1) The narrow field hurt the team's ability to be creative at times as the team perhaps over utilized long balls to create opportunities.
2) The defense looked great as a whole. Rodríguez and the team forced David Villa into making shots from sometimes ridiculous angles. Horst was huge in the air to keep things neat from the back and Deric looked like his early season self again.
3) Boniek attacking people on the dribble at speed is an awesome thing to see and needs to happen more.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tyler Deric (7) - Deric looked like his early season self as he was able to notch 6 saves including a sure Save of the Week contending save in the 89th minute to keep the Dynamo level with New York.
Raúl Rodríguez (7) - Was it a handball? I don't think it's an easy decision in real time and it was a late whistle which hints the central official may have had some doubt. Still, RR's arm appears to have hit the ball in the box and resulted in NYCFC's equalizing goal. However, this play aside, Rodríguez was absolutely fantastic in this game. His 7 tackles and 6 intercepted passes are incredible and the way he forced David Villa to take difficult and likely frustrating shots was key to the Dynamo defense's success.
Jermaine Taylor (5.5) - Taylor's efforts were overshadowed by the strong showing of his other defenders. Taylor helped win some battles in the air, but it was an overall quiet match for the Jamaican.
David Horst (7.5) - Horst was at his best against NYC and he notched several big tackles, blocked a pair of shots, cleared NUMEROUS balls from the air, and he even assisted to Will Bruin on a corner kick. About that assist...it wasn't easy for him to do. He was being held at the time and still got up to head down a perfectly placed ball to the feet of Will Bruin.
DaMarcus Beasley (6.5) - Defensively, Beasley put in a good shift through key tackles and stolen passes, but offensively he nearly opened up his Dynamo scoring account (it's coming soon) with his dangerous runs down the left side.
Luis Garrido (6) - Garrido didn't look quite as comfortable as his CM counterpart, but he was still able to help prevent some quick counters by New York and passed the ball well from the middle of the park.
Ricardo Clark (6) - Clark transitioned the ball into offense well, but his passing looked off and he often relied on the long ball. Defensively, Clark was still difficult to beat, but I swear he gets his shot blocked at least once a game (and he's a pretty accurate shooter) and in this game he had 3 of his shots blocked.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (7) - This is the Boniek that we want to see. OBG was creative and took players on the dribble and very nearly had Chris Wingert sent off for his nasty challenges early in the game.
Alex Lopez (6.5) - Was a surprise starter for Brad Davis who stayed in Houston with a bone bruise, Alex continued his strong form from previous matches. While his defensive weaknesses seemed exposed against NYC, he provided excellent and creative passing which helped move the Dynamo offense. His set piece service seemed confident and helped lead up to the Dynamo's only goal coming off a corner kick.
Giles Barnes (6.5) - Barnes was clearly targeted by NYC to "pursue aggressively" a la Diego Valeri, but Barnes was able to sit a bit deeper and help the team defend and move with the ball into the offense. In fact this may have been one of Barnes's best defensive performances. Offensively, he lacked some rhythm, but was still able to create some chaos for New York's back.
Will Bruin, MotM, (7.5) - Bruin has come alive lately and proven that he deserves to start. He was the Dynamo's lone goal scorer, and his strike was more difficult than the simple one touch that it looked like. He had to fight off a defender and shoot through some traffic and time his shot perfectly with Horst's header. Bruin's passing also looked sharper evidenced by his through pass to Barnes in the 83rd minute which set up a shot on goal for Barnes.
Rob Lovejoy (5.5) - Lovejoy came on for Boniek to inject some energy into the team, but he struggled heavily in his matchup against Mix Diskerud.
Coach Owen Coyle (6.5) - This game should've been 3 points, but traveling coast to coast to coast (West -> Gulf -> East) in a week isn't easy especially with limited training because of the crazy weather in Houston. The narrow field presented some challenges and provided some advantages for the team, but the quick pace never really benefited the Dynamo midfield which found it difficult to feed the forwards at times.