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FC Dallas vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Game grades

The defense for FC Dallas gave up some late goals and because of that another loss got added to the pile.

MLS: FC Dallas at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, FC Dallas lost 1-2 against the Vancouver Whitecaps as Dallas took the lead on a quick counterattack from Jesus Ferreira to Paul Arriola. However, they were unable to maintain this lead due to lackluster marking from Nkosi Tafari and a major error from goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer and Edwin Cerrillo.

Here’s a brief breakdown of how the FC Dallas players performed as they moved down to the 3rd position in the Western Conference:

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

Jimmy Maurer (GK) - 1.1

To put it simply, Maurer had a bad game against the Whitecaps. He ranked very low in his passing and goalkeeping grades and made a crucial error that prevented Dallas from salvaging a point from this game. As a whole, Maurer’s distribution out of the back was not great at all, as the American completed just 78% of his total passes (14th percentile) and 50% of his long passes (20th percentile). His goals were also higher than his expected conceded goals by 0.7, which indicates that Maurer didn’t do that great of a job with his goalkeeping either. Because of this all-around poor performance, Maurer has a lot to prove this Sunday if Paes can’t return to the starting lineup.

MLS: Colorado Rapids at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Nanu (RB) - 5.8

Apart from his playmaking, Nanu had a pretty solid performance as he displayed good defensive work (something that’s nice to see from him improving in) and average passing. Although Nanu attempted very few pressures, he did a good job of winning them as he ranked in the 94th percentile for press percentage. Nanu also didn’t attempt many defensive duels or recoveries, but like his press percentage, he was fairly efficient with his defensive duels, ranking in the 73rd percentile. Nanu was efficient with his forward passes and passes to the final third (both around the 80th percentile), but he didn’t attempt many of those passes and also didn’t even attempt a pass to the penalty area, which is somewhat surprising considering how much of an attacking right back Nanu is. One other interesting point to mention was Nanu’s overall passing percentage as the Guinea-Bissau international completed 93% of his passes, which ranked him in the 95th percentile among right backs. Hopefully, he can provide some more attacking output and maintain this efficiency moving forward for Dallas.

MLS: FC Dallas at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Hedges (CB) - 5.6

Hedges had a solid all-around performance as he ranked slightly above-average in every category apart from his carries, where Hedges is typically below-average. Hedges was below-average in both his pressures and press percentage, but he made up for that by winning all of his three defensive duels and recovering the ball a little over 13 times per 90 (79th percentile). Hedges did a good job of making himself available for passes as he ranked in the 90th percentile for passes per 90, and his completion rate was fairly decent as well (73rd percentile). The American attempted a lot of long passes (82nd percentile), but his completion rate of 50% wasn’t as good as Hedges was slightly below-average. Interestingly enough, barely any of Hedges’ long passes made it to the final third as just one attempt was recorded and it was not completed. Moreover, Hedges forward passing was not that great as he ranked below-average for both his passing and completion percentage.

MLS: FC Dallas at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Nkosi Tafari (CB) - 6.4

Tafari had a pretty solid game apart from his poor marking which led to a header from Brian White of the Whitecaps. The American ranked above-average apart from his carrying grade and performed especially well in his passing and aerial grades. Tafari won four of his five aerial duels, which is typically pretty good, but the one that Tafari did not win was the aforementioned headed goal. Although Tafari was fairly safe with most of his passes as he didn’t attempt many long passes, passes to the final third, or forward passes; his passing was very efficient in this match. For his completion percentages, the American completed 92% of his total passes (84th percentile), 67% of his long passes (73rd percentile), 60% of his passes to the final third (50th percentile), and 79% of his forward passes (69th percentile). Defensively, Tafari attempted a solid amount of pressures (60th percentile), but he completed very few, ranking in just the second percentile for press percentages among center backs. Tafari was much better with his recoveries and defensive duels, as he landed in the 77th percentile for recoveries, 71st percentile for defensive duels, and 46th percentile for defensive duels percentage. As you can see, Tafari had a pretty solid all-around performance, but he needs to be more aware and take on better positioning so he doesn’t concede another cheap goal in the future.

MLS: FC Dallas at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Marco Farfan (LB) - 4.0

Farfan’s usually high defensive grade was fairly low against the Whitecaps, as the American ranked in just the 32nd percentile among fullbacks. Going forward, Farfan was actually about average or slightly better than he usually is which is interesting considering the dip in his defensive grade. Defensively, Farfan wasn’t as impactful nor efficient as he typically is. The American ranked in just the seventh and first percentiles for pressures and press percentage. Similarly, Farfan struggled to find opportunities to attempt defensive duels, but he maintained an above-average defensive duel percentage grade and recovery grade, so it wasn’t a terrible defensive performance from him. One interesting thing that I noticed from Farfan’s performance was that he lost the ball a lot (10th percentile for losses) and mostly in his own half (over 11 times per 90). Obviously, this is not a good sign and I would be interested to see if this trend continues because avoiding losing the ball is something Farfan is typically pretty good at. While it’s disappointing to see high loss numbers from Farfan, he was an integral part of the Dallas buildup as he completed a decent amount of his passes on a good amount of attempts (both around the 80th percentile). Additionally, Farfan also attempted a large number of passes to the final third and completed 86% of those opportunities, which is again a good bit above average. The American also displayed some solid passing to the penalty area and ranked in the 90th percentile for forward passes, which is a good sign to see from a typically defensive fullback.

MLS: FC Dallas at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Servania (CM) - 2.9

Servania had an all-around poor game as he ranked below-average in all major statistical categories, especially in his passing and total actions grades. The American did not receive the ball much at all (sixth percentile) but even when he did, he ranked in just the second percentile for pass percentage (63%), which is pretty bad for a midfielder. Servania was also terrible in his ball progression as he did not complete a single forward pass or pass to the final third in the match. Servania had a slightly better defensive performance, as the midfielder ranked around the 50th percentile for his defensive duels and recorded a solid amount of pressures, but they ultimately didn’t amount to much as Servania’s completion rate for pressures and his overall recoveries were low.

MLS: FC Dallas at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Edwin Cerrillo (CDM) - 4.8

Cerrillo had a solid overall performance, although he wasn’t very consistent within the different facets of his game. The American ranked below-average in his defending, slightly below-average in his passing, and slightly above-average in his offensive grade. As previously stated, most of Cerrillo’s defensive grades were below the 45th percentile, with the one major exception being his pressing percentage. His passing was a bit better as the American completed 90% of his passes on an average amount of attempts. However, his ball progression was not that great as he ranked below-average for his passes to the final third and marginally above-average for his forward pass completion percentage.

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Paxton Pomykal (CM) - 4

Pomykal was consistently below-average across the board in this game, as all of his major statistical categories ranked below the 45th percentile. There’s not much to really note from Pomykal’s performance as he may have been a bit underutilized (30th percentile for total actions and 23rd percentile for passes), but the midfielder will hopefully make more of an impact in this next game against Minnesota.

MLS: FC Dallas at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Arriola (RW) - 6

While Arriola notched the first goal in the match to give Dallas the lead, he wasn’t particularly impressive in this game as the American was below average in his passing, dribbling, and defending grades. However, Arriola made up for these downsides by coming in above-average in his offensive and playmaking grades. The American struggled to string together successful passes as he ranked in just the 20th percentile for pass percentage, but that is likely due to the fact that a lot of Arriola’s passes were in the final third or penalty area, where he was trying to create goal-scoring opportunities. Obviously, these areas are more difficult to pass into because there are more defenders and less space for sloppy passes, so it would make sense that Arriola’s passing grade would not be that high. This is also supported by some key playmaking statistics that Arriola performed well in as the American attempted five crosses in the match (87th percentile), three passes to the final third (49th percentile), five passes to the penalty area (91st percentile), and eight forward passes (54th percentile). Hopefully, in tonight’s game, Arriola can either become more involved in the buildup of the attack or a bit more precise with his passes into the final third and penalty area.

MLS: FC Dallas at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Jesus Ferreira (CF) - 5.7

Apart from his slick assist to Arriola on a lethal Dallas counterattack, Ferreira wasn’t very threatening for much of this match. The American did a good job of passing and dribbling, but his aerial, pressing, and shooting grades were all poor. This could be due to the fact that Ferreira wasn’t involved much in this match (seventh percentile for total actions) but he also didn’t do much with his opportunities as he landed in just the 19th percentile for total actions percentage.

MLS: FC Dallas at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Jader Obrian (LW) - 5.3

Obrian had a decent game as he ranked above-average in his passing, but below-average in all other statistics. His most notable deviations from the average came in his dribbling and defensive grades as the Colombian struggled to recover the ball, attempt defensive duels, and press opponents. Surprisingly, Obrian did not attempt a single dribble in the match, which goes to show how his game is beginning to evolve, as over the past couple of starts, Obrian has become a much better passer of the ball. While the Colombian did a good job of completing a solid ratio of his overall passes, Obrian’s passing in and around the final third was very good in this match. He completed all of his passes to the final third on an above-average amount of attempts, two of his four passes to the penalty area, and 75% of his forward passes, all of which are above-average for wingers in his position. In the future, I am excited to see what Obrian can offer with this newfound passing/playmaking ability.


Ema Twumasi (LB) - 4.2

Twumasi certainly provided an attacking threat as the American ranked above average for his passing, playmaking, and dribbling grades but he was abysmal defensively as he ranked in just the eighth percentile for his defensive grade. Twumasi applied just two pressures in the match and no defensive duels, which speaks to the limited effect that he had on the defensive side of things. Twumasi did rank decently high in his recoveries (60th percentile), so it was good to see him somewhat contribute defensively. While he didn’t do much defensively, Twumasi received the ball in the buildup of attacks fairly often as indicated through his total pass rating in the 85th percentile. The Ghanaian didn’t attempt many forward passes or passes to the final third; however, his completion percentages were very high, in fact, 100% in both of those areas. It was quite the opposite with Twumasi’s passes into the penalty area, as the Ghanaian ranked in the 78th percentile for passes to the penalty area, but failed to complete a single one of them.

Franco Jara () - N/A

Tsiki Ntsabeleng () - 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.