1) Though the team had one glaring defensive miscue, the problem in this game wasn't that the defense was having issue after issue, but rather that the offense struggled to break down the Fire. The team managed just 3 shots on target out of 10 shots despite controlling over 60% possession. The team moved the ball well, but could not transition the ball into effect opportunities on goal.
2) 0 wins or draws on the road is a somewhat glaring statistic overall. However, the Dynamo have been competitive in each of those games with the exception being the San Jose Earthquake game. But the team will have to do more than simply be competitive - they NEED points on the road.
3) Even though the Fire were in last place overall, they maintained one of the top defenses in the league. Their inability to finish had hurt them more than anything else. They were able to capitalize on a mistake and held their shape in the back. Why can't the Dynamo do that?!
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings
Tyler Deric (6.5) - Deric regained the starting spot in goal after serving his 1 game suspension for a red card he picked up against the San Jose Earthquakes and began the match showing a bit of rust with his communication and command in the back. This helped lead to a problem between himself and Beasley as neither seemed to want to go for a ball which allowed for the Chicago Fire to score the game's only goal. Deric would settle in and put in a vintage performance with several acrobatic saves, but it only took 1 error to be the difference in this game.
DaMarcus Beasley (N/A) - Was part of the error that led to the opening goal, but was subbed off in the 13th minute as an injury substitution.
David Horst (5.5) - Intercepted several passes inside the Dynamo 18 yard box and made a pair of quality tackles while passing at a higher level than he has in previous games. Still, I find it difficult to rate the defense too high in another road loss.
Agus (5) - Blocked a shot, passed better from the back, and stole passes in quality positions, but the story in this game is really about the offense's inability to produce. Agus was able to have one good header that nearly was on target.
Sheanon Williams (5) - Tried to spread the field and create overlapping runs on offense, but was often ignored. On the defensive end, it was an average day for Williams who was occasionally burned by quicker players. Williams was able to intercept a pass in a great position and jump started a counter, but the effort never amounted to anything of substance.
Ricardo Clark (6.5) - Apart from a few positioning problems, Clark was a beast on the defensive side of the field as he collected 4 tackles, 2 blocked shots, and numerous clearances inside the Dynamo 6 yard box. Clark passed well, but never really threatened going up the field the way he typically does.
Alex Lima (6) - Alex played well against his former club as he notched several tackles and he passed the ball better than any other Dynamo player. At times he was caught in advanced positions on the field, but was usually able to get back and make a play.
Cristian Maidana (3.5) -The attacking midfielder passed fairly accurately but many of his passes were difficult passes he made in lieu of simple and effective passing in front of goal which took away some opportunities. Credit the Chicago back for stepping into Maidana's space and hurting the effectiveness of his passes, but this team was missing oomph in the final 3rd and our playmaker's decision making is a big reason why.
Giles Barnes (4) - Barnes helped move the ball through the midfield while passing with a high level of accuracy, but had trouble pushing the ball into dangerous attacking areas. When Bruin came off for Miranda, Barnes played the center forward role to minimal effect.
Andrew Wenger (5.5) - Was one of the most dangerous attacking players for the Dynamo, but his shots were simply not put on frame. Wenger had 3 very good looks on goal and only 1 was on target.
Will Bruin (3.5) - The midfield had difficulty getting the ball to the lone forward which allowed Bruin to only take 15 touches in the match. Many times when he got the ball he was swarmed by defenders with few to no outlets to release the ball to.
Jalil Anibaba (5) - Came on for Beasley in the 13th minute and played adequately at the left back position. Anibaba had one great tackle where he stepped into a pass that could have put a Fire player 1v1 on goal. I'm wondering why Raul Rodriguez has been overlooked in favor of Anibaba as Raul can play anywhere along the back as can Sheanon Williams.
Leonel Miranda (5.5) - Entered the match for Will Bruin in the 55th minute, Miranda helped spread the field and combined well with those around him, but the final effort in the attacking third just wasn't there.
Mauro Manotas (6) - Manotas got some meaningful minutes after being subbed on for Maidana in the 65th minute. Manotas had 2 of the best (and only on target) shots of the 2nd half.
Coach Owen Coyle (2) - It isn't on Coyle for the communication issue that led to Chicago scoring an early goal, but rather for the tactics used to push for an equalizer. The team struggled against a last place team, though one with an undoubtedly talented defense, and couldn't produce quality chances. Something is going to need to change moving forward. Whether that's tactics, personnel, or even coaches, something needs to be done in order to get out of our road funk.