1) Will Bruin is catching fire at the perfect time as his usual striking partner, Giles Barnes, prepares to depart for international duty.
2) Will Bruin, Oscar Boniek Garcia, and Owen Coyle feature on MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week (Ricardo Clark got snubbed not even making the bench).
3) Though the Dynamo were able to find their scoring touch thanks to crucial halftime adjustments, there will still be some circling around the ref's involvement in this game as a pair of no-call PKs on either side and Clark's disallowed goal stand out as questionable decisions.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tyler Deric (6.5) - Although Tyler Deric was only able to officially grab 2 saves (along with a few other GK stats), he dominated his box despite allowing 2 goals. His ranking would easily slide if the offense hadn't supported him, as the 2nd Red Bull goal demonstrated a complete lack of focus by everyone near goal, but his Save of the Week-caliber triumphs continued with a beautiful save against Sacha Kljestan before halftime.
Raúl Rodríguez (6.5) - Will likely move back into central defense for Jermaine Taylor when Taylor leaves for international duty, but RR's abilities at RB have been key to the Dynamo's recent successes. Although Rodríguez is an excellent 1v1 defender, at times he gives defenders too much room to make decisions which is what he allowed Mike Grella to do for the opening goal of the match. Despite RR tracking his movements well, Grella had just enough space to make his quick touch to open up the goal for him. However, apart from this momentary lapse, Rodríguez was still able to put together an overall solid performance on the defensive end.
Jermaine Taylor (5.5) - Despite a few key moments around the penalty box in which he tackled or intercepted the ball, his poor long passes and marking on the Red Bull's 2nd goal rounded out a relatively average performance for the Jamaican International.
David Horst (7.5) - Horst's big moment of the game came before the 10th minute as he was able to deny Bradley Wright-Phillips off the line in a beautiful and intelligent run to cover Tyler Deric's save attempt. Horst would continue to have a largely positive impact on the game as his "clear first" mentality once again proved successful in the back and did not hinder the Dynamo offense while he was also able to lead all players in aerials won.
DaMarcus Beasley (6.5) - DMB was able to penetrate the Red Bull defense with his runs while his short passing and link-up play between Davis, Barnes, and Alex Lopez led to good opportunities for the Dynamo. Defensively, Beasley's smart tackling and recoveries around the bottom corner and top left of the box helped earn the Dynamo valuable goal kicks and possession in places to counter.
Luis Garrido (7) - Garrido was the team's top tackler and pass interceptor and his excellent work and tracking back enabled Ricardo Clark to become a larger influence in the offense.
Ricardo Clark (8) - While Clark did provide some support defensively, notably a trio of intercepted passes, his biggest contributions in this game came on the offensive end of the field. Clark showed plenty of grit and resiliency after scoring a goal which was soon waved off and then finding the net minutes later to put the Dynamo in the lead. Clark even assisted Will Bruin on the final goal of the game to ensure 3 points at home.
Brad Davis (6) - Davis had difficulty keeping up with the speed of Lloyd Sam and the craftiness of Sacha Kljestan, but he was able to provide a number of dangers balls off the corner and from the run of play.
Alex Lopez (6) - Lopez was a surprise start over Oscar Boniek Garcia, but Lopez's string of strong performances look to have ended after a mediocre showing against the Red Bulls. Lopez connected well with players, notching the highest passing rating of all players, but there was not a lot of threat or urgency in his decision making.
Giles Barnes (6) - Barnes really didn't look or feel like his playmaking and dangerous self. Barnes generally takes on players with ease, but a lot wasn't happening for the Jamaican International player on the offensive end. Perhaps he's being targeted defensively, something that we saw New York City FC employ, or maybe it was Ricardo Clark's advanced positioning that led to less possession for Barnes.
Will Bruin, MotM, (8.5) - Bruin is now in 5th place in the Golden Boot race tied with the likes of Clint Dempsey and Sebastian Giovinco on 7 goals. In this game he notched 2 of those goals and an assist as Bruin, Boniek, and Clark all linked well to find the net. Bruin is showing a lot of confidence as he took players on the dribble on both goals and successfully found space to shoot and score. His final goal was a situation that many of us have seen him miss in the past, but he didn't do it this time. This time he put a team away.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (8.5) - Putting in Boniek at halftime was easily "the game changing decision of the match" as Boniek looked like the player that first captured our love hearts and minds with his creative footwork, speed, and terrific service. Boniek equalized the game for the Dynamo and completely opened up the number of chances created for the team. In addition to his equalizing goal, Boniek provided an assist to Ricardo Clark on a corner kick (he actually did this twice, but the first goal was disallowed) and to Will Bruin during the run of play.
Rob Lovejoy (5.5) - Came on for Davis early in the 2nd half, but outside of forcing a few tight passes by NY Lovejoy looked largely ineffective.
Coach Owen Coyle (7.5) - Coyle responded brilliantly at halftime by taking out the somewhat struggling Lopez for the veteran Boniek (who has been struggling somewhat in his own right this season). The change completely transformed the way the game was being played and opened up the Dynamo offense from fringe chances to lots of open looks.