5 quick observations about this one:
1) 5 games, 0 goals, 0 wins. This team needs to score if they want points
2) Boniek and Rico Return (there was much rejoicing)
3) Justin Mapp coming on was the turning point of the match
4) The team is still leaking goals in a variety of ways
5) The Dynamo didn't test Troy Perkins
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tally Hall (5) - Hall kept the Dynamo alive for much of the game with a few brilliant saves. While his line wasn't as organized as it could have been (see goal #1) he did manage 5 saves on a night that saw the Dynamo allow 17 shots (8 being on target).
Kofi Sarkodie (5) - Sarkodie was one of the more active defenders in getting up the field. While he did struggle at times finding his role linking with Cummings and Boniek, he did have a few good opportunities notably a shot that went just too high.
A.J. Cochran (4.5) - Cochran had a few rookie moments, especially his yellow card pull down challenge on Felipe Martins, but held his own for the better part of the game. Early into the game he refused to allow Jack McInerney freedom around the box. Of course that did change as we all know.
Jermaine Taylor (3.5) - Only played the first half of the game (whether that was due to injury or a "tactical" change I'm not sure at this time), but Taylor continued to struggle in the CB position. He and Cochran did not communicate well and allowed Montreal to get players in behind the defense.
Corey Ashe (4) - Started the game off well enough, but failed to push the ball up the field. I'm curious to see a heat map of the Dynamo's offense and I bet we rarely ran up the left side. Ashe was caught ball watching a number of times and didn't seem as sharp as he usually is in tracking opponents' movements in his return from injury.
Warren Creavalle (3.5) - As Eddie Robinson noted over and over again during the game, the Dynamo needed to get Montreal to push the ball out wide rather than let them run it through the center. Creavalle and Barnes did not sync well defensively and Creavalle was pretty much a non-factor in the Dynamo offense.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (6) - The Honduran was able to make the flight from Brazil and make it all the way to Canada and he did not look like he lost a step. His pace and creativity were as good as they always were, but sometimes it seemed like he needed to make a pass or take a shot one dribble sooner.
Andrew Driver (5) - Driver's service was pretty sub-standard, but Driver made a number of good runs and tracked back well on defense.
Giles Barnes (4) - Barnes failed to look like his creative and confident self in the midfield. He rarely found the ball and struggled to get Will Bruin in the game. Ricardo Clark and Boniek's return (along with Davis's eventual return) should aid in the confidence department for Barnes, but in this one he looked lost.
Omar Cummings, MotM, (6.5) - Cummings was easily one of the most active players on the Dynamo offense. He made several promising runs, passed the ball well, and was the closest Dynamo player to finding the net (curse you crossbar!). My biggest criticism of Cummings is that he could have spaced himself further up the field instead of running around the midfield - something I feel hurt Bruin's game.
Will Bruin (2) - Will Bruin simply did not get very many touches on the ball and when he did, he often sent in a pretty poor cross. He did not look like a bear that was hungry for goals and he often looked lost in the formation. Consistency in the midfield is partially to blame for that, but he needs to learn to get himself involved in the game and not rely on others as much. Am I being too harsh on Bruin?
Eric Brunner (4) - Brunner entered the game at half time for Jermaine Taylor and didn't completely shine. He minimized some of the mistakes that were happening in the first half, but communication along the back line was lacking overall.
Brian Ownby (5.5) - Ownby came on for Omar Cummings, which was a bit of a surprise considering I thought Cummings was the best player on the field for the Orange, but Ownby brought a bit more of a direct approach to the Dynamo offense - run right at the defense which did have some success.
Ricardo Clark (5) - Clark returned to the Dynamo after missing out on 9 league matches due to concussion symptoms. Clark showed some notable rust, especially in the way that he lost track of some opponents in the central midfield, but that will eventually fade.
Coach Dominic Kinnear (4.5) - This team has struggled mightily on the road this year and the Dynamo find hardship in Canada every year, but this game felt winnable considering how evenly matched the teams were for the first half. Justin Mapp's insertion into the game added another creative type which the Dynamo simply couldn't deal with and after the 2nd goal the team looked deflated. I will stick up for the team and say it's hard to find success when the team has struggled to find a consistent starting XI, but will be extremely critical of the team's inability (yet again) to score. If the team wants to make a run to the playoffs, they need to start scoring again - it's that simple.