Article by Anders Aarhus
To say it’s been a tough season for FC Dallas would be an understatement. Plagued by injuries to key players throughout the season the team has won just three games and is dead last in the Western Conference on 15 points. Even though Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Toronto made it 12 games without a win there is suddenly cause for optimism in Frisco. 2010 MLS MVP David Ferreira made his return from a broken ankle that kept him out 15 months, coming on as a 57th minute sub. And for a while it looked like he might provide the spark to get Dallas a win it desperately needed.
"I think having David back, you could tell the way that he kind of orchestrates our entire attack," said Dallas keeper Kevin Hartman. "Tonight, he showed that. I think seeing things like that really excite us, having a guy like that back."
Hartman was right on point as Ferreira was the most influential player after being subbed on. The heat map helps show how involved he was despite playing just 32 minutes, but the biggest positive was Ferreira’s passing numbers. His 80% pass completion was good, but it was the trademark through balls that were most impressive. Looking at the chalkboard you can see almost all of his passes were of the longer variety playing teammates into open space and creating good opportunities from dangerous spots like the one here.
Now see his successful passes:
Also, the six passes Ferreira didn’t complete were in the opposition half, probing balls that show the creativity and vision that has been lacking from Dallas’ midfield this season. It’s never a bad thing to see an attacking player taking a few chances, trying to play the killer through ball to set up an easy opportunity for a teammate.
Obviously it will take time for Ferreira to get back to full fitness and regain the sharpness that makes him arguably the best playmaker in MLS, but this was a very positive first game and represents a huge step in both Ferreira’s recovery and the season hopes of FC Dallas.