It was a grueling, physical match but neither side was able to come away with a victory: FC Dallas hosted New York City FC to a frustrating 1-1 draw on Sunday.
Here are our takeaways:
Jerome MironJerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Kellyn Acosta continues to prove his value
He's been one of the best American central midfielders playing anywhere and he continues to prove it. He scored on Sunday and increasingly the question looks like when, not if, Kellyn Acosta will get a chance to start for the U.S. national team. With Jermaine Jones injured and looking increasingly ineffective, there just might be an opening for Acosta to grab.
He now has six goals across all competitions for FC Dallas this season, but it's his defensive work rate and his ability on both sides of the ball that makes his an appealing player.
Raymond Carlin IIIRay Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
The Hedges-Zimmerman tandem is still the best in MLS
If there is a better defensive duo in MLS than Matt Hedges and Walker Zimmerman, they haven't proved it quite yet. Hedges and Zimmerman again played well together on Sunday, despite conceding a goal. The pair might be good enough to transition to the international game – both players are on Bruce Arena's radar and he might consider grooming them as back-ups for Geoff Cameron and John Brooks. Particularly Zimmerman, at age 23, has a long career ahead of him.
Tim HeitmanTim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
No Pirlo? No problem.
While it's not exactly a good thing to see a player getting a yellow card, the warning that Tommy McNamara picked up proved why having someone like him in for Andrea Pirlo is a benefit: McNamara put in a gutsy defensive performance, and when he picked up his yellow card, he cut out a promising Dallas counterattack. Pirlo has been too easy to run through for NYCFC and his lack of mobility has become too much of a liability for NYCFC.
It doesn't mean we won't see Pirlo start again, but against a team as quick and as good in possession as FC Dallas, it would've been a mistake to start the 37-year-old.
McNamara makes a case again
Speaking on Tommy McNamara, his equalizer in the 69th minute was a thunderous header that came off pure dedication – he was going to do anything to get to that ball and knock it in the net. McNamara was actually set to be taken off and, on the very last play before he was due to come out, he scored. Coach Patrick Vieira decided to let McNamara ride the wave of momentum and stay in.
This isn't the first time we've seen McNamara play the improbable hero role. Seemingly whenever doubt sets in, he does something to make a case for getting minutes.
Is Johnson on his way back to finding his top form?
There was a time when Sean Johnson looked like a goalkeeper who could push for a future USMNT spot. But then 2016 happened, where he fell out of favor behind a far less experienced goalkeeper at the Chicago Fire. Now, Johnson is with NYCFC and he's off to a decent start this season, and he made some pretty big-time saves on Sunday to keep NYCFC in the match. He ended the day with four saves and he won't be blamed for the goal NYCFC did concede.
Greg BartramGreg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
FC Dallas remain the only unbeaten team in MLS
They have played at least one fewer games than almost everyone in MLS, but 11 weeks through the 2017 season, FC Dallas are the only unbeaten team in MLS. They sit tied for the top of the table in the Western Conference and they lead the league in points per game.