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FC Dallas vs LA Galaxy: Game grades

FC Dallas continues to roll as the team extended its unbeaten run to nine.

MLS: FC Dallas at LA Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Last Saturday, FC Dallas won 3-1 against the LA Galaxy in a clash between two of the best teams in the Western Conference.

Here’s a brief breakdown of how the FC Dallas players performed as they moved up into the 2nd position in the Western Conference:


MLS: FC Dallas at LA Galaxy Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Maurer (GK) - 4.7

In his first MLS start for FC Dallas this season, Maurer had a decent game as he ranked slightly below-average in both his passing and goalkeeping. The American completed just 82% of his total passes, but he did complete 70% of his long passes and certainly played a role in stretching the field and contributing to the buildup for FC Dallas. Maurer did a solid job with his goalkeeping as he saved about what was expected of him with his expected conceded goals coming in about even with his actual conceded goals. The typical starting goalkeeper, Maarten Paes, is out again for today’s matchup against the Whitecaps, so Maurer will have another opportunity to show that he should be the starting goalkeeper for Dallas this season.


MLS: FC Dallas at LA Galaxy Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Ema Twumasi (RB) - 4.4

Twumasi had an all-around poor performance against the Galaxy, especially defensively. The Ghanian international recorded just seven pressures (14th percentile), zero defensive duels, and just three recoveries (6th percentile). Basically, Twumasi was absent defensively throughout this entire match, which is not a good sign considering that his primary objective should be to defend. Although Dallas scored three quick goals and went on cruise control for pretty much the rest of the game, it is still somewhat shocking to see that a defender did not record a single defensive duel in a match. Twumasi wasn’t involved much from a passing perspective either, as he ranked in the third percentile for passes, did not attempt a single long ball or cross, attempted one pass to the final third and two into the penalty area, and ranked in the 13th percentile for forward passes. Twumasi’s completion rate was actually alright for outside backs, but I would definitely like to see him more involved in the buildup and defense of this FC Dallas team.


MLS: FC Dallas at LA Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Hedges (CB) - 5.5

Hedges had a well-rounded performance in this game as he displayed some solid passing and defensive work. The American completed 87% of his total passes (70th percentile) and 79% of his forward passes (69th percentile), three of his seven long passes (40th percentile), and one of two passes to the final third (20th percentile). So Hedges was pretty good overall with his passing, but I would like to see him be a bit better with his long passing, especially into the final third. Hedges had virtually no pressures or defensive duels in this match to go with a low amount of recoveries. I think these statistics are an indication of how this match went for both teams, as Hedges and the rest of the Dallas backline weren’t under threat much in this match and even when they were, they did a good job of squashing most opportunities (Hedges succeeded all of his defensive duels and pressures). Regardless of how the match was played, the Galaxy still held a good chunk of possession and recorded more shots and shots on target than Dallas, so I think it’s a bit troubling to see Hedges with such a low level of defensive output.


MLS: FC Dallas at LA Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Nkosi Tafari (CB) - 4.8

Tafari had a similar passing and defensive performance to his partner, Matt Hedges, although he struggled in some smaller categories such as aerials, total actions, and carries which led to the difference in grades. The American was slightly more active with his defensive duels and pressures, but he still completed them at just as high of a rate as Hedges (Tafari ranked in the 90th percentile for pressures and completed all three of his defensive duels). Tafari also completed 87% of his passes, including three of his six long passes, three of his five passes to the final third, and 77% of his forward passes. When you combine these grades together, it becomes apparent to see that Hedges and Tafari were about dead even in terms of passing, and they will look to maintain this consistency with possibly more attempts in today’s game against the Whitecaps.


MLS: FC Dallas at LA Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Marco Farfan (LB) - 4.9

While Twumasi really struggled to get things going both in the buildup and defense throughout this game, Farfan did a good job of maintaining efficiency in both of those areas and even recorded an assist in the match. He ranked above-average in his pressures and press percentage, slightly below-average in his defensive duels and defensive duel percentage, and above-average in his recoveries. Going forward, Farfan ranked in just the fifth percentile for passes but like Twumasi, he maintained his percentages and even played a role in creating shots for his teammates. The American completed two of his four long balls, four of his five passes to the final third, and ranked in the 84th percentile for forward pass completion percentage to go with two shot creating actions in the match. As you can see, Farfan was fairly efficient with his limited opportunities, so I would like to see him get a bit more involved in the attack over the next few games.


MLS: FC Dallas at LA Galaxy Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Tsiki Ntsabeleng (CM) - 4.2

Tsiki didn’t have that great of a performance against the Galaxy, as the South African ranked below-average for each of the major categories for midfielders. He especially struggled defensively, as he registered three pressures (14th percentile), completed one of his four defensive duels (15th percentile), and ranked in the 19th percentile for press percentage (even though he actually attempted a good amount of presses). Tsiki got on the ball more so than the rest of the Dallas team, as he attempted 41 passes per 90. However, his completion rate was about average (47th percentile) and he struggled to complete forward passes in the attack as the South African succeeded in 70% of his forward passes (38th percentile) and attained a low progressive distance per pass rating in the 29th percentile. Tsiki didn’t really have any noticeable statistics as most of his ratings were below-average and he had a couple that were slightly above-average. Hopefully the South African can retain some of the form that saw him step into the starting lineup ahead of Brandon Servania against the Whitecaps tonight.


MLS: FC Dallas at LA Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Facundo Quignon (CDM) - 5.1

Quignon didn’t really do that much in this game, but he had a good defensive performance and protected the back line. The Argentine recorded many pressures (85th percentile) and completed them at a decent rate (43rd percentile). He also did a decent job of going in for defensive duals (47th percentile) and completed them at a pretty high rate (81st percentile). While Quignon had a solid defensive impact on this game, he didn’t really have much of an impact with his passing and ball progression. Quignon registered just under 37 passes per 90, failing to complete any passes to the final third and ranking below average for his forward and long passes. The Argentine also was not much of a threat in his offensive contribution as he ranked around the 30th percentile for offensive duels and offensive duel percentage.


MLS: FC Dallas at LA Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Paxton Pomykal (CM) - 6.6

Apart from his defensive performance, which has become a key aspect of Pomykal’s performances now, the American was slightly below average against the Galaxy. Pomykal’s pressing was slightly above-average again, but he did a pretty good job of attempting and winning defensive duels (74th percentile) and recovering the ball in the opponent’s half (70th percentile). Like most of this Dallas team, Pomykal didn’t receive many touches of the ball as he ranked in the 21st percentile for total passes. But the American also wasn’t very sharp with his passing as he completed just 76% of his passes (21st percentile), but at the same time, Pomykal also did a good job of being efficient with his forward passes, completing 86% of his forward passes (74th percentile) and four out of his five passes to the final third and even recorded an assist in the match. I get that Dallas played on the counter for most of this match (which worked pretty well), I would just like to see them maintain a bit more possession and avoid losing the ball fairly easily in their own half, which was something else that Pomykal struggled with.


MLS: FC Dallas at LA Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Arriola (RW) - 6.1

Apart from his goal, Arriola wasn’t all that great in this match as he ranked below average in his passing, playmaking, dribbling, and defensive grades. He applied a good amount of pressure in this match (79th percentile) but none of his pressures really resulted in much as Arriola landed in just the 4th percentile for press percentage and 44th percentile for recoveries. The American also really struggled with his overall passing, as Arriola completed just 63% of his passes (14th percentile) and 25% of his passes to the final third and penalty area (25th percentile). One interesting statistic that stood out to me about Arriola’s game was the number of progressive passes that he received. The American was able to make himself a reliable target for Dallas midfielders and defenders as he received around 10 progressive patches in this match, which landed him in the 97th percentile among wingers. While it is good that Arriola is able to receive the ball so frequently, he needs to get better at his passing and playmaking to become a more dangerous player.


MLS: FC Dallas at LA Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Jesus Ferreira (CF) - 10

While Ferreira maintained his goalscoring form by scoring two crucial goals to put the game to bed in the first half, I was impressed by his all-around performance as the American ranked above-average for every major category apart from his aerial grade. Obviously, his shooting record stands for itself and that hasn’t been much of an issue all season, but it was good to see some improvements in Ferreira’s passing, dribbling, and pressing. The American completed just under 82% of his passes (70th percentile) on a decent number of attempts (47th percentile). With these passes, Ferreira was able to generate three progressive passes, two shot assists, and grades above the 60th percentile for forward passes and progressive distance per pass. Arguably, Ferreira’s most impressive trait from this game was his dribbling, as he hasn’t really been known to be a striker who frequently likes to dribble. Ferreira completed both of his dribbles and won three of his five offensive duels, all the while recording seven progressive carries and progressive distance per carry of 6.88 yards/carry. To put it simply, Ferreira ranked above or around the 90th percentile for nearly all of his dribbling statistics. Even though Ferreira is basically at the top of MLS right now, if he can consistently contribute to the game through his dribbling and carrying ability, I’m not really sure how MLS clubs are going to stop him.


MLS: FC Dallas at LA Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Jader Obrian (LW) - 6.3

Obrian had a good all-around performance as he ranked above-average for each major category, apart from his playmaking, and recorded a slick assist. Like Arriola, Obrian applied a lot of pressure but his pressures didn’t result in much (although he did have a higher success rate than Arriola). Moreover, Obrian did a better job of recovering the ball (81st percentile) and going in for defensive duels (69th percentile), even though he won just 30%. The Colombian was much more accurate with his passes as he completed 86% of his total passes, but on very few attempts as he ranked in just the 16th percentile for passes. Because of his limited attempts, Obrian recorded just two passes in the penalty area and final third, proving that he didn’t make much of a consistent impact in that category. I think Obrian’s most dangerous characteristic is his dribbling/carrying ability and that was on full display in this match as the Colombian ranked above the 70th percentile for progressive runs, progressive distance per carry, and even miscarries (which is a great sign to see). Overall, I was fairly impressed by this performance from Obrian and I think he proved to everyone why he needs to be a rotational piece for this Dallas team.


SUBS

Franco Jara () - N/A

Edwin Cerrillo () - N/A

Nanu () - N/A

Brandon Servania () - N/A

Joshue Quinonez () - 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.