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Player Ratings: Houston Dynamo vs Real Salt Lake

The Houston Dynamo were defeated at home by Real Salt Lake for the first time in franchise history. The Dynamo were bested 5-2 after coming within an equalizer twice. Mark Sherrod opened his MLS scoring account with a brace and did his best to motivate the team back into the game despite being down a man.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

5 quick observations about this one:

1)    Welcome to the professional stage Mark Sherrod. We're ready to embrace you now...sorry, I had to.

2)    Two streaks got broken: our winning streak and RSL's winless streak in Houston.

3)    The offense supported the defense after early lapses, but it wasn't enough.

4)    Red cards continue to haunt the Dynamo. With 3 red cards on the season, the Dynamo have already equaled the number of red cards earned last season.

5)    A look ahead: call-ups, injuries, and a suspension...oh my.

Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:

Tally Hall (5) -Well, Hall made some big saves that kept the Dynamo in the game until being down a man with tired legs from a mid-week game really set in and things opened up for RSL. However, it was him not being completely ready for the 1st shot on him and him setting up the penalty kick that gets him points down.

Kofi Sarkodie (6) - Sarkodie had a couple of great stops and even a pretty good effort on goal, but things in the back were anything but pretty as communication issues showed themselves numerous times.

A.J. Cochran (5.5) - Could the Horst/Cochran pairing be over before it ever had a chance to grow? Cochran showed a bit of his "greenness" while making a few rookie positioning mistakes. Most people think Cochran and Horst need more time to develop chemistry together, and I tend to agree.

David Horst (6.5) - Horst was the dominant man in the back again for the Dynamo. He wasn't afraid to yell at his own players for making mistakes (just watch the replay on the 2nd goal and Horst's reaction). Horst showed us some of his speed at times as he had to cover when the Dynamo subbed Cochran off to try and bolster the attack and go for the draw. Oh, and he earned us a penalty.

Corey Ashe (5.5) - Ashe was another defender that struggled communicating effectively in the back line and he should have been marking Alvaro Saborio but was caught flat footed looking the wrong way.

Servando Carrasco (3) - The game was likely decided when Carrasco was sent off. I think it may have been a yellow card because of the direction of his studs, but it's hard to argue with the call from the ref's angle.

Brad Davis (6.5) - Davis assisted on the first goal for the Dynamo, one that brought life back into the team. I have to be the only one that has wondered why Davis has not taken the last two penalty kicks. MIBS98 wrote that it could have been due to his poor record against Nick Rimando. To me, it doesn't explain the last penalty kick that saw Barnes take and score in the Chivas USA game, but could be priming Barnes for the duty with Davis leaving for USMNT duty.

Giles Barnes (6) - Rimando is great at saving penalty kicks - one of the best right now perhaps, but Barnes made it pretty easy for him. Barnes had a lot of good movement off the ball, but the Dynamo attack lacked bite overall with the exception of Sherrod.

Oscar Boniek Garcia (6) - Boniek and the rest of the offense struggled to create quality opportunities, something that isn't easy to do being down a man. Boniek would really like his shot back in the 72nd minute which could have leveled things 3-3.

Andrew Driver (4.5)
- It was a short night for Andrew Driver as he was subbed out early for Warren Creavalle to come on after Carrasco was sent off. Driver left Javier Morales wide open on the 2nd goal which really dug the Dynamo into a hole early.

Mark Sherrod, MotM, (7.5) - Sherrod completely reinvigorated this team after going down 2 goals early. His first goal was great because of his positioning and the service, but his second was placed beautifully and brought the Dynamo within a goal (for the 2nd time of the game).

The Subs:

Warren Creavalle (5.5)
- Came on early for Andrew Driver to balance out the midfield.  Creavalle had a tough time controlling a very good RSL midfield, and being down a man didn't make things any easier.

Omar Cummings (6) - Cummings came on in an attempt to even the score up after a bit of strong play by the home side. Cummings had a perfect pass to Boniek in traffic which could have leveled the game, but Boniek missed the shot. Unfortunately putting on a striker for a defender opens up the back to be exploited...which happened.

Brian Ownby (-) ­­- Ownby is getting late game minutes, but is struggling to make the most of them.

Coach Dominic Kinnear (6)
- Kinnear's team fell asleep twice to go down early, but his team battled back to get within a goal twice. His team went down a man, but stayed competitive in the match until the end which could because of several compounding factors: tired legs from a match earlier in the week, playing with 10 men against 11, and the final tactical shift to push for a tie which pulled a defender out for a striker. Kinnear will have to lean even more on his reserves with Brad Davis and Oscar Boniek Garcia missing some time with their respective national teams, Ricardo Clark's concussion injury, and Rico's replacement, Servando Carrasco's suspension.