Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tally Hall (6) - Officially, Tally Hall only recorded 1 save, but he kept his defense fairly organized for the better part of the game. This led to composed distribution from the back and few turnovers. Though there were some nail biting moments, Hall quietly played well. He didn't allow himself to be caught out of position and only allowed one goal which can be faulted to Corey Ashe and Jermaine Taylor for a lack of communication and ball watching.
Kofi Sarkodie (6.5) - Kofi Sarkodie and Andrew Driver worked much better together than they did in Portland. Sarkodie distributed the ball well from the back, made a few great runs up the field, and registered an assist. Oh, and Kofi Sarkodie, not Brad Davis, is the leading assist leader. He is currently tied for best in the league with 3, though Davis currently has 2. Pretty good for HRH
Bobby Boswell (6) - If you haven't seen Boswell's attempt to beat someone on the dribble, go find it. Defensively, Boswell was tasked with anchoring the defense against Sherjill MacDonald and Chris Rolfe, along with a very deep midfield. Boswell and the defense stepped up and prevented Chicago's runs at goal from amounting to anything further than attempts on goal.
Jermaine Taylor (6) - The Jamaican helped Boswell prevent runs at goal, often forcing long shots and turnovers. Taylor was caught ball watching and didn't communicate with Ashe which led to a Chris Rolfe goal just 3 minutes after the Dynamo went on top 1-0. Taylor looked to redeem himself by denying Chris Rolfe in the 70th minute from an open goal forcing a corner kick.
Corey Ashe (5.5) - Everyone will be talking about how Ashe let Chris Rolfe take the shot that leveled the game in the 29th minute. Jermaine Taylor deserves part of that blame, because he could have stepped up and tried to block it and instead watched Ashe watch the ball. Other than this incident, Ashe pushed the ball up the field well to Davis, got into the attack himself, and used his speed to prevent Chicago's Forwards from breaking away.
Brad Davis, MotM, (8.5) - The stat sheet says Brad Davis recorded 1 goal and 1 assist, which earned him the honor of the MLS player of the week. Off the stat sheet, Davis's assist to Bruin was beautiful, and his goal could not have come at a better time. Davis nearly scored off a set piece. Oh, and I think Wells Thompson will be remembering how Davis burned him for the assist.
Adam Moffat (6) - The Scotsman's performance improved greatly following his poor outing at Portland. Moffat's distribution was much better particularly moving the ball out wide. Moffat also did more than his fair share of dispossessing. The area where we are still weakest is in the center of the field. Not faulting Moffat, but rather Clark's positioning. The two thrived working as a flat central defensive tandem with one going forward and the other staying behind which led to clogged passing lanes. Clark has moved into more of a CAM role which leaves Moffat with more work than he's had to deal with in the past.
Ricardo Clark (6.5) - Everything I said about Clark above results in our biggest area of concern defensively. The tradeoff to Clark being in an attacking role is we get a great passer further up the field and someone that can dispossess defenders or midfielders in dangerous places. That's exactly what happened against Chicago. While the Dynamo leaked our fair share of passes and possession into the defensive third of the field, Clark also stole the ball in dangerous areas leading to very threatening runs at goal.
Andrew Driver (7) - Driver was once again a menace for the opposing team. Driver did it all, he defended deep, pressed, passed, lobbed balls in, and used his speed to beat opponents. Driver nearly had a goal and an assist himself, with Barnes's diving header missing by inches, and Driver's own attempt on goal was sent right at Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
Giles Barnes (7) - So far this year, Giles Barnes has been the Dynamo's best player, and best kept secret. Barnes was thrown into the withdrawn Forward role as a temporary assignment, and now it's his position to lose. Barnes came out early and looked to make his impact on the game, as he does every game. He nearly scored on a few headers, and gave Davis the pass that led to Bruin's goal. He's fast, has excellent vision around him, passes very well, and has an eye for goal. Great pick up.
Will Bruin (7.5) - Will Bruin could not have come back from injury any better. Aside from scoring a goal in clinical fashion, he showed off a part of his game that many said he lacked: he held the ball up, and well at that. The sequence leading up to Bruin's goal began with Bruin holding the ball up.
Warren Creavalle (5.5) - Creavalle came on for Andrew Driver in the 71st minute, and looked to keep pushing the ball forward. Chicago at this time was looking to steal one at BBVA and Creavalle had his hands full trying to stop Joel Lindpere and Jeff Larentowicz from creating chances.
Brian Ching (6) - Ching came on in the 75th minute for Will Bruin, and helped stop a surging Chicago side. He, along with Cam Weaver, really took some of the weight off the midfielders and defenders by coming back to defend. Defending helped us earn 3 points, and we had to do a lot of it after Davis scored and Ching, a Forward, did a lot of help work. That's something you learn as a Forward after a lot of time with Dominic Kinnear.
Cam Weaver (6) - Say what you want about Weaver, but his play partnered with Ching was very good. Weaver came on in the 86th minute for Giles Barnes, and Ching and he immediately put to rest the Chicago attack by defending deep. This took the pressure off some of the midfielders and allowed play to build. Had he scored people may have had a different reaction about him, but he still helped us hold onto the win by defending and holding the ball up....he still should have scored though.
Dominic Kinnear (7) - Road problems aside, Dominic Kinnear had to assess a lot of problems that arose during the Portland game. On top of those problems, he still had Oscar Boniek Garcia out with injury, and Will Bruin coming off an injury. Andrew Driver filled in, brilliantly, for the injured Boniek, and any lingering effects from Will Bruin's injury were not visible if they were there at all. Kinnear still needs to address the central midfield concerns, but he gets bumped up .5 for earning the longest unbeaten record in MLS and getting the Dynamo into 2nd place in the Eastern Conference.