1) The Dynamo simply looked flat at times. Too many casual touches, passes, and runs demonstrated the lack of motivation in the game.
2) This was a close game...until the opening goal. Possession and chances were fairly back and forth and the Dynamo did well to limit shots apart from their early blunders (thank you Joe Willis for preventing an even bigger meltdown).
3) The Dynamo will NEED to win more games on the road next season.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Joe Willis, MotM, (7) - Willis filled in for Tyler Deric who sat on the bench with food poisoning symptoms. Willis established himself early and helped keep the Dynamo from going down by making 2 saves before the 4th minute. As the game wore on, the defense allowed Vancouver more time to operate inside their defensive 3rd of the field which yielded 3 2nd half goals which were not easily savable.
DaMarcus Beasley (6.5) - Did well to intercept passes and tackle along the left side of the field and was afforded opportunities to advance higher up the field thanks to the return of Raul Rodriguez. Beasley passed well in the Vancouver's half of the field, but sometimes his decision making higher up was not the best including one moment where he took on too many players alone instead of passing or crossing the ball in.
Raul Rodriguez (6) - Was a monster at recovering the ball and helped move the ball very well out of the back of the field, but some of his defensive plays seemed a bit too casual - a word that describes a lot of the Dynamo's play against the Whitecaps.
David Horst (6.5) - Horst arguably had the best performance on the field if it weren't for a single mistake. Horst led all players with 6 aerial duels won, intercepted 7 passes, and made very big tackles along the top of the 18 yard box. However, he lost his man, Kendall Watson, in the 72nd minute on a corner kick which led to a devastating 2nd goal for the Whitecaps.
Sheanon Williams (6.5) - Like Horst, Williams had an overall excellent outing marred by a poor play that led to a goal. Williams largely kept Kekuta Manneh in check, frustrating the player throughout the match. In the 59th minute, Octavio Rivero shifted his run which caused David Horst to cover the striker leaving Manneh open. Williams was a step too late covering the run which led to the game's opening goal.
Leonel Miranda (4.5) - Miranda contributed very little defensively and nearly gifted a goal to the Whitecaps before the 5th minute of the match by lazily playing a ball through our defenders. Miranda passed the ball well, but failed to connect with the forwards in the attacking 3rd of the field.
Ricardo Clark (6.5) - Helped lead one of the best chances the Dynamo had to scoring which unleashed Will Bruin who passed to Cubo whose shot nearly found the top corner of the net. Clark helped lead the midfield battles in the 1st half which made it difficult for the Whitecaps to gain opportunities in our half of the field, but demoralizing goals saw the team's defensive enthusiasm wane.
Luis Garrido (5) - Had several big tackles in the game and he nearly saw a red card after he tripped a player just outside of the Dynamo 18 yard box, but was spared by the referee who decided there was no contact (there was). Garrido also decided to take on a few audacious shots from range rather than helping his side maintain possession and find better scoring chances.
Giles Barnes (6) - Barnes wore the captain's armband and played left midfielder for Brad Davis who stayed home (read into it if you want). Barnes often pushed high up the field for a midfielder and forced David Ousted to make his most difficult save of the game with a blast from deep.
Erick Torres (5) - Got another start in goal and failed to cement his role again. Cubo played the highest up the field of any Dynamo player and his touch was often heavy and casual. When he looked confident we saw flashes of his potential in Orange with beautiful passes and a curling shot towards the corner of the goal.
Will Bruin (5) - Played beneath Cubo almost in a CAM role at times, his lack of pace and ability to be in advanced positions hurt his chances to strike shots and make dangerous runs. Still, his hustle in the midfield helped win the ball back for the Dynamo which set up others, but this role is clearly not suited towards Bruin's strengths.
Mauro Manotas (5) - Came on for Cubo in the 61st minute, Manotas didn't see a lot of the ball (only 8 touches) but got the ball in good places and passed well.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (5.5) - Entered for Leonel Miranda in the 62nd minute, Boniek demonstrated flashes of his skills over the ball, but didn't help much on the defensive side of the ball.
Rob Lovejoy (N/A) - Substituted on in the 89th minute for Giles Barnes, Lovejoy didn't see enough of the ball for a fair grade.
Coach Owen Coyle (5) - This was a tough match. The Dynamo clearly didn't have much motivation coming in and they nearly conceded early goals as a result. The lineup was fine, though I expected a bit more youth involved earlier such as Rasheed Olabiyi over Garrido. The Dynamo did respond well to being down a goal, but that fire was quickly extinguished by Vancouver's 2nd. The Dynamo will need to do better on the road next season.