Game Grades: FC Dallas at Seattle

Its clear that da-VEED Ferreira is the little engine that could. Steve Jolly is correct in that the FCD midfield general should be considered as MLS MVP. David's influence on the team goes beyond the game winning PK's and the amazing goalazo that rescued the point in the Northwest.

David's play is the stuff that should be driving the remainder of the team to excel and you can see that in Dax McCarty, Daniel Hernandez, George John and Brek Shea. Not sure you're seeing it in Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez, Jeff Cunningham, and Heath Pearce. The latter group seem to be suffering from lapses in performance while the former all look to have taken a page from the Ferreira book of effort and will.

What doesn't take a European "A" coaching license to see is that FCD simply needs a striker, a real, live, in form striker. Harris has done a noble job being asked to play a spot that isn't his natural domain, and while he isn't scoring he at least has had some success holding the ball up and allowing the attack to build.

Of course that is where all of Dallas' good play has been grinding to a frustrating halt where the team has netted only nine goals in its last nine matches. On the good flip, the team's defense has improved and currently is third in MLS with goals allowed.

So, the question is, will Milton Rodriguez be the tonic that cures the scoring woes? How will the much anticipated formation switch to 4-4-2 effect the overall squad as we wonder who is the odd man out. McCarty? Chavez? Shea? Rodriguez's introduction will come after a few weeks of being and playing with the squad, so its not unfair to have some expectation that he can be more of an immediate help, which surely Ferreira is praying for as he knows he can't continue to do this alone.

This Saturday, Real Salt Lake will give Dallas a great test to see what the new setup is capable of and if more newer, better parts are needed. Plus, Jason Kreis will be showing off his 'bling', justifiably rubbing it in just a little.

Game Grades:

Hartman: 8 - What a nice roll the vet is on and has been pretty good at being there when the back four switch off at the wrong time.

Benitez: 4 - A very up and down season, and against Seattle it was more down than up. Lots of bad passing, over committing and that wonderful crossing ability has abandoned him of late

John: 7 - Playing in front of home fans and family rendered Big John a touch flighty and while solid overall, had some really shaky moments (ie: square pass back into own box w/ Montero zeroing in)

Ihemelu: 6 - As Buzz has so accurately stated, the concern here isn't the 1v1 stuff, it's those moments where he appears to have just gone lost - like the Montero goal

Pearce: 5 - Had a night much like his counterpart, Benitez. Both really struggled to keep up with fast wingers darting to the end line

Chavez: 5 - Not much of a factor and still looks to be depending on pure speed more than skill, tactical smarts or chemistry with the team

Shea: 7 - Grade might smell high, but lately I have to admit that the kid looks to have toughened up and be more determined than ever to "win his 50's." There is so much potential there, its great fun watching him learn on the job

Hernandez: 7 - If you take the entire season into consideration Daniel is the leader in the team MVP clubhouse, but he's not a scorer which is why Ferreira's currently grabbing the spotlight. Daniel's toughness and discipline is a large part of the defensive improvement

McCarty: 6 - The little ball of fury has also been a touch wobbly in the last few matches, but you can never fault his work rate. His passing completion ratio from match to match is very inconsistent and you wonder if he is the one that loses out in a 4-2-2 setup

Ferreira: 9 - That strike alone gives the guy a +1. Such high praise must be given to a guy that has refused to allow the MLS thuggery to defeat his small stature and instead is finding ways to just "get it done"

Harris: 6 - see above


Cunningham: 5 - meh

Loyd: n/a