How FC Dallas' Andres Escobar joined special group alongside Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Entering Saturday night's game against the New England, Andres Escobar had failed to live up to his Designated Player status on FC Dallas’ roster. The 23-year-old Colombian, on loan from Dynamo Kiev, was starting just his fifth game of the season after missing out on Oscar Pareja’s starting XI in the team’s first 15 games.

He had scored just one goal in 449 minutes and did not have an assist to his name. In those same 449 minutes he had taken just five shots and created just six chances for his teammates.

Then, Saturday night happened.

With his former Colombia U-20 teammate Fabian Castillo still suspended, Escobar stepped on to the Toyota Stadium field against New England and unleashed 87 minutes of fury that helped his team capture all three points at home, their second consecutive win.

The numbers that Escobar posted that night are something we do not see very often in MLS or even in the rest of the world. In addition to his goal, Escobar created four chances, took five shots (four of which were on target), and had three successful dribbles, which occur after you beat an opponent 1-v-1.

Usually, a player has a great game if he creates four chances or takes five shots accurately. When you combine those two stats and throw in his successful dribbles, Escobar’s performance becomes a true rarity.

Escobar's Shots on Goal vs. Revolution

Since 2011, there have only been three other instances in MLS of a player putting matching numbers in one game. Reggie Lambe did it back in 2012, Thierry Henry accomplished it in the last game of the 2013 season, and Fabian Espindola dominated Escobar’s FC Dallas team back in April to the tune of two goals, six shots, five chances created, and four successful dribbles.

Across the globe there were only a handful of players in each league that accomplished this feat in 2013-14, and this list is littered with names like Messi, Suarez, Reus, Robben, and Ibrahimovic.

Players Across the World in 2013-14
League # of Players
Bundesliga 9
Seria A 5
La Liga 2
Ligue 1 1
Liga MX 1

With a breakthrough performance in the bag, look for Escobar to try and build off it when his team travels to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps (5 pm ET, MLS LIVE).


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