Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tally Hall (7) - Hall put in one of his best performances of the season, coming up BIG for Houston three times. He wasn't challenged often, but when he was, he was sure to frustrate Montreal.
Eric Brunner (5.5) - Brunner got his first Dynamo playoff start filling in for Jermaine Taylor, who had foot surgery. Brunner filled in very nicely, preventing a good number of chances; however his passing could have been better as he often turned the ball over.
Bobby Boswell (6) - I thought Boswell's positioning was very good considering the wet surface of the field, and he was able to keep up with most defenders. His long balls continue to impress me, but some of his shorter passes were very lacking. Overall though, he did good work to keep the defensive line organized and helped the Dynamo earn a shutout against an attack and counter attack oriented team.
Corey Ashe (5.5) - Corey Ashe could have been involved in the offense a bit more than he was, but his defensive work rate was very good as he was able to keep up with Montreal's attacks and counters after poor giveaways. Speaking of giveaways, Ashe turned the ball over a bit too many times for my comfort. Ashe was also a victim of a classless attack by Marco Di Vaio in the closing minutres of the game which saw Di Vaio ejected and Ashe's reaction earned him a yellow.
Warren Creavalle (6) - Creavalle played relatively well alongside Rico Clark and helped clog a number of passing lanes. He was good at tracking back and helped defend well after poor turnovers. Creavalle also turned the ball over, most notably a poor clearance that fell right to Di Vaio outside the 18 yard box, but Tally Hall was able to make the save.
Ricardo Clark (7.5) - Clark was everywhere in this game and was a complete box-to-box midfielder. He clogged lanes, stole the ball, blocked the ball, and also made terrific runs, terrific passes, and was again, a difference maker for the Dynamo. I read somewhere that he looked like his 2009 self, which seems pretty accurate to me. Clark's back heel pass to Bruin was creative, effective, and beautiful.
Boniek Garcia (7) - Garcia mixed up so many defenders with his footwork I couldn't believe it. His amazing dribbling abilities were the reason that he earned a penalty, which he took very calmly to put the game out of reach for Montreal.
Brad Davis (6.5) - Davis didn't quite leave a huge mark on the game, as many of his crosses were headed away and his great passing didn't create too many opportunities. That being said, he did pass the ball well in the midfield, he did cover defensively well, and he nearly had a goal.
Giles Barnes (6.5) - Barnes was very active again, and he pushed himself higher up the field which allowed Bruin to come back - something that saw tremendous success. Barnes himself took a number of shots which nearly went in, but tonight was Bruin's, game which means Barnes will have a great chance to take on NY.
Will Bruin, MotM, (8) - What a night for the Dancing Bear! It wasn't just that Bruin scored two of the three Dynamo goals; it was HOW he scored them. His first goal came with Bruin lurking deep in the midfield and great one-two passing between him and Clark saw the Bear break his slump streak. His second goal came with him (and I want to point out Barnes was nearly level with him) heading a ball to himself from the midline, he beat a defender, then crossed the ball over and beat the keeper and a defender running in which set him up with an empty net. THIS was a striker's goal and it was brilliant.
Cam Weaver, Omar Cummings, Andrew Driver (-) - None of the subs really made a large impression on the game. A few passes here and there, an offside call, but nothing really here for me to rate them fairly.
Coach Dominic Kinnear (7.5) - Kinnear proved again why he is so good at this playoff thing, and made a great statement moving forward. This win will give this team confidence moving on against the Supporter's Shield winner and Dynamo defeater (this season) the New York Red Bulls. Fatigue may be an issue on Sunday, but the Dynamo are now fired up and ready for some revenge.