As usual, scale is 1-10 with 10 being World Class and 1 being not. Five is a decent MLS performance, 6 is good, 7 is “will get the team in the playoffs”, 8 is “will win in the playoffs”, and 9 is All-Star caliber.
For this game, we had the opposite from last week as Kellyn Acosta saw red in the 18th minute for Dallas, and Dallas did well to blunt whatever Seattle tried to do to take advantage, although to be fair, both by available talent and by intent, the Sounders really did not bring a lot to the table to try to take the three points, whereas Dallas at times really pressed and almost pulled off the win.
And let’s not kid ourselves, there were places of weakness that Seattle could have tried to exploit. Specifically, you have midfielder-converting-to-defender Atiba Harris having had to play a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, then fly back to play for his club. So for two reasons, that is a position to go after, yet the Sounders were not able to put even this spot under any significant pressure.
Chris Seitz – 6. On one hand, not facing a shot on goal makes a goalkeeper’s job a bit easy. On the other, his communication becomes very important when the team loses a starting defender and doesn’t replace him until the 59th minute.
Kellyn Acosta – 3. The red card is a real issue, but he was playing well up to that point. It was exciting to see the talent back on the field. But even though it was just a momentary lapse of reason, it put the team in a difficult position for much of the game and in all likelihood, cost the team a win.
Matt Hedges – 6. Seattle did not press incredibly hard, but when they did, Hedges was key in shutting it down.
Zach Loyd – 6. His veteran presence in this situation cannot be underestimated, especially considering that he was able to get forward a few times during the match to add pressure.
Atiba Harris – 5. This was a good showing from the St. Kitts and Nevis international. After playing on Tuesday for his country, the midfielder-turned-defender was solid, smart and effective. He is not above average yet, but clearly he has made progress.
Victor Ulloa – 7. Anyone expecting the Wylie product to have a step back after a breakout season last year has to be disappointed at this point. After four games, Ulloa continues to be the steadying influence in front of the defense and is part of the team’s success keeping the ball out of the net. Quiet and unassuming belies a good and smart soccer player.
Michel – 6. Was dangerous at times, smart at others, and generally effective. His first half free kick almost gave the team the win.
Fabian Castillo – 7. Almost won the game for Dallas on more than one occasion. Clearly the most dangerous player in MLS right now.
Ryan Hollingshead – 6. His play in some ways was good but not great and might have warranted a 5 in other situations, but his flexibility to slide into defense at times was key to blunting what Seattle tried to do to adjust to the man advantage.
David Texiera – 4. This game was not built for the Uruguayan’s style of play so some of this is not necessarily his “fault”, but these ratings are about what you contribute to the team, and he did not contribute much. When he had to move to the wing, it got even worse as that really is not his forte. Considering the way he plays, he does not seem a great fit for either the 4-2-3-1 or how this team plays a 4-4-2.
Tesho Akindele – 5. Effort was there, moment of brilliance was not. At times, he was dangerous enough that Seattle had to defend him with some vigor.
Walker Zimmerman – 6. Any chance Seattle had to score seemed to go out the window once Zimmerman came on for Texiera in the 59th. It really settled any looseness at the back.
Michael Barrios – Inc. Simply not enough time to really impact the match although he clearly showed signs of danger. Should he have been in sooner?
Oscar Pareja – 7. Dallas’ success was a mix of the teams ability and Seattle’s inability and lack of commitment, but the chess moves within the game were clearly won by the Little General. He put the team in position to control the game despite being down a man, with clear chances to win the game. The only question is should he have brought on Barrios sooner? Say, after it was clear that Seattle’s subs we not having a discernible effect? Clearly, Kovar for Roldan in the 61st was ineffective, and by the 70th maybe it would have made sense to bring on some speed. But that is an excessively thin hair to split.
Overall – 6. This team did what it needed to do under the circumstances, although that includes the red card to Acosta. By all accounts, this would have likely been a win for the home team but for that play.