Monday, July 4, 2011
Match Grades: FC Dallas vs. Columbus
By Peter Welpton
Another sold-out match for the front office and another win for the coaching staff and squad, 2-0. The win over a growing Columbus Crew side showed that many of the positives FC Dallas had exhibited in the last few matches could appear against a side in form.
Again, the loss of Castillo is ironic because the subsequent formation change to a 4-2-3-1 has allowed the team to return to its superior passing/possession game. Dallas isn't quite the team it is when Ferreira is out there at peak form but is better when it is patient, keeps the ball on the ground and finds creative paths to goal -- instead of trying to only dump behind the defense and hope that pure speed will win out.
Jackson's mental reboot has given Schellas Hyndman a completely different player. The Brazilian has almost become Shea's equal on the opposite side, and the chipped goal was of the highest quality.
Ricardo Villar's 30 minutes were a welcome site as he finally put in a quality performance that comes at a perfect time. Dallas now faces a brutal month of July with USOC, CCL and league matches coming fast and furious. Two games a week for the forseeable future means that a confident, in-form Villar will be key to Dallas' July story.
Hartman -- 8: Five saves, one of which was the block on that late laser blast
Loyd -- 8: Really starting to play much better and his pairing with Jackson is particularly good
John -- 8: If this guy could improve his passing even more (and he's getting better weekly) he gets a fat check
Ugo -- 7: Struggled with Mendoza on occasion
Benitez -- 6: Just how healthy is that knee?
Shea -- 8: As he grows in confidence, so does the team
Jackson -- 9: FCD will be a playoff terror if he can keep this up
Jacobson -- 8: Nice recovery from last week's off performance
Hernandez -- 8: A marvel of determination and leadership
Alexander -- 7: Will Villar's performance effect Alex's place in the starting 11?
Chavez -- 7: Still no goals but overall positive impact with effort that went above and beyond
Villar: 8 -- Skillful, creative, positive -- can he do it consistently and over 90?
Milton: 7 -- Hat's off to a guy who's not stirring the room because he's not starting
Match Grade: A -- PHP is a wonderful place to be when its full and the home team is playing as well as this.