Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tally Hall, MotM, (7.5) - Hall was huge for the Dynamo when they needed him to be. Hall made several great saves including a goal line clearance in the 38th minute, and a double save just two minutes later in the 40th. Hall really had no chance at saving the penalty kick, which was taken brilliantly by Federico Higuaín.
Kofi Sarkodie (6.5) - I keep saying this week in and week out about HRH - his movement up the field continues to improve. His assist to Creavalle for the Dynamo's only goal of the match showed Sarkodie beat a tackle, run down the sideline, cut inside, and pick out Creavalle for the goal.
Ricardo Clark (6) - Ricardo Clark filled in again at center back for the injured Jermaine Taylor or the suspended Bobby Boswell (take your pick), and showed once again he can be a viable option at the position. The return of Ashe saw great combination play defending, but Clark's absence in the center of the field saw the Crew control the field centrally for large stretches of the game and allowed for quick counters.
Eric Brunner (5) - Brunner started again at center back because of Taylor's and Boswell's absences. Unfortunately for Brunner, he suffered an injury just 20 minutes into the game and Anthony Arena got to see his first league minutes. Brunner made one very good slide tackle into Arrieta in the 2nd minute which showed off some of his speed - something a lot of us didn't know he had.
Corey Ashe (6) - Ashe made his comeback to the Dynamo in the city he nearly played his first US national team minutes in, but injury forced him out. Ashe's speed and positioning helped eliminate some long balls in, and Ashe was able to successfully move the ball up the field. After Barnes's injury, Ashe moved into the LM spot and performed at his old position very well for the brief amount of time he was there.
Jason Johnson (5.5) - JJ got his first start after playing well against Sporting Kansas City, but instead of lining up at forward, he started as a right midfielder due to numerous injuries and international absences. Johnson was relatively quiet, but showed glimpses into what he can do. He really got going as soon as Barnes went off and he moved up to forward where he stretched the Crew's defense more effectively.
Adam Moffat (5.5) - Moffat for the first half had some difficulty preventing quick counters by the Crew, but his passing into the final third was better. Moffat was subbed off just before the end of the first half, which saw Luiz Camargo see some playing time.
Warren Creavalle (7) - Creavalle started this match as injury concerns, international absences, and other lineup shuffling left a central midfield spot open for Creavalle to slot into. Creavalle looks to be growing into a very strong utility player, and his passing and tackling have greatly improved making him a good central midfield option. He also was not afraid to take shots on goal and even finished off a beautiful pass from Kofi Sarkodie which is up for nomination for the goal of the week (go vote for him now).
Andrew Driver (6.5) - Driver was active again, this time lining up at the LM spot before switching to RM after Barnes's substitution. Driver's service from the corner spot was Brad Davis-esque. Looking at the penalty kick decision, there was some contact, but it was very slight. The reason it was likely given was Driver's arm was extended. It was likely the correct call, but in my mind without question a soft call at that.
Giles Barnes (6) - The biggest concern every Dynamo fan should have is how severe is Barnes's injury. Barnes had a few good shots and link play with fellow countryman Driver and was able to back track and provide defensive cover as well.
Will Bruin (5.5) - Bruin held the ball up better than he has in awhile, though it certainly isn't the best example of what he is capable of, but still struggled to find a good shot for himself. He did look better with Jason Johnson up top next to him which is a good sign for us fans.
Anthony Arena (6) - Arena got his first league minutes, and was thrown next to Ricardo Clark at center back as Eric Brunner left in the 20th minute due to injury. Arena really stepped into the role and performed well. He was not intimidated by Higuaín, Arrieta, or Oduro, and let us the fans know that he is a solid option at CB.
Luiz Camargo (4.5) - Camargo has not looked himself in awhile. His creative passing looks off, his tackling looks off, and he even looks like he put on a few pounds - I can't be the only one that thought that right? He earned a yellow card for a "tactical" foul against Oduro on the Crew's half of the field with players behind. Yes it stopped Oduro from speeding off, but it still seemed like a clumsy "tactical" foul.
Mike Chabala (5) - Chewy came on for the injured Giles Barnes, and the huge position shuffle began: Chewy to LD, Ashe to LM, Driver to RM, and JJ to RF. Chewy hasn't lost very much, but didn't enjoy enough time to make great tackles or clearances.
Dominic Kinnear (6) - Kinnear really leaned on his bench and they stepped up, especially Creavalle and Arena. Kinnear has now earned two road points in places that aren't friendly to play in. The good news for the Dynamo head coach is he has some time to let players recover which is very good considering how beaten up the Dynamo are.
Crossbar (7) - My other man of the match is the crossbar, which we're welcoming back after time away with some other clubs. The crossbar's denial of Higuaín's attempt in the 74th was one of the best "plays" of the game. Good job crossbar, continue to keep that ball out, and never deny us on the other end unless you want a lower score.