1) We're not (quite) dead yet! The win puts the Dynamo 3 behind the final playoff position which won't be easy to get, but it's still attainable - at least in theory.
2) The Dynamo are much better in the back when both DaMarcus Beasley and Raul Rodriguez are there. Not only do they provide the defense with speed and intelligent defending, but they also create chances as playmakers from the back. The defense held SKC to just 8 shots (3 on target and 2 blocked shots) with 5 of those 8 coming after Boniek Garcia was ejected and the Dynamo were playing with 10 men.
3) This was the 3rd regular season game this year between the Dynamo and SKC and for the 3rd time a Dynamo player was sent off.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tyler Deric (6) - Deric never had to utilize his Save of the Week material against a Sporting Kansas City side that never really threatened the goal. Many of Deric's saves were routine and desperate attempts to equalize after Boniek Garcia exited with his red card. The defensive line did a much better job of making things easier for Deric.
DaMarcus Beasley, MotM, (7.5) - With Beasley back in the starting lineup this team looked much more comfortable and confident defensively. Beasley, who went the full 90 minutes in his return from a lingering calf injury, demonstrated his defensive capabilities by recovering the ball and making tackles utilizing his speed in both areas. Beasley also showcased how important he is to the Dynamo offense. DMB linked well with Brad Davis moving forward on quick breaks and he assisted the game's only goal which highlighted Beasley's speed, intelligence, dribbling, and quick passing.
Raul Rodriguez (7) - Returned to the starting lineup after serving out his yellow card accumulation suspension and, along with Beasley, helped provide leadership and direction along the back. Rodriguez recovered the ball well as he intercepted 6 passes from central defense.
David Horst (7) - Like Rodriguez, Horst also earned 6 intercepted passes, he blocked a shot, and utilized his size to win crosses from the back. Horst also made a play inside the Kansas City 6 yard box, but there were no Dynamo players there to finish off the effort.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (6.5) - Boniek Garcia returned to the right back position which is where he played the 2nd half of the Dynamo's Sunday loss to the Philadelphia Union. Boniek's vision up the field helped him link often in KC's half of the field on offense. Defensively the Honduran International made several crucial tackles and he blocked a shot on goal, but his strong pressure defensively was uncontrolled at times which led to a yellow card in the 1st half and a 2nd yellow in the 2nd half.
Leonel Miranda (5.5) - Miranda was a little all over the place, but was most successful out wide in right midfield where he supported overlapping runs by Boniek Garcia. However, Miranda lacked a bit of positioning discipline and his passing game may have suffered as a result.
Rasheed Olabiyi (6.5) - In Olabiyi's 2nd start with the Dynamo he went the full 90 minutes as he partnered with Ricardo Clark in central midfield. Olabiyi positioned himself well and afforded Rico opportunities to push into the offense and crash KC's 18 yard box. The Dynamo have a record of 4-0-1 when Olabiyi plays so let's see more of him.
Brad Davis (6.5) - Davis began the match at his familiar left midfield position where he linked well with Beasley, but often swapped sides of the field with Miranda and he cut into the central midfield in order to support other players runs. Davis played well defensively and won 3 aerial challenges while playing a pivotal role in the Dynamo offense as his quick give-and-go with Beasley led to Bruin's goal. Davis nearly had a pair of goals himself, but his shots were saved by SKC goalkeeper Tim Melia.
Ricardo Clark (6) - Passed the ball very well from central midfield, but received fewer touches than he would have liked as the Dynamo offense struggled for much of the game to get into Kansas City's half of the field. However, Clark played several dangerous balls and crashed the box well.
Giles Barnes (5) - Barnes struggled along with the offense in their ability to move into dangerous positions to create shooting opportunities. Barnes largely had to fall back into the midfield, his duty as a supporting striker, to help win the ball. This hurt his passing accuracy and his ability to make runs off the ball.
Will Bruin (6.5) - Continued to pressure defenses well to force quick passes out of the back, Bruin also passed well himself creating a few attacking moments for the Dynamo. Bruin demonstrated why one of the most important aspects of scoring is showing up in the right places at the right times (also why you always need someone at back post). Bruin's goal was an easy tap in after Beasley's run and excellent pass through traffic in the box, and that was all the Dynamo needed to pick up 3 points.
Erick Torres (3.5) - Came on for Giles Barnes in the 68th minute and struggled to even get touches on the ball. Despite playing for the amount of time he did, Cubo only made 6 touches and completed just 3 passes. The offseason should help Cubo recharge after a pretty hectic year.
Sheanon Williams (5) - Entered for Brad Davis in the 74th minute shortly after Boniek's red card ejection, Williams didn't see a lot of the ball and only made a few plays defensively.
Alex Lima (N/A) - The versatile midfielder and left back Alex made his return from injury entering the match for Will Bruin in the 80th minute. Alex didn't see much of the ball, but was able to supply a tackle and intercepted pass on the defensive end.
Coach Owen Coyle (6.5) - This was a refreshing lineup and may have been what the Dynamo needed: mixing a bit of the old with a bit of the new. Starting players like Rasheed Olabiyi and Miranda was a smart choice, and even continuing the experiment of Boniek at right back - which provided Sheanon Williams with some rest, was worth the risk. Despite the defense stepping up and playing very well, the offense struggled to gain momentum, but it's hard to argue with the final result: a shutout win over Sporting Kansas City.