1) It is not acceptable to score 3 goals and give up 3 points - even on the road. This team can score in bunches, but they need to shore up defensively. Hopefully players returning to health could aid our ailing defense. In 3 games we've scored 11 goals which is incredible, but we've also given up 7.
2) The game's turning point was inserting David Rocha into the game and pushing Alex Lima out wide. The team was content to sit back to hold the lead which ended up being a really bad idea.
3) This is a fun offense. Wenger scored 2 goals and has notched 2 assists in the first 2 games and Bruin has 3 goals and 2 assists in 3 games.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings
Joe Willis (6.5) - While it's difficult to place blame on many of the goals scored against the Dynamo on Willis, the goalkeeper filling in for the injured Tyler Deric, he struggled to place urgency in his backline as they seemed too pedestrian to clear the ball. Beasley had an error on the first goal allowed and Felipe's first goal was spectacular, but the wall didn't seem placed correctly on Felipe's free kick goal and the team couldn't clear the ball on the Red Bulls 3rd goal. Willis still managed an incredible 7 saves, but I have a hard time giving a goalkeeper a high score for allowing 4 goals in - even if they aren't entirely his fault.
DaMarcus Beasley (5) - Beasley tackled well, intercepted passes, and even linked well moving up the field, but the defensive line as a whole just lacked discipline. Beasley had a huge missed tackle/slip which led to the game's opening goal.
Raul Rodriguez (5.5) - RR usually passes well out of the back, but this was not the case against RBNY. Rodriguez tried many passes through to Leonel Miranda that were not effective. However, he did have several intercepted passes and was easily one of the best men in the air in the game.
David Horst (4.5) - Horst struggled against some of the quickness and deceptiveness of New York's attacking players, notably Bradley Wright-Phillips who Horst fouled, albeit softly, which set up New York's game winning goal. Horst was most effective at clearing the ball and he did well to try and get in the way of New York's 2nd goal, but his lack of speed and passing abilities hurt his performance.
Jalil Anibaba (6) - Despite one of the poorer passing ratings for a defender that I've ever seen (38.9%), Anibaba was surprisingly adept at closing down defenders on his side. Anibaba did struggle from time to time, but he dispossessed opponents up the field to start counter attacks, he blocked 3 shots inside the 6 yard box, and intercepted a pass inside the 18 yard box. The right-back filling in for the injured Sheanon Williams also sent in a cross that led to Will Bruin's 2nd goal.
Ricardo Clark (6.5) - Defensively Clark did the usual things he does at central midfield - possibly better than usual as he intercepted more passes than any other player on the field (tied with 1 RBNY player) and he was able to make tackles and block shots. Offensively, he struggled to connect with players in front of him and make the kind of impact that he had against FC Dallas.
Alex Lima (7) - Alex has been one of the best tacklers in the league since getting the start at central defensive midfielder alongside Ricardo Clark and against the Red Bulls he went down a gear as he failed to notch a tackle. However, he did make up for that with stolen passes and his ability to link up with players around him. Alex also placed a ball perfectly in the bottom right corner of the goal to put the Dynamo back on top after giving up an equalizing goal just 2 minutes earlier.
Leonel Miranda (6.5) - Had the most touches of any Dynamo player on the ball, Miranda didn't link as well with players as anticipated and it took him awhile to look comfortable. Miranda had a few very close opportunities on goal but was unable to find the back of the net. His defensive efforts were lacking down the left side of the field, but the team noticeably missed Miranda's ability to get forward with the ball after he was subbed off.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (7) - Passed very well for a CAM (81%) and was able to connect with Bruin and Alex Lima on their goals for the assist. Boniek has shown a rejuvenated self that will poise him to get more and more minutes.
Andrew Wenger (6) - Wenger, who had come into this match as the reigning Player of the Week, lacked sharpness. Perhaps it was being without Cristian Maidana, who had come to the Dynamo from the Philadelphia Union with him, or perhaps it was being without Giles Barnes on the opposite side which would have spread the defense more. Wenger was able to contribute to the defensive end and had a few chances on goal, but those chances were easily saved by Red Bull goalkeeper Luis Robles.
Will Bruin, MotM, (7.5) - The Bear is back. Bruin has now scored 3 goals in 2 games including a brace against the Red Bulls. Bruin scored a beautiful chip goal to equalize the game and then scored an opportunistic goal to finish out the first half. Bruin made dangerous runs, held the ball up well, and even linked up with players around him to get them in positions to score. Bruin's game has opened up and he has kept Cubo Torres firmly on the bench.
David Rocha (6) - Rocha came on for Leonel Miranda in the 73rd minute which pushed Alex to LM. While it was nice to finally see Rocha/Clark paired together, the move signaled a shift in the Dynamo's ability to get forward as it looked like they were content to hunker in and absorb pressure from the Red Bulls - a strategy that did not work.
Mauro Manotas (N/A) - Manotas entered the match for Bruin in the 78th minute, but didn't see enough of the ball to deserve a fair rating. Manotas was able to pressure the backline of the Red Bulls with his speed, but he lacked the support and service to become dangerous on his own.
Erick Torres (N/A) - Cubo substituted on for Alex in the 85th minute as a way to push for an equalizing goal, but Cubo simply looked lost for much of the game and his first touch may have been a hand ball in New York's box.
Coach Owen Coyle (6) - It's difficult to hold the lead twice in a game and end up losing it. It's also difficult to score 3 goals and give up a full 3 points to a team. That's what the Dynamo did and I place a lot of the blame on Coyle for shifting to a defensive style of play when they brought Rocha on. They seemed content to sit in and try to preserve the lead when this team was built to push up the field and find ways to score. Defensively we're lacking (clearly giving up 4 goals is an indication of that), but we're capable of being sound on defense. Getting Sheanon Williams back and possibly inserting Agus alongside Rodriguez in central defense could do wonders. Most important the team needs discipline and that could return with Tyler Deric at goalkeeper. I'm not worried about this team's ability to score goals, but they need more urgency when the ball in their defensive third of the field.