Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tally Hall (6) - Made one absolutely stunning save in the 20th minute and picked off a few crosses quite easily. Other than that he had a quiet night as the defense cleaned up most of their mistakes, or DC hit a ball off the mark. The goal against Hall was really on Boswell being out of position covering for Sarkodie, and Ashe being too short to make the clearing header.
Kofi Sarkodie (5) - Sarkodie didn't look as comfortable today, either in the defensive end or offensive. He was caught out of position a few times and missed a beautiful cross by Brad Davis which he somehow hit into the ground instead of anywhere else. Sarkodie was at his best drawing fouls in the game, and his worst showed some of his own frustrations in a very ugly challenge on Chris Pontius which earned HRH a yellow card.
Eric Brunner (5.5) - Brunner was named the starting CB next to Boswell for the presumably injured Jermaine Taylor and was not afraid to battle it out in the box. His toughness was nearly exploited by DC in an attempt to earn a penalty, however the replay showed there was very little contact in the play - although there had been plenty of contact by both players before the incident.
Bobby Boswell (5.5) - Boswell looked better than his showing versus New York, but was constantly covering for Sarkodie on the right side. His passing and movement forward up the field has dropped off this year, which could be one reason why the Dynamo haven't controlled the ball further up the field. The pairing of Brunner and Boswell isn't without its positives though, as the two will surely make it rough and tough for anyone to challenge through the center.
Corey Ashe (6) - For some readers this rating may be a little high as it was Ashe who was beaten in the air for DC's only goal against us, but Ashe was also one of the most active defenders moving up the field, and his combination passing with Davis created very good opportunities for the Dynamo.
Warren Creavalle (6) - The best news Dynamo fans saw at the start of the second half was Warren Creavalle back on the pitch. Towards the end of the first half a dazed Creavalle had many of us worried over concussion concerns, but his appearance and performance in the 2nd put most of those to rest. Early on, he kept passing lanes tight and pushed the ball wide and up to the forwards, but he dropped off a bit and had to defend more as the game went on and D.C. United began its barrage of counter attacks.
Ricardo Clark, MotM, (7.5) - Ricardo Clark was the spine of the Dynamo as he did it well on both ends to keep the Orange in the game. He intercepted passes, made crucial tackles, blocked shots, passed the ball short and long well, and helped get our offense going. If the USMNT didn't have so many defensive center mids, he'd be back in the conversation for a spot.
Boniek Garcia (7) - Boniek played really well on both sides of the ball and was the usual spark that he is. Not only did he nail the penalty kick goal, but he also created plenty of good chances for the Dynamo to capitalize on.
Brad Davis (7) - Davis provided plenty of great short passes between him and other players, which allowed for some very close chances for the Orange. Davis also crossed the ball with his usual precision but saw only one person get on the end of it - Giles Barnes in the 38th minute off a corner kick.
Giles Barnes (7) - Barnes was very active early and really should have had a few goals more than he had. Still, he was able to be involved with both our goals which gave him a .5 raise from my ratings as he earned the penalty and headed home a Davis corner. As DC countered, Barnes fell back and couldn't help support the offense as well and he missed some fairly easy/close chances.
Will Bruin (5.5) - Bruin had a few very good looks at goal, but nothing went in as Bill Hamid denied him or Bruin was off the mark. Bruin had a few very good stretches of play that I noticed were when he was playing behind someone else. He works well when the offense is stretched by speed or another big guy (Barnes early in the game and Weaver later). In my opinion, when he gets stranded because Barnes drops back to help defend, the whole team suffers.
Cam Weaver (6) - Weaver entered for Giles Barnes and proved to be the big man to help waste some time by keeping the ball at DC's end of the field, but he also showcased some of his short range passing abilities as a nice combination between him and Brad Davis led to a very good opportunity on goal that was mishit by Kofi Sarkodie.
Omar Cummings (4.5) - I want Cummings to do well, and he showed that he's nearly back to his old self in terms of fitness. He stopped a shot and ran down the field and still split the defense...that's really impressive. What's least impressive is his shot. He - no, all the forwards need to work on their shot because Barnes, Bruin, Weaver, and Cummings all had shots that they would want to retake. Maybe Cummings just needs to make that first one to get going, and I'd love for the playoffs for that to be where it starts.
Servando Carrasco (-) Alex Morgan's boyfriend came on and showed us a few good passes here and there, but didn't play sufficient time for a fair rating.
Coach Dominic Kinnear (5.5) - Kinnear shored up a few things and got us into the playoffs. The defense is still too leaky, but for the most part was able to make up for any mistakes, and the forwards are still having trouble in front of goal. Maybe the playoffs is what gets them excited enough to turn it all around and find the net...I hope.
Kinnear's team will have a tough time against Montreal which has had the best of us this season beating the Dynamo twice, to our one win over Montreal, and outscoring us 7-1. If we get through Montreal the Dynamo move on to face New York, which we all know too well. The Red Bulls swept us this year, beating the Dynamo three times and outscoring us 9-1.
The Dynamo will need to get it together in order to make a good run to the MLS Cup, but if there's one coach in MLS that you don't want to play in the playoffs, it's Dominic Kinnear. That has to count for something.