Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tally Hall (6) - Tally made a few good saves to help earn the Dynamo clean sheet but was largely unchallenged as the Dynamo defense stepped up and weathered the physical and potent Sporting Kansas City offense.
Kofi Sarkodie (6.5) - Sarkodie was the best defender in my opinion. He had a goal line save and was able to contain his defenders. He also tracked up the field well and combined with Boniek to create chances. Sarkodie's biggest moment was a disallowed goal as it appeared he was off by the slimmest of margins.
Eric Brunner (5) - Eric Brunner found himself in a tough situation by an inability to clear aerial balls (which has to be tough for the 6'4 man), and he often found himself isolated and unable to defend opponents 1v1. He was however very good at combining with other defenders to cover the middle of the field and push the ball out wide.
Bobby Boswell (6) - Boswell was a rock out there and easily handled the physical SKC side with a little physicality of his own. He was often the first person to the ball and was able to clear the ball away from danger and was involved in a number of offensive opportunities as well, often involving his aerial prowess.
Mike Chabala (5.5) - Chabala filled in for the suspended Corey Ashe and the matchup that everyone seemed to be talking about was Chabala vs Zusi and how SKC would completely exploit this. Well it didn't work as Chewy stepped up and filled in quiet ably. He did get turned from time to time, and found himself out of position, but he was quick to backtrack and Kansas City wasn't able to capitalize on this matchup. Oh, and one thing that I had missed about Chewy on the field was his long throw in. That throw in is basically a corner kick and it is fantastic.
Warren Creavalle (6) - Creavalle had another game that was tough for him to handle, but he did handle the pressure after Ricardo Clark went out and he had to anchor the central midfield.
Ricardo Clark (6.5) - Clark only played for 25 minutes, but he was extremely active during that time. He was able to effectively push the ball out wide and up to Omar Cummings and Will Bruin, and while Clark was in the Dynamo possessed the ball much better. We're all hoping that Clark's substitution was precautionary and there isn't much to this injury because he has been crucial to our success in the midfield.
Oscar Boniek Garcia, MotM, (7) - Boniek was able to work his magic over the ball and he combined really well with Omar Cummings. Boniek was able to deal with the physicality of SKC, who constantly tried to knock him off the ball, create good chances, and he took the most shots out of any Dynamo player. His best chance was when he took a free kick and sent it towards the side netting, but a full stretched Jimmy Nielsen was able to save the score line for the visitors.
Brad Davis (6.5) - Davis was a constant threat down the side and in the middle when he pushed inside after Ricardo Clark's departure. His crossing remained solid, but Jimmy Nielsen was able to nab some of them. Davis didn't take shots himself, but facilitated a number of opportunities for others.
Omar Cummings (6.5) - Omar Cummings got his start for the Dynamo after playing the role of super-sub with two clutch goals late in games in the previous playoff series with New York. What I liked about Cummings was how he combined with Boniek and Weaver. Cummings instead of passing the ball back and making a run hoping to get it back, turns with the ball and makes his own run. It's really the difference between a midfielder (Barnes) and a true forward. Cummings was a threat for most of the game and showed us some of his passing abilities as well. His through ball to Sarkodie was offside by very little and the pass couldn't be much better than what it was.
Will Bruin (6) - Bruin played only the first half as fatigue likely kicked in for him, but he had a pretty good half. Bruin benefited from Cummings's runs at goal which allowed him to tuck in behind defenders, and Bruin nearly "Moffated one" (Thank you for that Richard) as he took an uncharacteristically long shot from 35 yards out which wasn't too far off the mark. Bruin's substitution was called a "technical decision" and he'll likely be back to it after a much needed rest.
Andrew Driver (5.5) - Andrew Driver replaced Ricardo Clark in the 25th minute and slotted in on the left side which pushed Davis inside. Driver was not as effective as he usually is, and looked a bit slower. Still, Driver was able to spread the field with some of his runs and he made good runs toward goal.
Cam Weaver (6.5) - Weaver came on for Bruin at halftime and worked really well with Cummings. Weaver found himself in a good position often and he often created something out of nothing - see his ridiculous shot on goal after Boswell heads the ball into the ground - or created for others by drawing defenders and making good passes. He also had a very good header from distance that flew right at Jimmy Nielsen.
Giles Barnes (5.5) - Barnes came on for Cummings and was largely ineffective. He made some good runs, but really Barnes didn't see enough of the ball. Cummings was much more effective than Barnes at creating opportunities, and Barnes looked a little fatigued...even for a 78th minute sub.
Coach Dominic Kinnear (6) - Kinnear probably earned one of the better results given the circumstances. After playing so many minutes over the last few weeks his squad was tired but they grinded out enough to go into the next leg all square. The Dynamo's defense also held strong and withstood plenty of knocks and chances all the while missing starting defenders Jermaine Taylor and Corey Ashe. Hopefully, the international break will give our players time to rest, heal, and prepare for a tough match in Kansas City.