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Player Ratings: Houston Dynamo vs. the Colorado Rapids

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The short-handed Houston Dynamo battled it out for a 0-0 draw with the Colorado Rapids as both teams held it together defensively.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Quick Thoughts:

1) While the offensive lack of production may seem scary, take note of the top job the defense is putting in. We would all love to see the team score goals, but it's nice not being scored on all that often.

2) Formation confusion could be a big problem. The team is lining up regularly with 5 midfielders, but where those midfielders are changes constantly and it has an effect on how others position themselves. Whether it's playing a flat 5 (according to MLSsoccer.com's lineup of this game) or a 4-2-3-1 (Root Sport's lineup of this game) the flexible formation that we have is leading to some communication problems in the midfield. Furthermore, I would argue none of our forwards can play the "true CF" role and utilizing a 5-man midfield comes at the expense of some of our offense.

3) We really could've used our international players. It's rare to see 4 players leave for international duty and we're lucky that our team wasn't too injured or we could've been in real trouble.

Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:

Tyler Deric, MotM, (7.5) - It may not have felt like it, but the Rapids threatened the Dynamo goal on occasion and nearly broke through if it weren't for the efforts of Tyler Deric.  Deric boasts two selections to the MLS Team of the Week just four weeks into the season along with two Save of the Week wins. Deric and the Dynamo (which would make a GREAT Dynamo themed Clapton cover band name) have only conceded 2 goals in 4 games which among the best in the league currently. Can Deric improve? Sure, his distribution needs a lot of work, his first touch when given a pass is sometimes very poor, and keepers can always improve in how they communicate from the back. Is he still playing like one of the best goalkeepers in the league at this moment? You better believe it.

Kofi Sarkodie (6) - Sarkodie's average position on the field was about equal with Leonel Miranda just past the halfway mark. None of the other defenders played that far up the field, and he played ahead of some of the midfielders as well. Sarkodie pushed the ball and the offense as a whole through the right side and most of the chances generated came from the right side of the field. Sarkodie has also earned a yellow card in 3 out of 4 total matches and he needs to be careful to not make it to 5 yellow cards or he'll miss time due to accumulation.

David Horst (7) - Some won't see it and others may choose to ignore it, but Horst is having himself a great year. Originally playing 2nd fiddle to Jermaine Taylor and Raúl Rodríguez, Horst's strong level of play may make it difficult for Owen Coyle to settle on a lineup once Taylor and Rodríguez are both back and healthy. Against Colorado, Horst was able to keep the airspace clear in the back by winning many defensive headers for Houston while also intercepting 5 passes, the best of any player on the field.

Raúl Rodríguez (6.5) - Rodríguez returned after nursing a nagging injury picked up at the end of the game against Columbus Crew SC. Rodríguez seamlessly passed the ball out of the back and had one of the better passing ratings despite a huge number of passes.

DaMarcus Beasley (6) - Beasley had the ball at his feet often and passed the ball reasonably well. DMB was much better defensively in this game than on the other side of the ball as his interceptions and recoveries outshone his attempts up the field.

Rob Lovejoy (5.5) - It wasn't quite the first MLS career start that Lovejoy wanted as he often looked to space the field and get himself open by isolating himself in areas that were hard for his teammates to find him in. His passing accuracy was noticeably sharper than his previous match, but the ambition to create opportunities wasn't the same.

Nathan Sturgis (5.5) - Like Lovejoy, Sturgis dropped off in a few areas from his previous match. Sturgis wasn't stopping everything the way he was against a much tougher LA Galaxy opponent; he was playing reasonably well against a Rapids side that had yet to score a goal this season. Sturgis made a few good stops and had a couple of interceptions, but his passing was off and an injury he picked up before the game looked like it slowed him down.

Ricardo Clark (6.5) - Clark was given the green light to play shortly before kick off as apparently he was comfortable playing with cartilage separated from a rib (or as comfortable as one can be for playing like that....basically Clark is tough m'kay). Clark passed the ball very accurately only registering 2 unsuccessful passes and only David Horst recovered the ball more.

Leonel Miranda (6) - At times, Miranda showed that nervousness that we saw earlier this year, but we also saw some of his impressive technical abilities and vision with the ball. Miranda actively communicated with Sarkodie about when the right back should overlap and the two showed to have developed some chemistry together.

Brad Davis (6.5) - Many of us are wondering what's going on with our captain and why isn't he playing better. I think we all expect him to be playing at a higher level when he's just playing plain well. In this game, he only had 2 unsuccessful passes, he created more key passes than any player on the field, and he still had a shot on goal. Some of his passes are coming a little too late to be dangerous and his speed looks like it has declined since his injury in the preseason leading many to believe he hasn't fully recovered. I'm not worried about Davis as he still puts in a good shift and as the team begins to click more, he'll start to look like his old self...err-younger self.

Will Bruin (5) - Bruin continues to be among the most controversial players for Dynamo fans as his form continues to wane (forwards are supposed to score goals, right?). In this game, Bruin really didn't look comfortable as he often drifted into the midfield to help win the ball for the Dynamo only to find himself out of position for counter attacks. Bruin was able to win the ball in the air often (more than any other player on the field I might add), but he only looked dangerous when Chandler Hoffman came on the field late in the match which complemented his style of play.

The Subs:

Alexander Lopez (5.5) - Entered the match in the 59th minute for the rookie Rob Lovejoy which pushed Brad Davis back to his usual Left Mid role. Lopez passed the ball with ease around the field, only once turning the ball over, but his passes were often backwards and not typically the kind expected from a central attacking midfielder.

Zach Steinberger (6) - In a "like for like" sub, Steinberger entered for Ricardo Clark in the 59th minute. Steinberger inserted himself into the action early as he intercepted the ball often for the Dynamo. Steinberger nearly had a late goal to steal a win in the 87th minute, but his effort went wide and high.

Chandler Hoffman (6.5) - Hoffman came on in the 83rd minute for Miranda and in his limited time he quickly helped create a late push for a goal for Houston. Hoffman played as a right midfielder, but really served as a 2nd striker to Will Bruin and fought hard to win the ball back in the midfield and quickly transition it to offense.

Coach Owen Coyle (6) - The result feels a little flat overall and definitely leaves Dynamo fans wanting more action than yellow cards. Coyle's late move to put Hoffman in for Miranda provided the boost Houston needed and felt more natural creatively and offensively for the team. It's hard to find fault in the result considering 4 starting players were out with their international teams and 4 more were listed as questionable on the injury report but played anyways. Still, we can't keep drawing Western Conference opponents.