The Caps certainly appear to have FC Dallas’ number, as they weathered a rocky final 20 minutes to come away with all three points against their Texan rivals for the second time this season.
Most notably, the match saw the full debut of Andres Cubas, who instantly lived up to his hefty price tag. But how good was he really (hint: very good)? And how did the rest of the squad make out? Read on for the report card grades from the trip to North Texas.
Cody Cropper: 6.5
Was called upon early to deny Jesus Ferreira but it wasn’t until midway through the second half when he was asked to do much of anything else. Was a bit slow to come out to punch or grab a ball that Franco Jara should have headed into an open net, a bit of a concerning trend for Cropper. But he didn’t have any other noticeable mistakes and was pretty comfortable in this one.
Tristan Blackmon: 6.5
It was his long ball that fed a clinical route one attack and a goal, though he was less effective passing the rest of the way. It was comforting to have him back and fit, however, with Jake Nerwinski’s introduction into the match raising the blood pressure levels a bit.
Ranko Veselinovic: 6.5
Was actually the least active of the three centerbacks, with Brown the one who was usually called on to take evasive action. After a difficult midweek match, Ranko seems to have responded well.
Javain Brown: 7.5
Two tackles, two interceptions, three clearances and two blocked shot — a pretty good night at the office for Brown. His distribution was a bit shaky at times but he appears to have returned from international duty with a good burst of confidence and form.
Ryan Raposo: 7.5
Raposo was called into action a fair amount going forward, as the Caps favored attacking down the left hand side. Thought he had some really nice link-up play with Caicedo and on a different day may have even come up with an assist — to underscore this, he had the most touches of any Caps player. Had a couple moments where this aggressiveness caught him out defensively, however.
Marcus Godinho: 7
Had one really, truly dynamic moment going forward but it won the Caps a free kick that led to a goal, so not a bad batting average. His work settling play down, holding things up and getting fouled was Cavallini-esque. I still think his defense leaves a bit to be desired but I think we saw improvement on this front as well. A decent performance.
Andres Cubas: 8.5
Stout is the first word that comes to mind when evaluating Cubas. He had twice as many interceptions as anyone else on the pitch and his presence simply changes how teams are forced to play — think more hopeful balls over the top, bypassing the midfield. The FC Dallas heatmap was noticeably sparse in Cubas’ area of the pitch. He also looked surprisingly comfortable with the ball at his feet as well and fired an excellent long range shot off the bar. A terrific debut all around.
Russell Teibert: 6
The presence of Cubas really helps make Teibert look more serviceable and the departure of Cubas showed Rusty’s shortcomings again. A passive performance that looked better than it was because of his new colleague in midfield.
Deiber Caicedo: 7.5
The Caps really favored playing down Caicedo’s side of the pitch and he rose to the occasion admirably. His goal, a wonderfully whipped free kick, was just the icing on the cake — Caicedo generally looked dangerous and while he had some instances where he was muscled off the ball, his passing was efficient and dynamic. Hopefully his first goal will be a springboard to a good run of form.
Cristian Dajome: 7
Was not quite as dangerous as Caicedo but wasn’t far off — it was his incisive counter, after all, that led to the first goal just minutes in. Was much cleaner in holding the ball up and had fewer instances where he was dispossessed. A clean, competent match.
Lucas Cavallini: 7
His goal did take a deflection after some poor defending. But credit to Cava, because he’s been at the right place at the right time all season to finish those. Was probably guilty of taking too many touches in a couple of instances. His intuition and interplay with both attacking players and Raposo, however, was quite good.
Florian Jungwirth; 5
I feel for Flo because I have nothing personally against the guy but going from Cubas in midfield to him is like night and day. FC Dallas really tried to go at him shortly after he came on and then strangely stopped and elected to try to break the low block down with crosses and long sots, a more comfortable place for Jungwirth. I get the depth situation isn’t great right now but I think its time to retire him as a DM.
Jake Nerwinski: 6
Unsure why Vanni Sartini continues to ask him to break out of the back-three and come forward because he got caught on the ball a couple times and generally looked unsteady. The passing and defensive positioning left something to be desired but he buckled down to help secure the clean sheet.
Luis Martins: 6
Wasn’t asked to do much going forward but was sound enough in helping to see things out.
Brian White: N/A
Ryan Gauld: N/A
Both guys came on and had 10 minutes of minimal involvement.