous areas, as indicated through his ranking in the 87th percentile for progressive passes received. Personally, I think this was one of Arriola’s best performances in a Dallas uniform and he’ll look to keep the momentum going this week against the LA Galaxy.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Jesus Ferreira (CF) - 6.7

Ferreira grabbed the first goal in this match on a cool finish into the bottom right corner and had some average grades across the board, which is a bit better than his last two performances. Overall, Ferreira had more total actions and a higher total actions percentage than his last three performances for FC Dallas, so it is good to see him receiving more service and maintaining or even improving on his production. Furthermore, the American got off more shots (5) than his last three performances combined, which is also very encouraging. The caveat to these statistics is that Dallas played against a much weaker side and had the bulk of possession so it remains to be seen whether not this performance is a fluke against a poor side or that Ferreira is receiving and taking more of his opportunities. We won’t have to wait long to find out, as Dallas plays the third-ranked LA Galaxy this week, which is a much different team from the Seattle team that was in front of them last week.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Alan Velasco (LW) - 6.7

Velasco had a solid all-around performance as he displayed some solid playmaking and chance creation in this match. In a similar manner to Arriola, Velasco recorded a large progressive distance per pass (84th percentile), two shot assists, three shot-creating actions and one goal creating action. While Velasco also provided a threat with his nine progressive runs (95th percentile) and four carries to the final third (96th percentile), his one-on-one dribbling ability definitely left some things to be desired. Specifically, Velasco completed just one of his six dribbles and one of his thirteen offensive duels, both of which rank him in the bottom 15th percentile among wingers. If he can avoid trying to size up defenders and take them one on one, I think Velasco could be even better than he currently is because that area of his game has shown to be a weak spot of his and he occasionally gives the ball away in bad areas when he does this. Overall, however, the Argentine had a good performance and looked very dangerous throughout the match.


Franco Jara - 6.7

Jara had a pretty good performance in his time on the field, as he created several shooting opportunities for himself and displayed solid offensive grades across the board. The Argentine won 65% of his total actions on 79 attempts per 90, both of which are above the 90th percentile. Jara also recorded two shots, with both of them being on target which also ranks him in the 90th percentile among strikers. It wasn’t all just shooting opportunities that Jara performed well in, as the Argentine completed all of his passes and two of his three dribbles, ranking himself above the 70th percentile and even the 90th percentile in those statistics. Therefore, I think Dallas fans will continue to see Jara coming on as a super-sub, as he is performing well in his minutes on the field, creating opportunities for himself while doing a good job of maintaining possession.

Edwin Cerrillo () - N/A

Nanu () - N/A

Nkosi Burgess () - N/A

Jader Obrian () - N/A

These players aren’t graded because I currently do not have a grading system that will fairly evaluate players, who played under 30 minutes compared to the rest of the team, who played most of the game. This is something that I want to improve upon in the future.