1) Will Bruin showed us a lot of his strength, dribbling, vision and decision making in a game where his chemistry with Giles Barnes was much better than it has been lately. Other than Bruin's great efforts, the defense and other midfielders provided plenty of support for the offense by providing passing and crossing opportunities. This was a Dynamo offense that worked as it fired 16 shots with 7 on target.
2) One of our newer writers provided an excellent breakdown of the Dynamo's opening goal in the Dynamo Film Session series.
3) We're not out of the playoff chase yet, but with games against Seattle, Vancouver, and Dallas, the team will need to continue to find ways to put together performances like this one. First up,
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings:
Tyler Deric (7) - Deric preserved the Dynamo win with 2 superb saves late in the game. The first of which was a spectacular full stretched diving save to deny Vicente Sanchez from completing his hat trick on a free kick attempt in the 78th minute and the second was a quick low block on Sanchez in the 88th who had gotten into a 1v1 with Deric.
DaMarcus Beasley (7.5) - Beasley once again went the full 90 following his 90 minute performance in the Dynamo's mid-week win over Sporting Kansas City. Beasley is a difference maker for the team as his intelligence and speed contribute not only to the back line, but provides support to the offense as well. DMB had 8 intercepted passes and a pair of tackles as he covered the clever Vicente Sanchez.
Raul Rodriguez (6.5) - Although Rodriguez got caught ball watching on Vicente Sanchez's 2nd goal, he made up for it with a beautiful sliding blocked shot. Rodriguez wasn't quite the playmaker from the back as he usually is as many of the balls he played were a little too sloppy, but his clearances and defensive pressure helped the Dynamo hold onto the lead.
David Horst (5.5) - Traditionally center backs are fairly accurate passers because their targets are typically safe from pressure to not cause turnovers. Horst had an abysmal 45% passing rating with plenty of turnovers inside the Dynamo half, but he was able to supply plenty of defense closer to goal.
Sheanon Williams (6) - Williams returned to the starting right back job after earning some rest on the bench in the Dynamo's midweek match. The offensive build up play that the Dynamo utilized came primarily through the left and central channels rather than the right, but Williams was able to help out when the ball came to him and he even earned a free kick near the corner flag on one occasion. Defensively, Williams was able to win the ball when it was around him, but Colorado often elected to run its offense through Vicente Sanchez who was on the opposite side of the field.
Leonel Miranda (7) - Scored the Dynamo's first goal by taking Giles Barnes's fumble of a pass and directing his shot to the open back post. Miranda helped spread the offense out and he moved the ball well providing a number of key passes. Defensively Miranda was able to recover the ball in midfield through several tackles.
Rasheed Olabiyi (6.5) - Olabiyi provided lots of central midfield support to Ricardo Clark. Obabiyi claimed 4 tackles and recovered the ball all over the midfield utilizing his speed to get to errant passes. Some of his play and positioning lacked discipline including a poor foul which set up Sanchez's first goal of the match on a free kick.
Brad Davis (7) - Davis played as a "left-central winger" - or at least that's where he was most often found on the field. Davis's set piece service was as good as anyone could hope for as he delivered several outstanding corner kicks. Davis was also able to provide the Dynamo with the game winning goal after a cross came to Will Bruin who somehow (and possibly accidently) touched the ball back to Davis who buried a close range effort.
Ricardo Clark (6.5) - Passed the ball well from central midfield and was able to move into the offense thanks to Rasheed Olabiyi providing cover. Clark got back on defense well and pressured Colorado's midfield into turning the ball over.
Giles Barnes (7) - Barnes looked a lot more like his old self against the Rapids as his competitiveness and energy were brought out in a 1 goal and 1 assist performance. Barnes had been going through a goal scoring dry spell with his last goal for the Dynamo dating back to May 16th. Barnes's runs off the ball improved, illustrated in his goal, and he and Bruin worked together much more effectively than they have in months.
Will Bruin, MotM, (8) - Though the dancing bear didn't get on the score sheet, he had his hand (or foot or bear claw) in all of the Dynamo goals. His involvement on the Dynamo's1st goal showed us many of the things that he's improved on this season: his strength in winning the ball by knocking an opponent off it, his dribbling, and his decision making and passing. His 2nd assist came after he won a ball deep in the midfield and played a ball to himself near the end line (which was kept in bounds thanks to some mad spin on the ball) which showcased his improved pace which led to him passing the ball off to Barnes in front of goal. Bruin showed a ton of hustle and it paid off which helped land him on the reserves of the MLS Team of the Week.
Alex Lima (5.5) - Entered the match for Ricardo Clark who had played heavy minutes in a hectic schedule in the 69th minute. Alex provided less defensive cover than Clark despite Colorado's increased possession as they tried to muster an equalizer, but was able to pass the ball flawlessly inside the Rapid's half.
Luis Garrido (5.5) - Came on for Olabiyi in the 83rd minute to try and establish a defensive tone for the Dynamo, Garrido was often caught up way too high up the field in a must win game for the team. Garrido did provide 3 tackles and even managed a shot which was difficult given the amount of time he played, but his poor positioning could have been very costly for the Dynamo.
Coach Owen Coyle (7) - Coyle utilized a nearly identical lineup from the midweek win over Kansas City with Sheanon Williams in at right back for the suspended Oscar Boniek Garcia. The offense really seemed to click all of a sudden as Beasley and other players were able to provide support to the runs of other players which was helped by one of Bruin's best games of the year. Defensively, the Dynamo stopped many of Colorado's chances, but gave up too many fouls around the 18 yard box and made a mistake ball watching on their 2nd goal. If the Dynamo feel renewed after these wins, there is a chance they could make it to the playoffs. But they'll basically have to win all the games.