The Houston Dynamo lost 2-0 to the Portland Timbers led by Ryan Johnson and Darlington Nagbe. The Dynamo played without regular starters Will Bruin and Oscar Boniek Garcia due to injuries, and struggled to find form in the hostile confines of Jeld-Wen Field.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tally Hall (4) - The Houston goalkeeper can thank the woodwork for keeping this game only 2-0. While Hall did make some very good saves, he failed to keep his defense organized and composed. Hall's distribution was off, and while he cannot be faulted for the first goal, he really shouldn't have fumbled the ball the way he did.
Kofi Sarkodie (3.5) - Portland ran at us with 3 Forwards and punished defenders like HRH. The slick surface and rain were likely at least partially responsible, but Sarkodie looked slow, and did not move the ball well to Driver or other midfielders.
Bobby Boswell (3) - Boswell did not have a good game. Boswell was harassed by Ryan Johnson and Darlington Nagbe all night and can take credit for helping Portland score both goals first by not marking his man, and second by (with Jermaine Taylor's help) keeping Johnson onside.
Jermaine Taylor (3) - Jermaine Taylor also did not have a good game. Taylor could have easily been yellow carded for his elbow on Diego Valeri and helped keep Ryan Johnson onside for his second goal. The two center backs couldn't keep up with the constant attacks and couldn't get the ball forward.
Corey Ashe (4) -Corey Ashe was the best defender for the Dynamo. He was the only one that didn't seem slowed by the rain or slick field, and actually he used it to make slide challenges. That being said, no Dynamo defender deserves a sterling rating and Ashe failed to move the ball up the field the way he usually does.
Brad Davis (5) - The skipper's usual dominating gait, prowess over the ball, and comfort and confidence with his touches was gone. Davis turned the ball over an uncharacteristic amount of times, and was forced to move into a more central role due to the central midfield's ineptness to control and possess. Davis didn't play poorly overall, but did not play at his level of the game.
Adam Moffat (3.5) - Moffat's service was poor, even for him, and he couldn't prevent attacks coming out of the center of the field. His turnovers and unusual lack of physicality made his return to Portland very unimpressive.
Ricardo Clark (4) - Clark has been trying to fit into a central attacking midfield role, which just doesn't suit him very well. His attempts to move forward hurt the Dynamo's ability to possess and control the midfield. Clark didn't really create any dangerous chances overall and was invisible for large stretches of the game.
Andrew Driver (5.5) - Andrew Driver got his first start on the right side of the midfield filling in for Oscar Boniek Garcia which was a game time scratch. Driver and Sarkodie did not combine as well as Boniek and Sarkodie, but Driver proved he is a great option to have. Though there were few opportunities to move the ball up the field, for everyone, Driver gave his all trying to defend and then trying to become part of an attack. Oh, and his yellow card was undeserved.
Giles Barnes, MotM, (6.5) - The Englishman is looking better and better after each game. Yes he gets a lower rating this game, because he didn't score or create enough chances, but when everyone around him was off their game, he was on it. He came out early running at Portland's defenders and created a few dangerous moments for us, but overall he too disappeared due to a lack of service and poor possession.
Cam Weaver (6) - Cam Weaver filled in for Will Bruin and overall played a very good match all things considered. Weaver is a much stronger center forward/lone striker, and his holds up play, along with strong defending skills were key early on in the match. Some may criticize his performance, and point to his miss on an open goal, but he did a lot of things right. Weaver was everywhere on the pitch helping defend and get more players involved. Yes, he should have scored on a sitter, but slick artificial turf doesn't make it easy.
Warren Creavalle (4.5) - Warren Creavalle came on for a struggling Adam Moffat in the 64th minute and much like the player he was replacing, looked uncomfortable moving the ball out to the wings and downright awkward defending.
Brian Ching(5) - Brian Ching replaced Cam Weaver in the 71st minute and was, like Weaver, a victim of being to get many touches on the ball. Ching was forced into deep defending and really didn't have too much of an impact on the game outside of a missed header and being called offside.
Omar Cummings (5) - Omar Cummings played 9 minutes plus stoppage time replacing Ricardo Clark in the 81st minute. At this point in the game, Portland was trying to score a 3rd goal and the Jamaican never had a chance to get involved in any serious attack.
Dominic Kinnear (5.5) - Dominic Kinnear had to fill two voids left by injuries to Oscar Boniek Garcia, and Will Bruin which he did with Andrew Driver and Cam Weaver. Both of these options turned into being two of the better players on the field, but the areas of concern against Portland were defending and possessing, two things that Dominic Kinnear led teams are great at doing. The game turned into a sloppy, choppy, and physical game, and painful to watch for Dynamo supporters. Maybe the rain on the artificial surface was a bigger X factor than the Dom realized, or maybe it was playing against a 4-3-3, or maybe it was just an off night. Whatever the case may be, Dominic Kinnear won't take it easy on his team after a performance like that.