1) Soft goals could be a theme for the season.
2) This team is not good without its veterans in the back: DaMarcus Beasley and Raúl Rodríguez. Beside their defensive capabilities, they provide plenty on offense as well.
3) This result (once again) sucked.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tyler Deric (6.5) - Deric managed to earn 5 saves against an aggressive Union side as early mistakes by the defense in front of him doomed the Dynamo keeper. While Deric could have saved the goal scored in the 3rd minute, he trusted David Horst to do a bit more than stab in to get a ball in front of goal.
Kofi Sarkodie (5) - Kofi Sarkodie rejoined the starting lineup in his return from injury while Raúl Rodríguez served his yellow card suspension. Sarkodie only managed the first half at RB before being subbed off to bring on midfielder Luis Garrido. While Sarkodie established himself as a quality passer up the field, especially with Oscar Boniek Garcia, he failed to make defensive stops and was caught out of position.
AJ Cochran (5.5) - Cochran got the start again, this time at center back with Rodríguez out. Cochran was dominant in the air, passed well from the back, and made several crucial clearances, but he had trouble with Philadelphia's passing and spacing which often put him out of position.
David Horst (6) - While Horst clearly had difficulty keeping up with some of the pace of some of the Union attackers, he was able to intercept 11 passes and make huge plays from the back. Horst made a big faux pas trying to stab in and steal the pass going to Tranquillo Barnetta which led to the game's early opening goal, he largely held strong and helped eliminate aerial crosses in the back. Horst nearly equalized the game if it weren't for a brilliant save by John McCarthy.
Sheanon Williams, MotM, (6.5) - With the Dynamo defense in a bit of flux due to Rodríguez's suspension, Williams's versatility was utilized at left back. Williams returned to his former club's home field and played well recovering the ball all over the field. Williams passed the ball extremely well and linked up the field with midfielders and forwards to create some movement for the offense.
Leonel Miranda (6) - Miranda was a bright spot for the Dynamo on both sides of the ball providing several crucial tackles and one of the best chances the Dynamo had to scoring with a shot that grazed the outside of the netting of the Philadelphia goal. However, poor positioning in central and right midfield, rough tackles that nearly saw him sent off, and poor tracking back on defense set back an overall good performance.
Ricardo Clark (6.5) - Playing in a much more traditional defensive central midfield role, Clark demonstrated his ability to win the ball and start counter attacks from inside the Dynamo half. Clark wore his heart on his sleeve and was visibly frustrated with his own misses on goal, and the performance of the squad in their inability to produce any points against a less than stellar Union side.
Brad Davis (5.5) - Looked confident over the ball and provided quality decision making from inside the Dynamo defensive half and the attacking half of the field, but poor defensive marking and a lack of support hurt the Dynamo Captain's performance.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (5.5) - Boniek showed flashes of his old self as he took players on the dribble in a central midfield position which led to chances. Boniek demonstrated plenty of vision in the field holding onto a respectable passing accuracy, but his lack of defense especially in the 2nd half when the Dynamo utilized 3 defenders hurt the team's ability to limit the Union's touches in our half of the field.
Giles Barnes (5.5) - The struggles continue for Barnes following his performance in the Gold Cup. Barnes showed promise at times, but his chances on goal were blocked or saved.
Will Bruin (6) - Bruin's passing, hold up play, and effort have improved this year, but all that hustle was unable to produce for the offense against the Union. Bruin, often lacking support, provided a few brilliant passes, defensive stops, and close chances of his own, but it wasn't enough.
Luis Garrido (5) - Came on for Kofi Sarkodie at halftime to provide the Dynamo midfield with more defensive pressure, Garrido passed the ball well and tackled often, but his yellow card in stoppage time of the 2nd half will see him suspended in our game against Sporting Kansas City.
Erick Torres (4.5) - Entered the match for Brad Davis in the 70th minute, Cubo struggled to get touches on the ball and make quality passes with the touches he did earn.
Mauro Manotas (N/A) - Came on for Giles Barnes in the 81st minute, Manotas's touch has always impressed me, but his ability to get into dangerous areas and insert himself as a difference maker needs to improve. Still, he didn't see enough touches to earn a fair grade.
Coach Owen Coyle (4) - The Dynamo have struggled on the road this year, but in one of the most critical games of the year, Coyle's squad lacked teeth in a performance that left fans wanting more. The offense didn't seem fluid, passes seemed forced, and the defense was not in sync.