FC Dallas entered the match as favorites following a good start to the season. Real Salt Lake, on the other hand, had been very poor. Salt Lake had conceded 14 goals in their first 6 matches. FC Dallas lined up in a 4-4-2, sometimes looking like a 4-3-3 in the second half, trying to play through RSL’s press and create from crosses.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Brazilian
- Age: 21
- Date of birth: 31/07/2001
- Current club: FC Dallas
- Career: FC Dallas, Cruzeiro Esporte Club, FC Alverca, Palmeiras
- Position: Right Back
- Preferred foot: Right
Within 5 minutes, Geovane Jesus delivered a low cross to striker Jesus Ferreira for the opening goal. His initial acceleration and first touch were great and that separation allowed him enough time to place his pass perfectly. Geovane then missed a clearance and allowed a cross to get through to the opposing forward later in the first half, but Salt Lake couldn’t make it count. At the start of the second half, RSL had a great chance to score when Geovane did not track back with the necessary urgency and allowed an unmarked Jefferson Savarino to take a free shot on goal. Dallas have their goalkeeper Maarten Paes to thank, and not for the first time this year. Salt Lake scored their equalizer in the 67th minute after Dallas allowed time and space enough for a pinpoint cross to be placed onto the head of Savarino. Dallas seemed like they wanted to knock the ball around the field and control the game, but a combination of Salt Lake’s pressure and their own lack of ideas rendered the plan ineffective. Despite not creating much on the day, Dallas grabbed the winning goal late in the match with another first time finish following a cross.
Jesus was asked to defend narrowly and contribute width to the counterattack when Dallas won the ball. He was frequently defending close to right center back Sebastien Ibeagha while one of the midfielders (Paxton Pomykal or Sebastian Lletget) closed down the opposing wide threat. Geovane didn’t show he could reliably control a ball in the air or provide much creativity other than verticality, the latter being a criticism of the whole Dallas team. Jesus was not afraid of a duel, losing out on a 50/50 to earn himself a yellow card following Salt Lake’s goal. He led all players with 11 duels won in the match. He was eager to contest for headers and won 7 of his 11 attempts, showing impressive jumping reach. Jesus has the physical attributes necessary to succeed at this level.
Rating – C
Geovane Jesus was not particularly impressive in this match outside of his assist. Salt Lake generally had defenders in place to keep him contained, but he showed off impressive speed and some good run timing in the few moments he got forward. Defensively, I thought he was a bit naïve and didn’t show that he could defend well in a compact unit. In this game, I didn’t get the sense that he could tackle, block, or diagnose danger at an MLS starter level, but I am happy to watch again to see if the opponent changes things. I’d like to see more of what he can do on the ball and maybe some additional transition defending moments before I speculate on his potential.