1) The move to a 4-1-4-1 saw more balance in the midfield, and plenty of attacking punch, but the red card deflated our support to the center forward even though both teams were reduced to 10 men.
2) Tyler Deric has returned to form. With most of Deric's starts this year, we've seen a lack of confidence from our starting GK which has resulted in him seeing 3 red cards on the year and a few very uneasy moments. Deric looks to have regained his confidence and the back line looks better because of it.
3) The offense still needs some work. That may mean starting up top or in the supporting midfield, but the club's only 2 shots on target were delivered by defenders. Something needs to happen to increase possession and quality shots further up the field.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings
Tyler Deric, MotM, (7.5) - Has starting Goalkeeper Tyler Deric's confidence returned? Deric has not had the best season, but he finally looks to have settled in as he commanded his back line and kept the Dynamo's hope of a road point or stealing points alive by grabbing 6 saves.
DaMarcus Beasley (7.5) - A close 2nd for Man of the Match, Beasley not only scored the opening goal in a beautiful sequence orchestrated by Alex, but he was the most accurate passer on the Dynamo, and was active on the defensive end making 3 tackles and intercepting 4 passes. He and Raul Rodriguez had a bit of a mix-up in front of our net that nearly led to a goal, but thankfully the effort was well wide.
David Horst (6) - Defensively, Horst didn't have a whole lot to do as a lot of Vancouver's runs developed from the outside and worked their way inside. Horst had several clearances, blocked a shot, showed his strength in a play against the quick Kakuta Manneh and nearly scored on a headed effort, but was denied by Goalkeeper David Ousted whose fingertip save found the crossbar instead of the back of the net.
Raul Rodriguez (6) - Raul Rodriguez returned to the starting XI over Agus in an effort to likely control Vancouver's creative attacking talents which worked fairly well. Rodriguez made a tackle and blocked a shot at the top of the 18 yard box and was able to win balls around the midfield line.
Sheanon Williams (5.5) - Struggled a bit on the defensive end against Manneh and others, though he was able to intercept several passes. On the offensive end, Williams was utilized to spread the field out more which helped him send in several dangerous crosses while passing with a high level of accuracy for an outside back.
Ricardo Clark (6) - Was afforded more freedom to push forward with Collen Warner sitting behind him, but Clark rarely pushed too high up - likely to prevent counter attacks. Clark recovered the ball well and passed very well for a central-mid, but it was hardly a spectacular performance for the veteran.
Alex Lima (6.5) - Alex, had he been able to continue playing, likely could have earned the Man of the Match nod as he unleashed several dangerous through balls from his new left wing position including a brilliant pass to DaMarcus Beasley which opened up the scoring at BC Place. Unfortunately, Alex got involved in a minor scuffle with Pedro Morales which saw both players ejected for their actions. Personally I thought the double red decision was a little harsh, but the official obviously didn't want the two to continue their behavior on the field.
Collen Warner (5.5) - Warner rejoined the starting XI as a holding midfielder and he did an excellent job distributing the ball safely only turning the ball over 3 times despite a shaky first touch early in the game. Defensively, he didn't really clog the lanes as well as the Clark-Alex tandem has in the past, but it was hardly a poor effort by Warner overall.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (6) - Linked very well with Alex on the left hand side, Boniek largely played a left-center midfielder and was able to get forward well especially with Alex's through passes. Boniek didn't provide as much cover defensively as Clark, but was able to contribute to excellent set piece service.
Andrew Wenger (5) - Wenger provided his usual two-way effort, but was less effective on the offensive end. Wenger was the worst passer outside of Tyler Deric and at times he would attempt to dribble through 2 or 3 players only to have the ball stripped away. Wenger was able to switch the field well and provide dangerous runs, but the performance was lacking in the end.
Will Bruin (3.5) - Bruin has not been receiving much support the last few games as his touches have been very limited. He's been good with the ball when he gets it, but he just hasn't seen much of it. Will Bruin was the player that should have marked or closed space on Octavio Rivero's equalizing goal so he loses points for that (though I don't think forwards, not typically excellent defenders, should be marking opposing forwards who are typically excellent finishers).
Mauro Manotas (6) - This kid is hungry. He came on for Will Bruin in the 61st minute and quickly got 3 shots (all off target) including 1 that struck the crossbar. The more minutes Manotas sees, the more we'll see him develop.
Leonel Miranda (5.5) - Entered the match for Boniek in the 73rd minute and like the player he replaced he didn't put in much work on the defensive end. Miranda did have some excellent service (and some not-so excellent service) on set pieces.
Interim Coach Wade Barrett & Co. (6) - Considering this coaching trio, led by Wade Barrett, didn't have a lot of time to prepare for full-time managerial responsibilities abroad, they did an outstanding job. The group helped earn our first road point of the season which is an accomplishment, albeit a small feat, and had to work around dealing with one of their players seeing a red card. It wasn't easy, but they did pretty well. The move to a 4-1-4-1 provided more balance to the starting XI, but the center forward was often stranded without support and the team failed once again to properly see a game out and hold onto a lead.