On a night that could have put an end to the Houston Dynamo's unbeaten streak at BBVA Compass Stadium, the Dynamo stepped up together to fill in the holes left by international duties and found a way to rally from a one goal deficit thanks to goals by Giles Barnes and Warren Creavalle.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tally Hall (6.5) - Stellar night for the man between the posts, while most of his saves weren't save of the week material, he led the defense against a dangerously quick and crafty Vancouver attack. There was nothing he could do on the goal the Dynamo leaked; it was simply a brilliant finish by Mattocks. Hall showed his best skills tonight in being able to get in front of the ball which he did several times. He also thanked the woodwork for keeping Camilo's free kick out at the end - just classy.
Kofi Sarkodie (6) - HRH played a big role in the sequence leading up to the first goal. He continues to improve his 1v1 game and his vision is improving on the defensive and offensive sides of the field. He had his hands full dealing with a very fast attack, but the University of Akron standout did well to force difficult shots all night.
Bobby Boswell (6) - The newly appointed Captain, with Brad Davis away with the USMNT and Brian Ching sitting on the bench, did well of keeping the defense organized and helped newly acquired center back Eric Brunner fit in very well. Boswell makes up for a lack of speed with outstanding vision and smart positioning. Boswell's game was relatively quiet overall, not allowing many mistakes, but not contributing offensively the way he usually does. He should have connected with one of the 11 corners we had as well.
Eric Brunner (5.5) - Aside from getting turned around by the quick Darren Mattocks which led to the Vancouver's first and only goal, he had a strong first outing for the men in orange. He showed many of the same characteristics that Boswell possesses which makes him a very good option for Dominic Kinnear.
Corey Ashe (6) - Ashe put to rest many of the problems of Vancouver's speed by matching it very well, along with the help of one Andy Driver. Ashe worked very well in getting the ball forward, not too difficult for a former Midfielder.
Andy Driver (7.5) MotM - The first start for the newly acquired Englishman who is coming off a week where he scored a goal of the week nominee, Driver was the most active player on the field for the Dynamo. Driver pushed the ball offensively at a high work rate, helped neutralize Vancouver attacks on the defensive end, and filled in, along with Adam Moffat, in Brad Davis's role of taking set pieces.
Adam Moffat (6) - The Scotsman helped keep possession, along with Ricardo Clark, in the Dynamo's favor for much of the game and used his usual grit to take Vancouver off the ball. Moffat served in a dangerous corner kick to the back post which fell awkwardly to Bruin, but the ball still found the net thanks to Warren Creavalle.
Ricardo Clark (7) - Ricardo Clark continues to make a case for consideration for the USMNT. Clark was denied from close range early, but continued to be a help the Dynamo possess and press the ball forward. Clark's assist to Giles Barnes was delivered with Brad Davis like precision, which was taken quickly and calmly using only one touch to set up the equalizer.
Warren Creavalle (6.5) - The second year player showed he can lineup for the Dynamo not only as a center back, right full back, or defensive center mid, but also a right midfielder, and he had a strong showing there. The versatile player's defensive prowess helped the Dynamo subdue many breakaway chances from becoming concerns .Offensively, Creavalle's shot seemed destined for the stands rather than in the goal, but in the 62nd minute, Creavalle poked an awkward touch from Bruin beating three Whitecap defenders and Joe Cannon for a goal that gave the Dynamo three points and secured any doubt of a first loss at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Giles Barnes (7.5) - Barnes threatened the Vancouver backline all night by taking dangerous shots and by providing superb service to other players, including a great back heel to Ricardo Clark. Barnes was also very active defensively, often running the length of the field in order to chase down breakaways. Barnes's goal was clinical as he found space in between two Whitecap defenders and headed home a perfectly placed ball from Clark.
Will Bruin (6) - Bruin's goal draught continued as the Dancing Bear struggled to find good looks on goal. Bruin's struggles lie in his poor hold up play, which accents his need for a player to be that hold up player that he can play off of, or a player that can stretch defenses with speed creating space for him. Bruin will benefit from a fit Omar Cummings to run alongside.
Cam Weaver (6) - Cam Weaver came on for Will Bruin in the 79th minute and looked more comfortable as the lone Forward. He held the ball up well and created some chances, but at this point in the game the Dynamo were defending against a Vancouver side that wanted to get away with a point in a very difficult place to play in.
Luis Camargo (5.5) - Came on for Giles Barnes late, Luis Camargo only saw 9 minutes plus stoppage, Camargo did well to clog the midfield and contribute defensively.
Omar Cummings - Brought on in the 89th minute for Warren Creavalle, Cummings didn't see much of the ball, but looked spry overall.
Dominic Kinnear (7.5) - The question everyone had before the game was how was Dominic Kinnear going to replace Brad Davis, Oscar Boniek Garcia, and Jermaine Taylor? Kinnear answered in a post-game interview that his players weren't filling in, they were playing. Kinnear kept the team organized and focused on possessing, defending against speed, and precision attacks which earned his team three points with three valuable players away with international duties.