I didn't bother with my usual 5 quick thoughts today as I figured this would be a better way to highlight my elation. First, everyone that has reported or written down that the Dynamo dominated this game from beginning to end is correct. The defense held up well and minimized its mistakes, the midfield possessed the ball and picked its chances to attack well, and the forwards pressured the DC back. Secondly, both of our new signings were great. Beasley's speed allowed him to shift from the center (to cover) back to his man very well, and Garrido's physicality forced a lot of turnovers. I'm really looking forward to seeing Garrido paired with Clark. Anyways, those are my "slightly longer than my quick thoughts" thoughts.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tally Hall (6) - Hall was largely untested, but he did manage a handful of saves and the one that sticks out was a diving save he made on a Chris Rolfe shot. Hall kept his line pretty much in check, although there were a few nervous moments by both of our center backs. This was the first shutout since our May 17th win which has to make Tally incredibly happy to have ended that streak.
Kofi Sarkodie (6) - Moved the ball well to attack Taylor Kemp's side of the field and overlapped very well with Boniek which created some very good chances for the Dynamo. Sarkodie was caught too high up the field once or twice, but was very good at covering for his or others mistakes.
David Horst (5) - While the Dynamo defense was largely untested, there were a couple of nervy moments, but those chances were either squandered by D.C. United, or taken care of by the defense. Horst was usually pretty good about containing his inner hulk, but let it out from time to time. His challenge on Luis Silva could easily have seen a card, possibly red (studs out/up are not good).
Jermaine Taylor (5) - Taylor made a few iffy decisions such as letting the ball hit the ground and bounce when a goal scoring poacher in Eddie Johnson is lurking/beside you, but in the end Taylor was able to make up for any iffy moment by clearing the ball or finding another orange jersey.
DaMarcus Beasley (6.5) - Welcome to Houston DMB! Beasley was incredible his first outing in orange. He played very intelligently as he would move over to assist the central defense without allowing his side to be vulnerable thanks to speed and positioning. His decision making on both sides of the ball was excellent, and though some of his passes were a little out of reach of their intended target, I credit a lot of that due to it being his first game with the team. His rating would go up if he saw a little more of the ball.
Luis Garrido, MotM, (7.5) -I'm really excited about Garrido and Clark pairing together. Garrido, along with Clark, ensured that DC almost never played through the center of the midfield. Garrido also helped move the ball quickly to Brad Davis or Boniek which pushed the offense.
Ricardo Clark (6.5) - Clark was able, thanks to Garrido's presence behind him, to move up the field and help push the attack. Clark is one of the best passers on the team and when he joins the attack, good things tend to happen. Clark was also good at falling back whenever DC had possession which made it difficult for DC to maintain the ball in the midfield.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (7) - Boniek looked like Boniek again. The ball often moved through him and he worked very well with fellow countryman Garrido and Kofi Sarkodie. His dribbling magic was back and he drew more fouls than any other player on the pitch including one just outside of the 18 yard box.
Brad Davis (6) - To me, Davis's service wasn't up to his usually exemplary standard. It's not that it was poor, but it just wasn't "Brad Davis" good. His creative work through the run of play was amazing though. Davis often moved inside to let Beasley come join the attack from the wing and he almost netted a goal himself.
Giles Barnes (7) - Barnes was electric against DC. He was all over the field, dribbling, making runs, crossing the ball to Bruin, taking shots, passing in tight spaces, and was a constant threat to DC's back all evening.
Will Bruin (6.5) - There's something about DC that Will Bruin just doesn't like because he always seems to grab a goal against them. Bruin had a very active first half as he constantly got himself involved in the offense and movement of the ball while managing a few very close shots (darn you cross bar!). The second half he dropped off a bit as DC opened with more possession, but Bruin kept at it until the end when he hit the stoppage time winner. Bruin still struggles with the passing game, though this game was an improvement in that area, and his decision making in front of goal could use some work, but Bruin looked considerably rejuvenated and was hungry for goal.
Brian Ownby (5.5) - DC had a little more of the possession until Ownby came on. When Ownby did come in for Garrido he pushed the ball all the way down the field which gave the Dynamo considerably more time over the ball. I think he should have crossed the ball in sooner more than a few times, and some of his passes were the antithesis of being creative (short back passes on the wing in the final 3rd...ugh), but still they were effective.
Andrew Driver (N/A) - Driver came on for Brad Davis late in the game and really didn't see much of the ball to be given a fair grade.
Omar Cummings (6.5) - Like Driver, came on late in the game, but unlike Driver, Cummings had a direct impact on the outcome of the match. After Will Bruin made the effort that forced some communication error between Bill Hamid and Steve Birnbaum, Cummings beat the two to the ball and sent in a perfect pass that found Bruin for the game's only goal.
Coach Dominic Kinnear (7) - A lot has been said about Kinnear over the summer, but Kinnear put out a great lineup that competed every minute of this game. The Dynamo controlled this game from beginning to end and really should have won by a lot more. The defense held out, and was largely untested due to the midfield preventing much from going forward by DC, and the offense was creative, held the ball well, and (eventually) found the net.