I’m back with the 2nd edition of my MLS Weekly Awards. Once again, I’ll be handing out awards for what I feel was Match of the Week, Goal of the Week, and who was Player of the Week. Also, I’ll once again be providing my listing of my MLS MVP Ladder.
We’re nearing the halfway point in the season (every team has now played between 15 and 18 matches out of 34). So, some teams are exactly halfway through the year, while some others are right up against it. It’s now getting to the point in the season where separation is happening and you can’t really say “it’s still early in the season” anymore.
This week, LAFC extended their lead in the Supporters Shield race, there was a lot more parity of scorelines, and it seemed that the offense as a whole was more active. Now we head into our awards.
MLS Match of the Week
Match of the Week: Austin FC 2-FC Dallas 2
An in-state Lone Star rivalry between two of the best teams in the Western Conference in front of 20,738 people did not disappoint. The match was scoreless at the half, but the excitement factor ramped up in the second half with four goals in the final 35 minutes. Dallas jumped out in front with a goal from MVP candidate Paul Arriola in the 58th minute.
That was followed by a goal from freshly subbed on Brandon Servania in the 68th minute to put Dallas up 2-0. Austin’s MVP candidate Sebastian Driussi would get a goal back shortly after however. as he scored in the 72nd minute to trim the lead to 2-1. The equalizer came from Danny Hoesen (who also had just been subbed on) in the 85th minute to put the score at its final 2-2 scoreline.
Austin held a big advantage in possession (63% to 37%) and outshot Dallas 18-12, but Dallas was more accurate with their shots, holding a 6-4 edge in shots on goal. Austin was also fairly more accurate with their passes than Dallas (85.5% to 71.9%), but FC Dallas did a strong job clearing the ball and keeping the ball away from their net for most of the match (mainly outside of the final 20 minutes). Dallas registered 28 clearances and won 11 tackles as a team. Dallas also won 45 duels, compared to Austin’s 36.
After the single point each, both clubs stay near the top of the Western Conference table. Austin currently sits in third place with 28 points (one point out of second place and four points out of first place). Dallas currently sits tied for fourth place with 26 points. They are now tied with Nashville. This was an entertaining match between two of the best teams in the league, and it had a frantic second half. If this matchup keeps producing matches like this, then it will turn into a fierce rivalry in no time.