1) The Dynamo are winless since their 5-0 win over FC Dallas and are 1-5-2 overall which gives them a league worst 5 points. Against RSL the Dynamo once again failed to hold onto a lead as they allowed momentum to shift to their opponents. However, it's worth noting that the Dynamo may have escaped with a road point had it not been for the Herculean efforts of Nick Rimando who put on a Scott Sterling level performance.
2) A lack of urgency in front of goal has been one of the biggest problems the Dynamo have had all season. Jordan Allen's equalizing goal in the 62nd minute gave life to the home side and let RSL back in the game. 1 mistake, too many touches in front of the 18 yard box, led to that goal which transformed the rest of the match in favor of RSL.
3) Owen Coyle continues to tinker with the starting XI and he still can't find a winning formula. This iteration put Giles Barnes (again) in a center forward role with Oscar Boniek Garcia at central attacking midfield and Leonel Miranda as a left winger. This is a deeper and more talented side than last year, but I don't believe they're being utilized to their potential.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings
Joe Willis, MotM, (7) - Can't blame the goals on Willis and he pulled his weight by denying several difficult shots to keep the Dynamo in the game including a difficult double save.
DaMarcus Beasley (5) - Moved the ball very well up the field and intercepted the ball all over the left side, Beasley's speed was challenged at times, but was not outmatched. Beasley had a rough challenge early in the match that earned him a yellow card, but I believed the tackle to be clean.
Raul Rodriguez (6) - Had 6 intercepted passes and a blocked shot in front of the 6 yard box, Rodriguez distributed the ball from the back exceptionally well. The one blemish was he failed to step in front of the near post fast enough to deny Yura Movsisyan's game winner.
Agus (5.5) - Earned the start once again over David Horst. Agus's style of play is reminiscent of Horst's no-nonsense and clear first mentality. However, Agus incorporates a bit more intelligence with his positioning to the game and he brings urgency in the back which is something I mentioned above that the Dynamo need. Agus had several crucial clearances and intercepted passes, but Yura Movsisyan was his man and he let him get in front of him to score for RSL.
Sheanon Williams (5.5) - Williams hasn't quite looked like the player that he was last season, but perhaps it's taking him a bit of time to come back from his hamstring injury. Williams was responsible for collecting Nick Rimando's spilled save and setting up the Dynamo's only goal, but also failed to mark and stop the cross by Demar Phillips which set up RSL's 2nd goal.
Ricardo Clark (5) - Clark was at his best when he got forward as his shot on goal had lots of pace on it, which was saved by Rimando, led to the Dynamo's goal. Clark also made tackles in advanced areas of the field which provided chances for the club, but his passing for a central midfielder was simply off as he sent in far too many over the top balls.
Collen Warner (4.5) - Partnered next to Ricardo Clark as a defensive central midfielder, Warner made a few tackles on the right side of the Dynamo defensive third and passed more accurately than his CDM partner, though one of his passes nearly led to a first half Real Salt Lake goal had it not been for Willis's double save.
Leonel Miranda (6) - Miranda spread the field by playing very wide as a left winger and his goal opened up the scoring for the game. While Miranda provided some work on the defensive end including tackles down the left side of the field, some of Miranda's service led to costly turnovers.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (2.5) - Boniek looked lost for much of the game and that showed with his positioning. As a central attacking midfielder, Boniek primarily played on the left side of the field and was sometimes reluctant in his defensive responsibilities. It was his attempt to dribble out of danger just ahead of the 18 yard box which set up Jordan Allen's goal and changed the tide in favor of RSL. Boniek has shown he's capable of playing in the CAM role and starting, but this was not his day to shine and it may be time to return to the bench as an early substitute.
Andrew Wenger (6) - Wenger nearly broke through and equalized for the Dynamo, something that may have changed the conversation surrounding this game, but was denied by the face of Nick Rimando. Wenger missed several close shots and passed poorly in the final 3rd of the field, but he set up Clark for the shot which would provide lead to Miranda's goal. Wenger also made 3 tackles around the midfield line highlighting his two-way style of play.
Giles Barnes (5) - Once again in the central forward role, Barnes struggled to keep possession and run at opponents utilizing his speed. Barnes had an early chance on goal where he took the ball around Rimando, but his pass to himself around Rimando had too much pace on it and it went out of bounds. Barnes did assist Miranda, but most of the credit should go to Williams for corralling Clark's spilled shot. In the end, Barnes needs a striking partner to play off of or his skills aren't being made the most of.
Will Bruin (3) - Entered the match for Collen Warner in the 75th minute, Bruin didn't see much of the ball as RSL had gained most of the momentum and possession at this point. Bruin did help recover the ball just ahead of the half field, but nothing came of it.
Erick Torres (5.5) - Cubo came on for Boniek in the 82nd minute and had one dipping shot that just went over the goal post. Cubo has looked better in his last appearances, but problems run a little bit deeper than just having him on the bench.
Cristian Maidana (3.5) - Chaco was substituted on for DaMarcus Beasley in the 83rd minute in an attempt to get as many offensive weapons on the field as possible. Maidana didn't see a lot of the ball, but did have one good corner kick which nearly led to a late equalizer.
Coach Owen Coyle (2) - The Dynamo have now lost 3 straight matches and are winless in their last 6 which falls squarely on Coach Coyle. Coyle can continue to tinker with his lineups, and maybe he'll find a winning combination, but right now things aren't working. A theme this season for the Dynamo has been their inability to defend their lead. Coyle can't control everything on the pitch, but he should be able to manage a team's focus and emphasize more urgency defensively. Obviously he's trying to and puts the work in, but for whatever reason it isn't working at the moment. Is Coyle on the hot seat with the Dynamo as league bottom? That's up for debate. Will he be if the Dynamo continue down this path? Without a doubt and that moment seems to be arriving more quickly after each disappointing loss.