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FC Dallas vs Real Salt Lake: Game grades

The FC Dallas defense finally gave us reason to feel relieved in Utah.

MLS: FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, FC Dallas won 1-0 against Real Salt Lake as they showed an ability to grind out a win and finally preserved their lead. This win moved Dallas up into the fifth position in the Western Conference.


MLS: FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Maarten Paes (GK) - 6

While Paes displayed some solid goalkeeping with a grade in the 69th percentile, he struggled with his passing and ranked in only the 17th percentile. The Dutch international attempted only ten passes in this match and completed 80% of his total passes (20th percentile) and only 50% of his long passes (also 20th percentile). As for his goalkeeping, Paes certainly played a role in keeping a clean sheet, as he outperformed his expected conceded goals for three sites (WyScout, FBref, and American Soccer Analysis). Hopefully, Paes can become a bit more involved with the buildup from a passing standpoint, because his last few games have had him fairly poor in that category.


MLS: FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Ema Twumasi (RB) - 5.9

Twumasi had a bit of a shaky overall performance; however, his defensive grade (64th percentile) and contribution to a clean sheet led to an above-average performance from the Ghanian. However, because Dallas were in a low defensive block for much of the game, Twumasi wasn’t able to get forward as much and complete a lot of his passes as he landed in only the 38th percentile for his passing, 34th percentile for his dribbling and just the ninth percentile for his playmaking.


MLS: FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Martinez (CB) - 4.7

Martinez had a below-average performance across his major categories; however, he did just enough to ensure Dallas secured a clean sheet. Specifically, Martinez ranked in the 37th percentile for his passing, 43rd percentile for his defending, and the 34th percentile for his carrying ability. This poor performance was likely due to a lack of touches in the match, as Martinez ranked in only the 15th percentile for his total actions.


MLS: FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Hedges (CB) - 4.8

Apart from his aerial grade, Hedges also struggled in this match. While he was aerially dominant in this match (71st percentile), Hedges could not muster much up in his passing (41st percentile), defending (43rd percentile), and carrying (24th percentile). Like Martinez and most of his teammates, most of Hedges low grades are due to the fact that he didn’t get on the ball much as the American landed in just the 12th percentile in his total actions category.


MLS: FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Marco Farfan (LB) - 4.5

Farfan did not have as great of a defensive performance as Twumasi, which led to his slightly below-average performance. However, like Twumasi, Farfan struggled across the board because of Dallas’ approach to the game as the American ranked in the 45th percentile for his passing, 36th percentile for his dribbling, and 6th percentile for his playmaking. Hopefully, with a more progressive approach to the game next week, Farfan will improve in these categories and display his true quality in these areas.


SOCCER: JUL 09 MLS - FC Dallas at Houston Dynamo Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tsiki Ntsabeleng (CM) - 4.4

Despite being subbed off early again due to being ill, Tsiki was still able to manage a slightly below-average performance. The South African ranked in the 36th percentile for his passing, 45th percentile for his offensive contribution, and just the 15th percentile for his defensive grade, even though he had one of the highest total actions grades on the team in the 41st percentile.


MLS: FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Facundo Quignon (CDM) - 3.8

Quignon also struggled to involve himself in the match and string together multiple successful actions. While his total actions grade wasn’t the lowest on the team (30th percentile), it certainly still influenced the Argentine’s performance as Quignon ranked in the 28th percentile for his passing, 36th percentile for his defense and pressing, and just the 18th percentile for his offensive grade. Although Quignon typically doesn’t rank well in his offensive grade, his low grade still provides information on how Dallas approached this match in the second half, which was basically to maintain a low defensive block and defend to preserve a road win.


SOCCER: MAR 05 MLS - FC Dallas at New England Revolution Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Paxton Pomykal (CM) - 5

While he recorded an assist that led to the game-winning goal, outside of this event, Pomykal did not have a large impact on this game. The American ranked in just the 25th percentile for his passing, 33rd percentile for his defending, and only the 15th percentile for his offensive grade. However, Pomykal’s performance was likely a byproduct of the “total actions factor” in this game, as he didn’t get on the ball enough to record above-average grades.


MLS: FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Arriola (RW) - 3.2

Arriola had very little influence on this game across the board, as he was consistently below average. This is another prime example of the “total actions factor” as Arriola ranked in only the 20th percentile in that category. This carried over into the American’s overall contribution to the game as he ranked in the 45th percentile for his passing, 39th percentile for his playmaking, 23rd percentile for his dribbling and despite defending for much of the game, Arriola landed in just the 31st percentile for his defensive grade. Hopefully, with more possession and ball progression in future games, Arriola will have more of an opportunity to have more of an impact on the game.


MLS: FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Jesus Ferreira (CF) - 4.6

Apart from his goal that gave Dallas the lead, Jesus struggled to have a consistent impact on this game. He ranked below-average for all of his major categories, which include his shooting, passing, dribbling, aerials, and even his pressing. Again, a common theme of this article is the lack of total actions from each player, which makes it hard for them to influence the game. Regardless, in the second half, when most Dallas players got the ball, they struggled to maintain possession and generate attacks and instead preferred to clear and provide some time for the defense to regain their compact shape.


MLS: FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Alan Velasco (LW) - 4.6

Because of Dallas’ defensive nature in the second half, Velasco wasn’t able to get forward as much and influence the game the way he likes. This is evident in Velasco’s total actions, where the Argentine ranked in only the 31st percentile. Moreover, Velasco’s total actions influenced his offensive contribution, as the Argentine ranked in the 38th percentile for his playmaking, 44th percentile for his dribbling, and just the 34th percentile for his offensive grade. Interestingly enough, Velasco actually didn’t rank all that high in his defensive grade, as he landed in the 43rd percentile, but he did contribute to the game through his passing in the 58th percentile.


SUBS

Edwin Cerrillo (CDM) - 2.4

When Cerrillo comes on as a sub to a match, it is typically hit or miss, but against Real Salt Lake his performance was certainly a miss. The American struggled across the board but found himself with one of the lowest total actions grades on the team in just the third percentile. This really affected Cerrillo’s performance, as he ranked in just the 12th percentile for his passing, 31st percentile for his defense and pressing, and the 23rd percentile for his offensive grade.

Nkosi Tafari () - N/A

Nanu () - N/A

Franco Jara () - 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.