5 quick observations about this one:
1) CB problems - the heart of the Dynamo defensive woes? Horst and Cochran had trouble reading each other throughout the game and the culpability for the two goals allowed likely lies with them
2) Barnes and Cummings step up for the missing Bear. Both Barnes and Cummings did well to keep the Montreal defense on their heels all evening as Barnes nailed a brace and Cummings notched an assist and hit the crossbar on a shot of his own
3) DMB up the field helped fuel some of our offensive production, but hurt our defensive positioning, especially on the counter attack
4) The team never gave up, even after going down a goal
5) This was a huge and necessary win. While it still won't be easy to make the playoffs, this was a big 3 points that we couldn't afford to drop
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tyler Deric (5.5) - Deric was called upon to start in goal for the injured Tally Hall. Deric was not tested often as Montreal only managed two shots on goal all game. Unfortunately, those shots went in as Montreal picked its chances carefully. Still, Deric managed to play aggressive as a keeper which did help minimize the number of chances on goal, and was not afraid to launch a long ball quickly to start the counter.
Corey Ashe (5.5) - Ashe again got the starting nod, but this time he was standing in for the suspended Kofi Sarkodie at right back. Ashe was able to push himself into the offense often and cut back to his favored left foot to send in a dangerous ball. Defensively, Ashe was more than able to handle himself on the right side of the field as he managed to make several good stands to win the ball back for the Dynamo. Early into the game, and from time to time, he did show eagerness to drift centrally which opened the wide game up to Montreal which caused some trouble for the defense.
David Horst (4.5) - Wreck-it-Horst (for better or for worse) managed to come up with a handful of key defensive stops and was a few inches away from heading in a very good Brad Davis ball. Most of the talking points about Horst in this game also involve his partner in central defense, A.J. Cochran. Communication between the two was clearly lacking and positioning mistakes between the two ended up costing the Dynamo two goals. On the first goal, Horst tried to contest Felipe's run and potential shot which left a wide open Dilly Duka.
A.J. Cochran (3.5) - The rookie Cochran was given the starting nod as Jermaine Taylor was sidelined with concussion symptoms. Cochran had some problems with his passing accuracy and had trouble finding his position as DaMarcus Beasley often played higher up the field resulting in 3 men in the back. On the 2nd goal, it was this poor spacing that allowed Ignacio Piatti enough room to make a brilliant run and goal.
DaMarcus Beasley (6) - As I mentioned, Beasley often pushed up the field in a defensive left midfield role which often left a shaky back without the veteran that it had missed for several games. However, Beasley performed well in that role as he rarely turned the ball over and allowed Brad Davis freedom to move inside and create chances for himself and others.
Luis Garrido (6.5) - As Beasley often pushed up the field, Garrido stayed back to provide some cover. Garrido was not afraid to wrestle players off the ball and almost never turned the ball over when he had it. However, Garrido was hurt on the counter attack at times and was turned once or twice by some excellent footwork by the Montreal attackers.
Ricardo Clark (7) - Clark played in a true box-to-box midfield role as he covered at least that much ground. Clark provided a number of excellent passes and was a huge part of the Dynamo offense. Apart from scoring the game winning goal, he also tried to catch Montreal napping after Tyler Deric played a long ball to Clark. Clark's performance on the defensive end dropped a bit as he was caught higher up the field. As a result, he didn't make the usual defensive stops or pass interceptions that he normally makes.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (6) -Boniek can probably dribble anyone out of their boots if he tried hard enough. He was able to make some dangerous passes after connecting with others, but one has to think that his effort was just not completely there. While Boniek played well in a number of areas of the game, his work rate is a little less than what we're used to from him.
Brad Davis (7) - Brad Davis once again provided an assist following a set piece opportunity, and this time it was the game winner to Ricardo Clark. Davis was active all over the offensive side of the ball. With DaMarcus Beasley drifting up the left side of the field, Davis moved centrally often to help pull the strings from there. Davis also tried to find the net himself, but found one of his opportunities blocked and the other he curled beautifully towards the far upper corner of the goal, but it wasn't curled quite enough to find the goal.
Giles Barnes, MotM, (8) - Giles Barnes netted himself a brace on a day that he was missing his primary striking partner Will Bruin. Barnes took the striker role to heart and performed very well alongside the speedy Omar Cummings. Barnes's first goal came following a poor touch by Krzysztof Krol which kept Barnes onside. Barnes then beat his two defenders and the goalkeeper with speed and strength and opened up the scoring at BBVA Compass Stadium. His second goal came after Omar Cummings took on the defensive line and slotted a perfectly placed ball for Barnes to tap in.
Omar Cummings (7) - Cummings returned to the Dynamo lineup and started after missing the previous two games for personal reasons. Cummings didn't lose a step after missing time with the team as his pace, peskiness, and passing proved to be difficult for Montreal to handle. Cummings often made offensive opportunities out of stolen balls and he was able to create for himself and others exemplified by his assist to Barnes and his shot that rocked the crossbar.
Brian Ownby (5) - Ownby came on for Omar Cummings and made a few good runs, but was often overlooked as a target.
Andrew Driver (5) - Driver came on for Brad Davis and though he made several promising runs and passes. However, some of his decisions with the ball were the 2nd best option rather than the best option as he decided to swing a ball in rather than play a simple ball to a streaking player on more than one occasion.
Coach Dominic Kinnear (6.5) - Kinnear made the most out of his squad while being down his starting goalkeeper, a versatile starting defender, his starting RB, and his leading goal scorer. Fortunately, DaMarcus Beasley rejoined the team as did Omar Cumming which provided some defensive cover for the missing players and offensive firepower while Tyler Deric handled himself well enough in goal for Tally Hall. The defense for the Dynamo remains a weak point, but the Dynamo proved they can score goals without their leading goal scorer.