5 quick observations about this one:
1) The Crew's organized back four made it extremely difficult for the Dynamo in the first half.
2) Welcome back Will Bruin - 3 goals in 3 games.
3) Tally Hall was great.
4) We finally got to see the AJ Cochran and David Horst combo which overall was pretty positive.
5) Back to back wins feel good after such a long winless drought.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tally Hall, MotM, (7.5) - Tally Hall was in beast mode as he helped the team ultimately earn the shut out and the win as he racked up 6 saves. The Crew nailed a few of their shots right at Hall (I'm look at you Anor and Arrieta), but Hall also made some very good reaction saves to keep the team in it.
Kofi Sarkodie (6) - Sarkodie put a lot of work in on the offensive side of the ball as he was able to hustle and keep the Dynamo attack going.
A.J. Cochran (6) - Cochran earned the starting nod after a late scratch to Jermaine Taylor. The pairing of Cochran and Horst in the center is something many fans wanted to see and they finally did. While at times things seemed a bit rocky, especially with a few rookie mistakes made by Cochran, overall they were able to weather the storm and keep the shut out.
David Horst (7) - Horst was dominant again for the Dynamo defense as he was able to head the ball away from danger. Furthermore he didn't seem to be beaten by a very quick Crew offense.
Corey Ashe (5.5) - Ashe had a bit of a tough night for him. He was pretty solid defensively, though even Ashe's speed was not much of a match for Dominic Oduro's, but his passing was off as he gave the ball away either directly to opponents or simply passed the ball out of bounds.
Servando Carrasco (7) - Carrasco once again filled in for the injured Ricardo Clark, and Carrasco filled in ably. He kept to his quick and accurate passing game when he had the ball which created outlets for the Dynamo, but if I have to nitpick his performance, his coverage on Frederico Higuain was lacking. Higuain had too much space to move in the center at times. Still, it was a great outing for the second year Dynamo man.
Brad Davis (7) - Brad Davis' return has helped this Dynamo team find itself. Davis has also brought back what used to be the Dynamo's bread and butter: set pieces! As Troutseth mentioned in the comments of the recap, we finally have enough players that can serve as targets for it to be difficult for teams to simply double up on a player or two. Davis is showing us again how dangerous this team can be with a dead ball at his feet.
Giles Barnes (6.5) - Barnes didn't quite follow up his previous game's performance the way he wanted to, but he showcased his usual calm self on the ball, and was able to make a few good runs at the Crew defensive backs. His service to other players was pretty good, and he nearly had a goal. Barnes is finding a lot of space and comfort in this 4-3-3 formation.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (6.5) - Boniek had a tougher time breaking down the Columbus Crew defense than he did Chivas (surprise), as he couldn't walk and dribble through them. Boniek still won good balls and created some dangerous opportunities.
Andrew Driver (6) - Driver did a lot of things right in this game, but he had a couple of easy chances to get on the score sheet that he just couldn't put away which would have taken a lot of pressure off of the team.
Will Bruin (7) - The Dancing Bear has now scored in 3 consecutive games and even though his goal was a bit unusual (back of the neck or head), he still got himself in position to make contact with the ball which ended up being the game's only goal.
Warren Creavalle (5.5) - Came on for Brad Davis early so Davis could have fresher legs for Sunday's game, and Creavalle struggled to keep up with the Crew offense as they tried to push for an equalizer.
Mark Sherrod (6.5) - Sherrod never got a good look on goal, but it was his defensive work rate that gives him this rating. He was all over the field using his strength to force tough passes and to win the ball back.
Omar Cummings (-) - Cummings didn't have a huge impact on the game, and his biggest was getting in the way of Giles Barnes in front of the Crew goal. Fault could go either way for that play, but Cummings didn't have the ball so I say it's on him.
Coach Dominic Kinnear (6.5) - It's always great to win at home against a tough opponent, but it's even nicer to win without being scored on. It wasn't the prettiest of wins by any means as the Dynamo was forced into defending a lot late in the match, but they were able to withstand the pressure and come out with all 3 points. Kinnear's revised version of the 4-3-3 and the return of Brad Davis have this team back on the winning track.