6 quick observations about this one:
1) Hero in Horst - the entire back line was very organized for the most part, but Horst's goal-line clearance proved to be a difference maker.
2) Queue Sherrod, Sherrod - this kid is bringing life back into the team and Sherrod helped set up the game's lone goal.
3) Midfield still shaky and couldn't possess the ball well, but movement up to the forwards was quick and the defense held up on counters.
4) Cummings stepped up very ably. He may get a start either at right mid or at a forward spot next game.
5) After all the shots and close chances, this game still ended 1-0 and to me that is still a bit surprising.
6) It's such a nice feeling when the team beats LA.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tally Hall (6.5) - Hall had a couple of very scary moments, but was able to keep calm. He had to deal with Juninho's long shots, but luckily for him, most of them were apparently aimed at Hall's hands.
Kofi Sarkodie (6.5) - Had a "foul" early that led to a dangerous free kick for the Galaxy, but overall Sarkodie was solid. He linked very well with Omar Cummings and helped withstand the increased push for an equalizing goal late by LA best exemplified by his successful effort to shield Keane off the ball near the 6 yard box.
Jermaine Taylor (7) - Taylor returned to the starting lineup and looked very refreshed. Someone noted that perhaps Cochran's play has forced Taylor into increasing his level of play to keep the starting spot. I don't know if it's true, but he certainly played well keeping things clear for the most part in and around the 18 yard box.
Corey Ashe (6) -Ashe struggled a bit to get involved into the attack, but he was able to send in a few successful crosses and was very quick to get back on defense.
Warren Creavalle (6) - Creavalle did about as good a job as anyone can do when it comes to containing Robbie Keane, but a few slip ups here and there did stand out including some poor turnovers. On the other hand, he did have some excellent stops and takeaways of his own.
Andrew Driver (6) - The post strikes again! Driver nearly scored the first goal of the match after a brilliant cross from Omar Cummings, but his strike was victim to the dreaded post (dreaded only when we hit it of course). Driver made a few darting runs, but he also turned the ball over more than I'm comfortable with in this one. He'll need to step up his game while Davis is away with the USMNT.
Giles Barnes (6.5) - First off Barnes's one touch curler of a goal was beautiful. Secondly, Barnes is playing much better in the midfield and in this game he was excellent at pushing the ball forward and getting back on defense. Lastly, in this game, he turned the ball over at least twice that led to very dangerous LA Galaxy attempts, especially the early bad pass which nearly led to another goal within the first minute.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (6.5) - To me Boniek was the best player on the field until he went off. He was really everywhere and pushed the ball up the field well, and defended very well. He loses some points for the blocked corner kick (who does that?), but he really pushed the team early. After he went off due to an injury, which is being called a minor hamstring strain, the Dynamo struggled to adjust without him on the field. We're all certainly relieved to hear that his injury in all likelihood won't cost him his trip to Brazil, but we're still wishing him a fast and safe recovery.
Mark Sherrod (7) - What this rookie brings to the Dynamo is hustle and energy. He doesn't stop and that along with some other intangibles similar to Brian Ching (though not quite there yet obviously...he is just a rookie) makes others around him better. His pressure on LA keeper Jaime Penedo set up the game's only goal. Without that pressure on a goalkeeper on a throw in, the game ends in a draw if all things held equal.
Will Bruin (6) -Bruin struggled a bit lined up next to Sherrod. It's not that he wasn't doing the right things because he did make some good passes and hold the ball up relatively well from time to time, but overall just wasn't completely effective near goal. Maybe I'm just used to him scoring lately and I didn't see the same Dancing Bear out there.
Omar Cummings (7) - Here's the Omar Cummings we want to see. Cummings sort of floated in between being a midfield player and a forward and was a big creator of chances, especially after the Dynamo went up a goal. He did things with the ball that were darn-near Boniek-esque and he looked very confident. It won't happen but could we see a Sherrod - Cummings front forward pairing in the future? Based on these performances it makes sense.
Brian Ownby (-) - Didn't really play enough time to get a fair ranking.
Coach Dominic Kinnear (6.5) - Kinnear won at home against LA and winning against LA always feels good. Kinnear had to deal with the absence of Brad Davis and the early injury exit to Oscar Boniek Garcia and he adjusted well. Things were pretty open in the middle of the field and the back and forth tactics didn't benefit either side for the most part. Still, his defense held up, and the offense was able to exploit a mistake which decided the game. However, I think it was a little odd he didn't bother to make better use of his subs considering the heavy week ahead.
The Post - Come on man, cut us a break.