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Houston Dynamo Player Ratings vs. the San Jose Earthquakes

The Dynamo lost to the San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 as defensive mistakes loomed large. Jalil Anibaba’s goalkeeper appearance and Ricardo Clark’s performance stood out.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Quick Thoughts:

1) Which game was worse: this one or the one at home against the LA Galaxy?

2) Defensive communication was awful and was made worse by poor defending and support from the midfield.

3) Ricardo Clark was absolutely stellar and I was incredibly surprised by how well Jalil Anibaba stepped into goal after Tyler Deric's red card.

Houston Dynamo Player Ratings

Tyler Deric (1.5) -€” 3 starts this year and 2 red cards. His red card in this game was careless and unnecessary as Agus was in a position to clear the ball without Deric coming up.

Abdoulie Mansally (3.5) -€” Intercepted passes well and made some decent tackles, but was often out of position which helped Chris Wondolowski secure an assist one of San Jose's goals. Mansally's feud with San Jose defender Marvell Wynne could have seen Wynne sent off for a poor and deliberate tackle on Mansally's leg.

David Horst (2.5) -€” Horst really struggled with the technical abilities of San Jose's forwards and midfield and had a difficult time putting his physical abilities to use. Furthermore, his clear first mentality didn't really show itself (and was needed) which helped secure one goal for San Jose and his inability to close down a passing lane opened up another for the Earthquakes.

Agus (4) -€” Agus had a decent game as far as defenders go in this one and was often called upon to step into opponents after they blew by teammates. However, his failure to clear a pass which saw Tyler Deric sent off looms over his performance. Just knock it out and let Deric retreat to his line next time.

Jalil Anibaba (5) -€” Jalil earned another start at right back and struggled early on with playmaker Matias Perez Garcia, however I give Anibaba bonus points for stepping into goal after Deric's red card and not conceding anymore goals. He did a fantastic job there given the circumstances.

Ricardo Clark, MotM, (8) -€” Rico covered nearly every blade of grass at Avaya Stadium playing the unusual "forward -€” defender" role. He blocked shots, passed well for a CM, and scored a goal that frankly the Dynamo didn't deserve given their level of play, but it brought some hope back to the team. That goal was also a beauty.

Alex Lima (3.5) -€” Often looked tired from his game against Sporting Kansas City, Alex's tackles looked sloppy, but he did do a decent job of moving the ball from midfield.

Cristian Maidana (4) -€” Chaco passed well, particularly when he connected with Andrew Wenger, but he didn't support the defense as well and his creativity never saw definitive results.

Giles Barnes (2) -€” I gave a lot of praise to Barnes in the last ratings, naming him my man of the match, but against the Earthquakes he was invisible. It was likely an issue of fatigue, but he rarely saw the ball, and he didn't do much with it when he had it.

Andrew Wenger (3.5) -€” Worked hard on the defensive end, connected well with Maidana, but his passing accuracy was atrocious for a RM/RW.

Will Bruin (3.5) -€” Bruin was the best passer on the Dynamo side, but he seldom saw the ball which was a result of the midfield and defenders' failure to successfully advance the ball. However, when balls were within his reach he had a tough time against the physical San Jose defenders who easily cleared balls he could have reached.

The Subs:

Oscar Boniek Garcia (4) -€” Was part of the triple substitution for Maidana, Wenger, and Bruin and Boniek showed plenty of energy on the offensive side, especially early, but when the Dynamo gave up another goal a lot of momentum that these subs brought went away.

Leonel Miranda (3.5) -€” Like Boniek, came on in the 59th minute and contributed to some offensive spark for the Dynamo, but despite his quality passing, Miranda's defensive shortcomings helped San Jose on more than one occasion.

Erick Torres (4.5) -€” Coming off a strong game, Cubo came on and had a pair of close chances on goal and has shown he can be a difference maker. Despite some poor passing, Cubo won a few balls in good areas and created chances. Still, the end result (goals or assists) just wasn't there for the squad.

Coach Owen Coyle (1.5) -€” Coyle has to be on the hot seat by now. The team is the 2nd worst in the league and worst in the Western Conference with just 2 wins on the season coming into the 3rd month of play. This is unacceptable. This game was among the worst that the squad played. Maybe it was fatigue (mentally or physically), but it was poorly managed. Coyle decided to make a triple substitution when the team was down by just 1 goal and Tyler Deric's sending off 20 minutes later showed this to be poor judgment (also Mansally was nearly injured which could have made things even worse). I understand "riding the momentum" and even wrote about the benefits of it, but he should understand if his squad can't do another game so soon after the previous. Many of the players looked tired and San Jose really took advantage of the midfield and defensive mistakes. I believe this squad has the talent to be better than it is and it is up to Coyle to fully utilize that talent. Maybe we'll see things turnaround this Saturday.