Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tally Hall (5) - While Tally Hall really can't be faulted for the two goals the Dynamo conceded, Hall never took control of the defense after Boswell was sent off and the disjointedness was quite clear. Hall was able to make some very good reaction saves, but not the best showing for the man between the posts.
Kofi Sarkodie (5.5) - Sarkodie was one of the better defenders, and there were defenders (6 if you count Clark), and was at his best on the offensive side of the ball and he helped create a few dangerous opportunities. He did however concede 4 fouls some of which were in dangerous places for the Dynamo. Overall, he played well, but lacked positioning some of the time which is normally provided by Boswell or Hall.
Bobby Boswell (2.5) - Boswell didn't have a poor game before his sending off, but New England came out very organized and the Dynamo center back looked flat footed. Boswell certainly is a physical player that uses guile and his build to make up for some lack of speed, but he certainly is not a dirty player which is why many Dynamo fans were surprised by his red card. Regardless of intent and interpretation, he put himself into a position that he shouldn't have, and the Dynamo really never picked up much after his sending off.
Jermaine Taylor (3.5) - Poor Jermaine Taylor. Taylor was subbed off just 10 minutes into the game due to injury. He made a few strong stops, notably in the 4th minute he made an acrobatic stop against Imbongo, but Taylor never had the chance to do too much more than that.
Corey Ashe (5.5) - Like Sarkodie, Ashe helped limit New England's possession and run of play to the center of the field. Ashe was also very active going up the field and drove in a number of good crosses that unfortunately never found the net.
Ricardo Clark (3.5) - Following Bobby Boswell's sending off, Clark was forced to play center back next to Eric Brunner, who was subbed on for Jermaine Taylor. While we all know that Clark can play CB occasionally, and occasionally play it well, Saturday was not that day. Clark made a number of clumsy tackles and his presence in the midfield was missed. Clark was at his best moving forward getting the ball to other players, but defensively he was lacking. Oh plus that whole own goal thing.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (6) - Boniek did what he could to push the ball, and help the Dynamo control the game in the midfield. He lined up as a center attacking midfielder, and wasn't overly impressive there. New England dominated the center of the field, and Boniek really couldn't get the ball too often as he missed the luxury of having Clark behind him for much of the game. He did create some chances for other players but failed to even get one shot at the goal.
Andrew Driver, MotM, (6.5) - Driver was the engine that helped keep our offense running. Driver was active moving the ball down the right side of the field and creating chances. He nearly found the net in the 30th minute which was just wide. Defensively, Driver was able to backtrack, get the ball, and make a play offensively.
Brad Davis (6.5) - Davis, along with Driver, helped make sure that the run of play was dictated by the wings for the Dynamo. Davis would also drift in centrally to assist (see what I did there) with Boniek in the CAM role and take chances of his own.
Giles Barnes (5) - Barnes was subbed off after Boswell was sent off which resulted in Clark shifting back to CB and Moffat into the CDM spot. Barnes was fairly active early, but the Dynamo didn't throw much into the offensive side of things until New England scored.
Will Bruin (6) - Bruin had 6 shots, and all 6 failed to find the net. Bruin was at his best when Brian Ching came on and the two continued their strong partnership. Before Ching was subbed on, the offense seemed to be asleep, but after being down a goal at home, the Dynamo, and the Bear woke up and started making chances. Unfortunately not one of those chances made it in the back of the net.
Eric Brunner (5.5) - Brunner came on for Jermaine Taylor in the 10th minute and was fairly solid in the back. The problem came after Boswell was sent off and Brunner lacked a natural CB and leader next to him to help him better position himself.
Adam Moffat (5.5) - Moffat came on for Giles Barnes in the 43rd minute following Boswell's ejection, and took the CDM spot from Clark. New England really pushed Moffat, and most of New England's attack ran right through him. Moffat's distribution offensively was stronger, and he was able to get it out wide without much trouble.
Brian Ching (6.5) - Ching came on for Brad Davis in the 75th minute and helped hold the ball in the final third of the field which allowed the Dynamo to create some chances late in the game. He forced a reaction save from New England goalkeeper Shuttleworth in the 80th minute. Super Ching also gets a .5 boost for calling out New England to "man up" and not fall so easily and stay down for so long especially with a 2 goal advantage. I like that
Dominic Kinnear (5.5) - Kinnear can't be faulted for Boswell's sending off, an own goal, or our strikers not finding the net. He can however give one of his halftime pep talks to get the Dynamo back into the game. He made a number of correct personnel decisions subbing on Brunner makes sense for Taylor, putting Moffat in for Barnes also seems reasonable - although in hindsight Moffat may have been better placed in the CB role and have Clark allowed to stay in the midfield, and Ching makes sense as well. I expect the Dynamo to really come out fired up after this loss, most likely due to an angry Dominic Kinnear. Good thing we know how to win on the road, and we can put these losses on the shelf for now.
My brief thoughts on the game:
I had the feeling that this game was going to be "one of those games" as soon as Taylor went out injured. New England came out pushing the ball, creating chances very early, and didn't allow for the Dynamo to build up much of anything. Then Boswell was sent off - and good thing Imbongo did too or this game would have been wide open. Clark never looked comfortable in the back and the Dynamo lost a player in Boswell that kept the defense organized. Ching's insertion into the game really helped get the offense moving again.
Really what this game serves as is a wakeup call. The Dynamo have now come out slow the last two games, at home no less, and it has cost them - and big for us fans as we expect to win at home. There is still plenty of season left, and the Dynamo is still playing very well. These two losses should serve as a turning point for the season. Summer is here (hey, it's been here awhile, but it's really here now), injuries and call-ups are here, and the Dynamo have dropped two in a row at home - something needs to change. Maybe it's that we need healthy players, or maybe that halftime talk Dom has needs to start before the game, or maybe we'll land a great player in the summer transfer window. At any rate, the season certainly isn't over and the Dynamo is still poised to make the post-season.