1) If you're going to be upset about this game, be upset for the right reasons. While it sucks not being able to tally a goal with a man advantage, the Sounders played back and defended well, often still holding a numbers advantage defensively. There were times that our players would deliver a cross with 2-3 players in the box and were marked by 4-6 Sounder defenders. The Dynamo possessed the ball well in the final third, especially with the man advantage, but the problems that persisted early this season - the lack of urgency and not enough risk taking, prevailed. Be upset about that rather than the simple notion that we couldn't win or draw against the Supporter Shield winners at home who packed the box defensively.
2) While Seattle defended against our offense incredibly well, our offense still lacked the quality that it needs in order to compete. The Dynamo outshot the Sounders 16 to 5, but each side managed just 2 shots on target. The Dynamo must muster more than that in future games against quality opponents.
3) Even though I've largely been negative thus far, the Dynamo still played really well. Just looking before Pineda's red card, the Dynamo absorbed a lot of the pressure that Seattle applied and they were even able to get numbers forward offensively. The team isn't where it needs to be in order to compete, but defensively the team is performing at a very high level and that shouldn't be ignored.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tyler Deric (6.5) - Tyler Deric didn't have to endure the barrage of shots that he has become accustomed to this season, but he did make a great point blank save against Osvaldo Alonso before the 65th minute.
Kofi Sarkodie (6.5) - Apart from a poor shot to end the game, Sarkodie quietly finished with a strong performance. Sarkodie led the Dynamo in tackles with 3 and blocked Andy Rose's shot in the 17th minute. Offensively, Sarkodie moved the ball pretty well up the field and was involved in a few good (and a few not so good) crosses for the team. His passing accuracy was also very high for an outside back and his only poor passes were long, over hit balls and clearances.
Jermaine Taylor (5.5) - Ceteris paribus (all things being equal), Taylor actually had a decent game and likely deserves a higher rating. Statistically, he had the most pass interceptions, he passed the ball reasonably well considering the amount of touches he had, and he was terrific in the air. I can't even penalize him for the goal against Obafemi Martins because that spin move was incredible. Still, even though he passed the ball well, some of his giveaways were pretty dangerous and his effort to make tackles wasn't enough to stop the high powered machine that is Seattle's offense.
Raúl Rodríguez (6) - We're all keeping an eye on the status of RR as he was forced to make an early exit after he collided with Tyler Deric's elbow during a clearance. Before he was replaced by Horst in the 26th minute, RR played with the usual composure and technical expertise we've come to expect from him in the back despite only getting a few touches on the ball.
DaMarcus Beasley (6) - DMB is starting to look more and more comfortable moving forward with the ball which is what we want to see from him. Beasley had a few good runs down the line which got numbers forward for the Dynamo while he also intercepted the ball on defense and transitioned that into offense.
Nathan Sturgis (6.5) - Sturgis was the most consistent of the midfielders with his play and he constantly applied pressure to his former team by making tackles in advanced areas of the field and immediately turning around and letting a shot fly.
Ricardo Clark (5) - Clark has been arguably the best player this year for the Dynamo and his performance in this game almost reflected that status. He won balls in the midfield and transitioned those defensive stands into offense notably after he won a ball early in the game he had a 1v1 chance against Sounder goalkeeper Stefan Frei. Clark put his already injured body on the line even drawing the foul, a boot to the chest, which led to Gonzalo Pineda being sent off. However, there were a few times that Clark was off his game including two poor giveaways that cost the Dynamo their only goal and could've cost them their second.
Luis Garrido (6) - I've been impressed with Garrido's improved passing form lately, which has always been a part of his game that has concerned me. Garrido didn't really contribute a whole lot offensively, but defensively he made things tough for Seattle and drew a few fouls while he was at it. However, a poor challenge earned him a yellow card which made him the easy choice for Owen Coyle to replace early in the 2nd half when he wanted more offense.
Brad Davis (6) - I was very tempted to drop Davis's rating into the 5's given his poor set piece delivery, lack of urgency, 2 blocked shots and 1 shot off target right in front of the goal, and for his low profile in a big Western Conference game. However, his passing was close to perfect, including more key passes than anyone else on the field, and he supported the defense well contributing two tackles. Still, the Captain's game isn't quite where we expect him to be at, and he'll need to start picking it up to lead this team to some W's.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (6) - Boniek was the international player returning that looked a step behind everyone else. Boniek still possessed some of his clever moves with the ball, his dangerous forward thinking passes and movements, and speed, but it didn't look completely in sync with the rest of the team. I expect him to be back to his usual pesky self against Montreal.
Giles Barnes (6) - Barnes at times looked stranded atop the Dynamo formation, but the Dynamo were able to support him somewhat which allowed him to fire off 4 shots, only 1 on target. The biggest "play" of Barnes's game came from a breakaway in which he let a shot fly from distance which went right at the keeper. Had Barnes waited just a little longer before pulling the trigger on his shot he could've pushed the ball wide to a streaking Brad Davis.
David Horst, MotM, (7) - Horst gets the Man of the Match nod due to his relentlessness, his enthusiasm, and drive to push for a goal late in the game (yes as a center back). Horst came on early for the injured Rodriguez and quickly established himself against a formidable Seattle offense that began to pick up steam as soon as he entered the match. Horst passed well, cleared the ball well, and tried to become a target in the offense often when we had the man advantage.
Will Bruin (4) - Bruin's rating is really a reflection of his activity rather than his effectiveness. Bruin only had 9 touches on the ball, the fewest of any Dynamo player even though he entered the match in the 64th minute.
Leonel Miranda (5.5) - Came on for the tired looking Boniek in the 72nd minute and while he passed the ball extremely well, his impact on the game and push for an equalizing goal was relatively minimal.
Coach Owen Coyle (6) - This was a tough game which was expected against the reigning Supporters Shield winners at home. The Dynamo game plan closely resembled their plan against the MLS Cup winners, the LA Galaxy, as they clogged the midfield with players making it difficult for a possession oriented squad with quality strikers. Of course, it only took a single mistake for things to turn in Seattle's favor. Coyle really shouldn't have worried about conceding goals on the counter and should've taken a defender off for a forward like Chandler Hoffman to increase the team's offensive presence.