Hall Pass: Tally Hall isn't Houston's problem

Jim Rogash

Tally Hall doesn't deserve to be on the bench and fans who think so are missing the big picture.

It has apparently come time to pile on Tally Hall. Fans spent last season and parts of this season calling for Will Bruin’s head, and now there is a growing trend calling for Hall’s. But if you are on Twitter suggesting that Hall needs to be benched for Deric then you need to take a larger look at what is happening. Do you truly believe that Deric could do any better? Would Deric get more from the same midfield who can’t hold possession and the same defense that couldn’t shut down Abercrombie on a school night?

This isn’t to say that Hall isn’t without faults this season. Our last two games have ended 3-0 and not in favor of the Dynamo. But Hall has been up for Save of the Week twice this year winning the honor in week 8. At this point last season he had yet to be nominated for the award. It doesn’t take a lot of looking to figure out what the problem in the back is.

The back pass that Hall decided to pick up against San Jose sent back to him by David Horst was one of the most bizarre plays I have seen from Hall. Clearly the man didn’t think it was a back pass or he wouldn’t have picked the ball up. I mean really he has been in soccer a long time, but not so long as he would have a senior moment and pick up the ball. If you watch David Horst’s reaction it is one of a man who realized the play was on him. Horst should have made very sure Hall knew it was a back pass and not to pick it up, but he didn’t. The play was a result of bad or really, no communication, on Horst’s part.

In the game against Colorado Deshorn Brown was able to score because Hall failed to let Horst know Brown was there. The way Brown came in Horst couldn’t keep an eye on both him and the ball. Horst didn’t react because he didn’t know Brown was around. Hall should have made sure his defender knew there was a man back there-bad communication on Hall’s part.

Communication or lack of it has long been the biggest complaint about Hall, well that and his distribution, but communication is what’s killing this team in the back. Hall has never been a vocal leader and expecting him to suddenly become one at this point in his career is a bit pointless. After the first few games watching Horst in the back it looked like he may be the man that we needed to direct things in the back. As time has gone on however he seemed to have lost his voice and not just his voice. I don’t think he trusts the players around him and neither does Hall.

Hall has come out of goal to try and cover for mistakes on the backline and in the end either cost us goals or nearly cost us goals. David Horst was up for Save of the Week for his amazing goal-line headed clearance in the game against LA. Why was Horst clearing the goal line? Because Hall had come out to try and stop the ball that the defense hadn’t stopped. This week Corey Ashe had an amazing clearance at the goal line that is up for Save of the Week. Where was Hall? Out of goal trying to once against stop the ball his defenders had failed to shut down.

He doesn’t trust the guys in front of him and really I don’t blame him. To say that Jermaine Taylor has been poor this season would be beating a dead horse. Corey Ashe is on and off. Kofi Sarkodie has been pretty middling all season. Horst started out strong but has had a bad last few games that may be a result of taking on too much. The back four don’t communicate with each other you can see it every time the opposition gets into the back. No one seems to be sure who is supposed to be marking who and I start hearing clown music as they run around looking confused.

Is throwing Tyler Deric in goal going to suddenly give the back four the confidence and direction they need? Somehow I doubt it, if you don’t feel comfortable with Tally Hall standing behind you then you’ve got problems, big problems and let’s face it with each passing week the Dynamo's problems seem to grow. I will grant you chances are Deric would be better communicating during games, but honestly I haven’t ever watched his communication skills closely during games. Is Deric skilled? Absolutely, we all know he is the heir apparent to Hall and while having to tend goal behind a weak line can make you a stronger goalkeeper in the long run chances are it won’t help the Dynamo this season.

Sometimes a change at the back can bring a fresh energy the team needs but I don’t think that will be the case here. Throwing Deric in back has too great a chance of negative consequences-killing the confidence of both him and Hall. Not to mention for those of you talking about unloading Hall in the off-season you would be devaluing his value on the market if he spends the rest of the season riding the pine.

Is Hall having the same season he did in 2012? No, but that doesn’t mean it’s time for him to find the pine. Hall is still one of the top goalkeepers in MLS and our backline isn’t doing him any favors at the moment. Chivas’ Dan Kennedy is regarded as a top keeper in the league but look at the back lines he has had and the goals he has given up in past seasons. The less you get from your defense the more chances your goalkeeper is going to let in a goal or three.

Hall and this backline need to dig deep and figure something out. Our 27 goals allowed this season is a frightening number that both have caused but benching Hall is not the answer. They need to find a way to get on the same page and work together. I hear trust fall exercises are great for team building and if you are trust falling you want Tally Hall catching you.

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