5 quick observations about this one:
1) RIP scoring draught: May, 2014 - July, 2014. (the "P" stands for pieces)
2) The Big Three (Boniek, Clark, and Davis) each played the entire game
3) Not a penalty, but we'll take it
4) Defensive breakdown: Brunner caught flatfooted
5) A point sucks, but is way better than nothing and a step in the right direction
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tally Hall (5.5) - Hall came up big with a good save or two to keep the Dynamo hopes alive. Hall can't be faulted for either goal, although he could have communicated with his line better on the 2nd to make sure that Bradley Wright-Phillips, a now proven Dynamo-killer, was marked.
Kofi Sarkodie (6.5) - Sarkodie's cross to Giles Barnes inside of the 1st minute helped end the abysmal scoring draught (it was also an amazing cross, by the way). Sarkodie moved up and down the field with ease proving to be a creator for the offense while making the necessary adjustments to track back and cover on defense.
Eric Brunner (3.5) - In the 13th minute Eric Brunner was caught flat footed and ball watching as he lost sight of BWP which created the equalizing goal early into the game. Momentary defensive lapses like this one really need to be reduced as they've become somewhat of a theme this part of the season.
A.J. Cochran (4.5) - Cochran was the go-to player to fill in for the injured Jermaine Taylor and Cochran looked strong for extended stretches of the match, but still needs more experience in the league to develop better instincts as he got caught out of position from time to time and allowed dangerous runs through the center.
Warren Creavalle (4) - Creavalle filled in for the injured Corey Ashe and had a tougher time overlapping and becoming involved in the attack than Ashe. While he did do a fairly good job on the defensive end, his challenges and tackles do need some work.
Brad Davis, MotM, (7) - Davis is back for BRADzil and his time with the US Men's National team provided a much needed spark for the Dynamo offense. His creativity and service proved to be a nuisance for NY. Although the assist king didn't provide any goal scoring passes, he did step up to the penalty spot when the Dynamo needed a goal most and delivered a beauty that sent Red Bulls' goalkeeper Luis Robles the wrong way.
Ricardo Clark (6.5) -In Rico Clark's first start since his concussion he went the full 90 minutes. Clark policed the central midfield and disrupted NYRB build up. Tim Cahill and Eric Alexander proved to be tough for Clark, but I chalk some of that up to Clark shaking off some of the rust from his extended leave.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (6.5) - Boniek played in the central midfield and found space and opportunity to move into the attack more thanks to superb coverage by Ricardo Clark. Boniek looked sharp and more in sync with the midfield and forwards. I credit that to having our version of a "Big Three" back in Boniek, Clark, and Davis.
Andrew Driver (4.5) - Driver lined up on the right side of the midfield and was able to push the ball down the side with some success. However his decision making on the defensive side of the ball was off. The biggest example of this was how he covered Oyongo in the 72nd minute as Oyongo was able to dance around Driver and send in a ball that gave the Red Bulls the lead. I have to credit the terrific ball work of Oyongo, but it was still Driver's responsibility to stop the cross.
Giles Barnes (6) - Barnes was back in the role of the striker and he struck the back of the net early, only 40 seconds into the match, which ended a scoreless streak going back to mid-May. Barnes pulled his play into the midfield and created a few opportunities for him and others. The Dynamo need to keep scoring goals in order to push on and hopefully his strike was the opening of the flood gates.
Will Bruin (4) - Bruin had a few close opportunities, but the same kinds of problems continue to persist for the Dynamo forward: poor passing, positioning/lost up top, and trouble finishing. We can hope that improved service with a now full midfield will lead to better chances for the Dancing Bear, but he needs to start making the most of his chances.
Omar Cummings (5) - Cummings came on for Giles Barnes and brought a bit of speed to the party. Cummings managed 2 shots which is pretty remarkable compared to everyone else's shots and amount of time played.
Alexander Lopez (N/A) - Alex looks to have found some regular time with all of the absences and now that players have returned, he is still finding some minutes. Unfortunately it wasn't really enough to evaluate how well he played.
Brian Ownby (N/A) - Ownby too has been given a chance and the guy that brings a lot of hustle and energy is getting some regular minutes. However, like Alex, he didn't really see enough of the ball to get a fair grade.
Coach Dominic Kinnear (6) - We all wanted a win in this game, but looking at this from a cautiously optimistic approach this was a good result. The team found ways to score and only leaked in two goals against a very potent attack in BWP, Thierry Henry, and Tim Cahill. Best of all though, we saw Boniek, Clark, and Davis each go the full 90 minutes together. The offense does need to put away some of the easier opportunities and the defense needs to stop making silly mistakes every game, but the first point since mid-May does feel pretty good.