1) The Dynamo were able to battle back from an early goal and used the deficit to push higher up the field and create offensive chances which would finally lead to an equalized goal late in the game. However, they could have had a few more goals in the back of the net if it weren't for Kansas Goalkeeper Tim Melia.
2) While these games are always tough, physical contests between these two sides, the officiating really hurt each side in key moments.
3) Clark and Sturgis not being available opens the doors for players like Rasheed Olabiyi or for a possible formation change (Cubo, Bruin, Barnes anyone?)
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tyler Deric (6) - Deric didn't have a ton of work in the back, only nabbing a single save in the game, but there were a few memorable moments from his overall performance. Notably Deric being able to stay on the field and finish out the game following a minor injury along with a brief scuffle with SKC's Dom Dwyer which resulted in the pair receiving yellow cards.
DaMarcus Beasley (7) - Rejoined the Dynamo following his brief and poorly timed stint with the US Men's National Team and Beasley looked refreshed as he zipped down the field with ease showcasing his speed, quality passing, and ability to get up the field quickly and dangerously. Defensively, Beasley provided plenty of cover and was able to make crucial clearances and intercept passes in the Dynamo defensive 3rd of the field.
Raúl Rodríguez (6.5) - Rodríguez held his own in the back and was able to recover the ball off opponents or errant passes in very close areas to the Dynamo goal. Rodríguez also passed the ball very well from the back and linked well with Beasley and Davis on the left side of the field.
David Horst, MotM, (7.5) - This was one of the better performances of Horst's career which was highlighted by two big plays that saved the Dynamo's skin. His performance earned him a place on the MLS Team of the Week which included a game high 6 intercepted passes, 2 blocked shots, a huge tackle, and several key clearances.
Sheanon Williams (6.5) - It was another solid outing for our newest Dynamo. Williams started his 2nd consecutive match and demonstrated plenty of grit and vision on the right side of defense. Williams stole the ball more than any other player on the field and his long throw adds another set piece weapon and the Dynamo do love their set pieces.
Nathan Sturgis (6.5) - Before his red card, Sturgis had his usual type of match: played well and did so under the radar. Sturgis passed well from central midfield, and got higher up the field than he has in the past which helped support the Dynamo offense. He helped recover the ball in dangerous spots on the field and even had a good shot on goal. Whether or not Sturgis deserved a straight red card is a matter of debate, but many would say a yellow would have been the way to go considering a few of the other poor calls (and no calls) in this match.
Ricardo Clark (6.5) - Clark was involved on both goals that occurred in this game. His poor marking on Dom Dwyer early in the match helped Sporting Kansas City take the lead in the 6th minute, but he battled through to earn a late equalizer following a Brad Davis free kick - though he probably wishes he hit an earlier shot as well. The big news with Clark, our iron man who has started every game this year, is that he could miss time due to a left hamstring injury which saw him exit this match in the 80th minute just after his goal. This is especially poor timing given Sturgis's sending off, but it could open up the door to change if Clark doesn't recover in time for this week's match against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Alex Lima (6) - Brought his usual pressuring mentality, and he linked well from time to time, but the ball was seldom on the right side of the field which made it difficult for Alex to become more of an impact player.
Brad Davis (7) - Davis seems to have regained the kind of form we expect from our Captain. He sent in several dangerous crosses and was able to connect well in the final 3rd of the field to create chances for the offense. He also had a great 1-timed shot on goal following a pass by Will Bruin and he provided the game tying assist.
Giles Barnes (5.5) - In his return to the Dynamo following his time with the Jamaican National Team and their historic run to the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final, Barnes didn't play with the level of enthusiasm or ease that many of us expected him to bring. Barnes had a few notable moments, including a play in which he saved a ball from going out for a goal kick that he led to an opportunity on goal, but overall he tended to drift in and out of the game.
Will Bruin (6) - While Bruin struggled with his own shot, he did create chances with several dangerous runs, quality passes in the final 3rd, and he could have earned a penalty - though that's up for some debate.
Erick Torres (6) - Entered for Will Bruin in the 62ndminute and didn't see a whole lot of the ball in his time on the field, though he was able to make all 6 of his passes on target.
Leonel Miranda (6) - Came on for Alex Lima before the 68th minute and, like Cubo, he didn't see a lot of the ball. However, he was able to apply pressure which helped recover the ball in the midfield.
Luis Garrido (N/A) - Managed to net himself a tackle after he came on for Ricardo Clark in the 80th minute. Oh, and he handled the ball which should have been a penalty for SKC late, but the ref (who was directly in front of the play) said play on.
Coach Owen Coyle (6.5) - If we forgive the poor start the Dynamo had in this game, the Dynamo played very well. The Dynamo were able to control possession, create plenty of shots (and shots on target at that), while mostly keeping their defensive shape. There were several "officiating moments" that defined this game in many ways: a foul on Tyler Deric could've been a red card, Bruin could have drawn a penalty, Garrido handled a ball late which could have been a PK for SKC, and Sturgis was sent off somewhat harshly. If we excuse the officiating, this wasn't a poor result given the difficult venue and it could have been a win if it weren't for Kansas Goalkeeper Tim Melia.