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Houston Dynamo Player Ratings vs. the Vancouver Whitecaps

The Dynamo offense took the night off in a game that was decided by a questionable penalty kick against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Quick Thoughts:

1) Was it a penalty kick? I'm not so sure, but never give an opponent a chance to dive against you by creating even minimal contact on a ball they will never get. Teams like Vancouver can (and did) punish you for it.

2) Joe Willis stepped up in a lot of ways, and the defense as a whole looked sharper - though far from perfect, but the offense was nullified by Vancouver's pressure in the midfield which kept our players from connecting well with our forwards.

3) Coyle's use of substitutions still seems a bit puzzling.

Houston Dynamo Player Ratings

Joe Willis, MotM, (7.5) - Joe Willis, once again in goal for the injured Tyler Deric, kept the Dynamo in this game by providing key stops throughout the contest. The single goal the Dynamo allowed was from the penalty spot and those are incredibly difficult to save consistently so I can't place blame on Willis for that.

DaMarcus Beasley (6.5) - Beasley was active on both sides of the ball as he made several crucial intercepted passes and tackles around the Dynamo 18 yard box. He also connected well with Leonel Miranda and was able to get one of the better chances of the game for the Dynamo, but he lacked control and David Ousted easily grabbed the ball.

Raul Rodriguez (6) - Rodriguez was able to distribute better out of the back than he had against the Red Bulls and made a pair of tackles and intercepted the ball better, however, some of the fouls he gave up created chances for the Whitecaps, and he and Horst were not always on the same page about how to defend balls over the top.

David Horst (5.5) - Horst was a master in the air as he was able to connect with headers a game high 6 times.  Horst struggled against some of the speed and technical abilities of the Whitecap offensive players and was especially vulnerable on counter attacks and balls over the top.

Jalil Anibaba (4) - Anibaba's passing rating through each game (in order): 38.9%, 57.9%, 62.5%, and lastly 67.7%. He's often the worst passer outside of the keeper and he needs to improve if he wants to connect on the offensive side. Anibaba was decent on the defensive side, he did concede a penalty. I don't believe it was a penalty, but he shouldn't have had his hands on Masato Kudo when Kudo wouldn't have been able to get the ball anyways.

Ricardo Clark (7) - Clark, to me, was the best Dynamo player of the 2nd half. As Vancouver seemed more content to sit on their lead, Clark pushed higher up the field and supported offensive runs, took shots - one of which hit the post, and still maintained his defensive responsibilities.

Alex Lima (6.5) - Alex made 3 big tackles and continues to connect well with Clark, but he began to look visibly tired part way through the second half and despite getting a decent shot off, one has to think maybe Alex should have come off instead of Wenger.

Leonel Miranda (7) - While failing to support the defense as much as he could, Miranda was one of the most influential attacking players of the first half and continued to link well into the second. Miranda had the best chance on goal in the game, but his effort was difficult to bring down and he struck the crossbar.

Christian Maidana (5.5) - Less than a handful of clever passes were not quite what we were expecting from Maidana in his first game back since suffering a head injury against FC Dallas. Maidana connected well with Miranda, but didn't look like his creative self. More time in training should do our playmaker well.

Andrew Wenger (6) - Wenger saw very little of the ball for much of the game, but was able to produce a quality chance on goal that saw him fight through opponents for a shot, but it was easily gobbled up by Ousted. More puzzling was Wenger's substitution considering Wenger's typical work rate, but Wenger clearly wasn't the impact player he had been in previous weeks.

Will Bruin, (5) - It was a quiet night for the Dancing Bear, but much of that could be attributed to poor service and turnovers in the midfield. Bruin rarely looked threatening following his 2 goal performance against the New York Red Bulls - though he did have a decent shot and sent in a few quality passes.

The Subs:

Abdoulie Mansally (5) - Came on for Andrew Wenger in the 58th minute which came as a surprise to many. Mansally, who began his career as a forward and currently plays as a left back, showed a bit of rust and nervousness coming in. Mansally showed a lot of the potential in his ability to create chances on the offensive end, but there were several instances where he was too hesitant to pass the ball or make a decision to shoot which highlighted his lack of chemistry with his teammates.

Mauro Manotas (5) - Entered the match for Cristian Maidana in the 64th minute, Manotas showed some of his hustle and ability to press defenders that held possession. While his energy provided a small boost for the Dynamo, his lack of creativity hindered the Dynamo offense from opening up a defense that was content to park the bus.

Rob Lovejoy (N/A) - Lovejoy made his 2016 Dynamo debut coming on for Bruin in the 81st minute. Lovejoy provided plenty of energy and passed flawlessly, but never saw enough touches on the ball to deserve a fair rating.

Coach Owen Coyle (5.5) - The Dynamo stepped up in a lot of ways on the defensive end, though a lot of credit goes to Joe Willis on that side, but they failed to take advantage of a shorthanded Vancouver defense. The Dynamo entered this match as the hottest offense in the league and they were nullified by the Whitecaps marking early in the game and they were often beat by over the top balls and counter attacks in the first half. The substitutions didn't appear to make a lot of sense on the surface and the team as a whole lacked the sharpness on the offensive end. This team lost by a penalty kick, but a win or even a draw against Vancouver on the road would have done wonders for the squad's confidence following the Red Bull's match.