To those of you that are new, the player ratings are designed to be a discussion piece. These ratings are of my opinion alone and don't belong to anyone else (please see the loads of criticism I got for rating Cam Weaver the way I did last year). What this does is help provide different perspectives about individual performances. I've already heard a number of differing opinions about our opening game which is fantastic because even if one doesn't agree with another's opinions, it is important to be aware that differing views exist and to attempt to understand why others feel this way.
Well enough of this "let's try to understand each other stuff" and on to the game. I came into this game expecting a few things: 1) the offense was loaded and if they could get goals on frame, at least some would go in, and 2) the defense was going to be tested and needed to hold up. The offense found the net plenty of times and the defense held up. There are a few criticisms I have, but when the score line reads 4-0, it's best to put some of those to rest.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tally Hall (5.5) - I should rate him higher, I know, but he didn't really do much. Yes, there were 18 shots, but only 1 was on target and he made the save. He commanded his line quite well, but some of his distributions from the back still remain an area of improvement.
Kofi Sarkodie (6.5) - HRH did an excellent job of clearing the ball from danger while becoming very involved in the attack from the right side. He notched an assist on Bruin's opening goal and sent in a few more dangerous crosses. He did set up more than a few corner kicks, but I have to let that slide this time.
Jermaine Taylor (5) - The Jamaican international definitely looked like he was coming back from injury. He was slower than usual and was caught out of position from time to time on some of the dangerous Rev counter attacks.
David Horst (7) - Welcome to the Dynamo David Horst. Horst showed up by winning plenty of balls in the air and really is becoming the vocal leader that Boswell was. Horst made several crucial tackles that not done correctly would have either been a penalty kick, or a goal from the run of play. My only slight criticism of his is that he looks to be a little hot headed, but that's what great coaching is for and I like the passion he's bringing. Love this addition so far.
Corey Ashe (6.5) - First of all, Ashe's assist to Bruin was a thing of beauty. If you haven't seen the replay of it, do it now. New England is trying to collect the ball and counter when OUT OF NOWHERE Ashe comes, snags the ball, and without hesitation sends in a curling ball right to Will Bruin. Ashe also did a very good job of covering for Taylor from time to time.
Ricardo Clark (7) - Clark was the man this game. He was the spine of this team, and he brought the energy on the defensive end to keep New England out of our defensive third of the field for the first half hour or so of the game. Clark dispossessed opponents, made great tackles, and just disrupted momentum for the Revs. He also nearly netted a goal himself had Omar Cummings's face not been in the way in the final minutes of the match.
Tony Cascio (6) - Cascio made his debut starting at RM and played pretty well. The ball moved through the center of the field rather than out wide, but he did good things with the ball when he had it. We're all hoping that his injury, which I heard last night, was a twisted knee...not sure what that is, isn't anything too serious. Welcome to the orange Cascio, we hope to see a lot more of you.
Boniek Garcia (7.5) - Boniek played in the CAM position after Cascio earned the starting nod at RM and Boniek did not disappoint. Boniek showed his vision and his ability to move through defenders and make the right plays. Just look at his goal for proof of how good his touches are: he one touches Bruin's pass to get around the defender and then slots the ball in the upper part of the net. On the defensive end, he also made one very tough tackle to keep the Dynamo scoreless. Overall an excellent outing for the Brazil bound Boniek.
Brad Davis (6) - It's tough for me to really get a handle on Davis's performance. On one hand when he had the ball he did the right things with it. He also was very good at getting back on defense and earning balls in the midfield. On the other hand his service didn't look its usual self and he didn't get the ball a whole lot, mostly due to the ball moving through the center of the field. I think we need to see some set piece goals either from him or his service this year, don't you?
Giles Barnes (6.5) - Barnes looked noticeably faster than last year and he used this quickness to make darting runs and really spread New England's defense out which gave Bruin the Bear ample space to roam. Barnes at times looked lost on some of his runs as the ball went in another direction which stranded him offside, but he made a very good chances on goal and passed the ball extremely well in the final third. It's fair to say that with all the goals scored, Barnes probably deserved to be on the board.
Will Bruin, MotM, (8.5) - Will, the dancing bear, Bruin put in as complete a performance as you can ask. He was a menace for the New England back line, winning balls and turning defenders, and he showed his teeth early by striking early inside the 2nd minute, and then again in the 13th. He really deserved more goals than that, but I think he silenced most critics with a brace. If I have to nitpick his performance (I do) his passing inside needs work. One of his poor passes outside did lead to one of his goals so I'd rather call it a minor observation.
Andrew Driver (6.5) - Driver came on for the injured Cascio in the 57th minute and did what Driver does best: drove right at the goal. He really turned on his speed and brought a wide element to the game that wasn't really there before. He also had a beautiful curling shot that was saved masterfully by Shuttleworth.
Omar Cummings (6.5) - Omar Cummings came on for Giles Barnes in the 78th minute and looked to make a big impact with only a little bit of time. He did just that managing 4 shots with 3 on target (that's more shots than anyone who played this game and tied for number of shots on goal). He broke apart tired legs with his own blazing speed and really helped put this game to rest. He was finally able to put a ball in the back of the net thanks to Rico Clark's well placed ball across the side of Omar Cummings's face.
Mark Sherrod (-) - Came on in stoppage time and won a few balls in the air showcasing his size and strength, but not really enough time to judge his performance.
Coach Dominic Kinnear (9) - This was the biggest margin of victory for a Dynamo opener in team history. Dominic Kinnear said he saw some of the best stretches of soccer he had ever seen, and that this may be the best game he's ever seen, which is saying something. Our offense was clicking, our defense withstood numerous chances, and the team chemistry looked good. There isn't much more to say than 4-0!