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Houston Dynamo vs LA Galaxy: Player Ratings

The Houston Dynamo defeated the team that bested them the last 2 MLS Cups at the Home Depot Center. The Dynamo side, missing Captain Brad Davis due to red card suspension, put in a promising effort that shut out their opponent and put them in a four way tie for 1st place in the Eastern Conference. Here are your Houston Dynamo player ratings for the match.


Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:

Tally Hall (7) - The Dynamo keeper faced 19 attempts on goal by the Galaxy and a penalty kick and didn't let any of it inside. Yes, he's only credited with having 2 saves, but he read the PK perfectly - look at him move before Donovan strikes the ball, and made a great 1v1 point blank save in the 66th minute. While the PK call may be correct, the contact was very minimal (if at all? It's hard to tell with the angle, but I think he barely brushed up against Villarreal) and definitely not card worthy. Sorry Gal fans.

Kofi Sarkodie (6.5) - His Royal Highness put in a very solid performance. He continues to push forward well and made a few great saves by heading the ball away. He often showed up at the right place at the right time to dispossess a very tough attacking LA Galaxy side, and he especially frustrated Mike Magee.

Bobby Boswell (6.5) - Boswell manned the Captain's armband with Brad Davis out on suspension. Boswell put in a very good performance defensively, cutting out passes, and making very good tackles. Boswell is usually known for his toughness, but he's quite cunning and very intelligent about his positioning on the field. He also nearly found the back of the net after he and Will Bruin switched their runs from a corner kick in the 15th minute.

Jermaine Taylor (6.5) - Jermaine Taylor, back from a suspension of his own, helped anchor the defense alongside Bobby Boswell. Taylor didn't skip a beat coming back, and helped cover ground that allowed for Corey Ashe to get forward.

Corey Ashe (6) - Ashe continues to burn attackers with his speed. The experiment that saw Ashe, once a backup midfielder for Brad Davis turn into one of the league's best left backs has paid off. His attacking instincts are still there as well, as he rifled a ball barely wide from a long distance off.

Adam Moffat (5.5) - Adam Moffat made his return to the starting lineup since coming off an injury he suffered early in the match against Toronto FC. Moffat never looked totally comfortable on the ball and could not keep up with Juninho.

Ricardo Clark (6.5) - Ricardo Clark once again put in a great performance. Clark looked very tired at times, but kept going and was in the right place at the right time again and again. Clark's passing is top notch and his work on the defensive end was strong, physical, and tactical.

Oscar Boniek Garcia (7) - Boniek, back in his spot at RM looked much more comfortable than he did in the previous match where he lined up as a central attacking midfielder. Boniek's touches and movements with the ball are really spectacular, and he created a lot of dangerous chances.

Andrew Driver, MotM, (7.5) - Driver put in another outstanding performance, as he filled in at the left midfield slot for the suspended Brad Davis. First of all, there is his goal; that was just a beautiful goal. It was perfectly placed in the low corner, and he came out of nowhere to get it. Second, this guy was everywhere. He is so fast he beat the guys filming the game when they barely have to move the camera. Third, his work on the defensive end and offensive end is outstanding. What a pickup and thank you for helping the Dynamo earn a point at a tough place to play for us and earning our first road win of the game.

Giles Barnes (6.5)
- Giles Barnes's assist to Driver was something else. Not quite as well designed as what Dynamo fans are used to seeing from Brad Davis, but Barnes sent in a ball through Omar Gonzalez's legs and through the middle of the 18 yard box to a sprinting Driver. Barnes had his own chances as well, and he continues to show that he is the Dynamo's best option next to Will Bruin.

Will Bruin (6) - The Dancing Bear didn't get a chance to contribute much on the offensive end on Sunday, but he put in a lot of needed defensive work. Bruin played very deep defensively which helped pressure LA's midfielders. It's clear so far that Barnes is getting more out of this Forward partnership than Bruin is. Whether that means Bruin needs another big target like Cam Weaver or Brian Ching, or a speedy option that spreads the field like Omar Cummings or Calen Carr (once healthy), right now change is unlikely as Barnes is having a breakout year. Unfortunately for the Dancing Bear that may mean he won't profit as much from the partnership in terms of goals.

The Subs:

Brian Ching (5)
- Brian Ching came on for Giles Barnes in the 84th minute, and was the lone substitution for the Dynamo. Ching never had enough time to establish himself in the game, and didn't have many opportunities on the ball as the LA Galaxy really pressed for an equalizer during the final minutes of the game.

Dominic Kinnear (6)
- Dominic Kinnear had to field a lineup and starting roster without the likes of Captain Brad Davis and super sub/fill-in role player Warren Creavalle, and we all know how the game turned out. Kinnear though for some reason only made one substitution when the Dynamo has a very busy week ahead of them. Still, this was a great result as it was our first road win of the season, a result that puts the Dynamo in a four way tie for first place in the East (by the way, since the tie-breaking rule is now goals finished, the Dynamo are in 3rd behind NYRB and SKC), and most importantly the Dynamo beat LA.

Misc ratings:

The Crossbar (0) - An on-going joke at DT has been the crossbar as it's saved us many, many times over the last few weeks - and even saw it deny us last week. This week the crossbar earned a 0. That's what happens when you don't show up! I guess Hall didn't need its magic after all. And thank you for not somehow stopping Driver.

Officiating (6) - A big topic of this game will be officiating. Was it a PK? Was it red card worthy? Was it yellow card worthy? Why did the Ref let the play go so often when it was a fairly physical match? Why did the LA Galaxy only commit 2 fouls on the Dynamo compared to their 8? In the end, the center official called things very consistently. The penalty kick was probably the correct call, as was the no card on the play. What concerns I have about the play is the number of fouls committed by the Galaxy - 2 fouls is just too low to be accurate, and from what I recall, this game was not the gentle match that the foul total (10 overall) would make one believe.