1) Back-to-back games with disallowed goals that appear to be legitimate goals. That hurts, but the difference is we needed this one a lot more than Clark's goal against NY.
2) Will Bruin's form cooled off on an island as the offense faded in and out and the red-hot Will Bruin was seldom gone to by the offense.
3) Really we missed players that could swing a ball in from out wide: that's you Brad and Boniek.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tyler Deric (5) - The Portland Timbers managed just 2 shots on goal and they finished with 2 goals. Tyler Deric recorded 0 saves and really didn't have a lot to do in the back overall. You can't fault a goalkeeper (at least not often) for failing to save a penalty kick and there was little he could have done on the game's first goal. Still, there wasn't enough there to bump his rating any higher.
Raúl Rodríguez (6) - If the goal Rodríguez scored counted then the game likely would have been very different. As it stands, the goal did not count and Rodríguez failed to mark the shorter Maximiliano Urruti for the game's opening goal. Despite this slip, RR played well from the back overall leading the team in intercepted passes and clearances inside the 18 yard box.
Kofi Sarkodie (5.5) - Sarkodie made his first appearance in MLS action since the 1-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes and Sarkodie put in a serviceable effort notching a pair of key tackles and disrupted possession down the right side. Still, Sarkodie did not factor into the Dynamo offense, which struggled in general, and Sarkodie's passing accuracy was among the worst in the match.
David Horst (4.5) - Penalty kick foul or not - which I think was probably fair, albeit soft since the contact was embellished and it's something that happens often on corner kicks, Horst didn't continue his strong run of play. Horst's best play was a rundown of a player to stop a potential 1v1 with the goalie, but the play only began following his turnover.
DaMarcus Beasley (6) - Beasley donned the Captain's armband with Brad Davis (injured) and Giles Barnes (international duty) not in attendance. Beasley was able to utilize his speed to dispossess Portland attackers and make key clearances while maintaining a very high passing rating for an outside back. But it wasn't all quality by Beasley as he had an open shot attempt that sailed into the upper stands.
Luis Garrido (6.5) - Had several big tackles, passed well from the midfield, and had a brilliant blocked shot in the 74th minute, but was a tad on the reckless end with his challenges and he led all players with 4 fouls, one of which earned him a yellow card.
Ricardo Clark, MotM, (6.5) - Clark had a relatively average match defensively due to his advanced position on the field - which was afforded to him by having both Nathan Sturgis and Garrido behind him. Clark led the Dynamo in shots and gets man of the match for trying a bicycle kick twice in the same game and hitting the post once with it which represents the most offense from this game other than the disallowed goal.
Nathan Sturgis (6) - Sturgis flew under the radar again registering 3 tackles, but was subbed out early in the 27th minute for Rob Lovejoy. Sturgis didn't see a lot of the ball, but made a few of the necessary stops to keep the Dynamo in the game.
Alex Lopez (6) - When Lopez was playing well in this game, the offense had rhythm and opportunities were created, but Lopez seemed to fade in and out of this game with early flashes in the first and second halves.
Leonel Miranda (6) - Defensively, Miranda had a big game, but on the other end of the ball he simply did not look like the same confident player that we saw Wednesday night against the Austin Aztex.
Will Bruin (5) - Will Bruin was left stranded on an island for nearly the whole game. Despite a 90% passing rating, Bruin struggled to assert himself into the game after becoming one of the most in form strikers in the league.
Rob Lovejoy (6) - Came on for Nathan Sturgis and provided some spark to the Dynamo offense, but the team lacked the ability to absorb some of the counter attacks that Portland brought with Lovejoy coming on. Still, Lovejoy provided a few offensive tricks including a neat "dummy pass" that he jumped over to set up Beasley's shot to the upper stands.
Alex (6.5) - Followed up his strong showing against Austin last week with a solid off the bench performance in Portland. Alex provided creativity and urgency in the final 15 minutes of the match and he nearly had a goal of his own, but he wasn't prepared for the ball to fall to him.
Mauro Manotas (N/A) - Made his MLS debut, Manotas only had 6 touches on the ball.
Coach Owen Coyle (6) - Tactically, I think Coyle made many of the right decisions by going back to the clogged midfield of 5 mids with 3 CDMs, but I don't think it worked as seamlessly as it has in the past. The offense lacked support and he got the substitution (Alex) right, but perhaps a little too late in the match.
Referee Baldomero Toledo (Red Card!) - I've tried to not let officiating decisions affect the ratings too much in the past because officials impact both sides of the game, but sometimes I think that the Dynamo just get the short end of the stick, and they always seem to get that end when Toledo is officiating. I've never seen disallowed goals in back-to-back games that were legitimate goals (and I believe that Rodríguez's goal was legitimate as the "foul" was a player running into Ricardo Clark). Toledo continued to baffle even Timbers fans as Diego Chara was shown a yellow card for a hit on Garrido on a play that wasn't called a foul. Imagine a Dynamo player booked for "hitting" a player, but on the "hit" the ref said play on only to come back after the player stayed down long enough to book the offender. IT MAKES NO SENSE. Timbers continued to dive and were not only spared from being penalized, but were often rewarded with dangerous opportunities. Timbers fans can equally be upset with the number of calls that didn't go their way - and Garrido could have seen red for at least continuing to tackle recklessly.
The Crossbar (DUDE!) - Why couldn't you let Ricardo Clark's bicycle kick from the ground go in? That would've been instant "Goal of the Year" material!