1) If the Dynamo were not in last place in the Western Conference this would be looked at as a positive result. FC Dallas are tied for points with the Colorado Rapids with most points in the league and are unbeaten at home. A road point in a difficult place to play is a good thing. However, the club really needs more than just a point. The same can be said from the Vancouver game the week before. Yes it's good to see the Dynamo making incremental steps towards becoming a competitive team again, but at this point in the season we need to begin taking leaps rather than steps.
2) The club responded pretty well to going down a goal in the 1st half. The 1st half was pretty bland by both clubs, but a defensive error helped the home team go up 1-0. The Dynamo equalized early into the 2nd half and shifted the entire game in their favor as they created more chances, possessed better, and defended better following Rico Clark's goal.
3) Despite the momentum shift there is still something of a "Forward Issue" and that's how to effectively utilize our forward corps. Will Bruin has been under utilized the last few games as he requires support to pass off to or to receive (he's not a 1 man wrecking crew). While he was effective with the touches given, he needs more and a higher pressing style of play will get him those touches if he's the lone central forward; this is something we saw when we pressed more following our equalizer. Erick Torres is the other part of this problem as his 15+ minutes were marred by a lack of energy and effort by the Mexican striker. How to incorporate the two along with Giles Barnes and Mauro Manotas, who deserves some minutes, will be an important question for our manager/managing group moving forward.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings
Tyler Deric (7) - Apart from the blemish on the score line it was an outstanding performance by the Dynamo goalkeeper. For most of the game it was a pretty tame match, but towards the end when the Dynamo sat back, Dallas's chances increased and Deric denied them a game winner.
DaMarcus Beasley (6.5) - Beasley was very active at slowing down the left side as he managed an impressive 4 tackles while passing the ball well. Beasley didn't get up the field as much as he had in previous games, likely because left midfielder Cristian Maidana played higher up. The real dark mark on Beasley's performance in this game though was his marking against Ryan Hollingshead on Dallas's goal. He could have closed down the space on the goal scorer sooner, but I do understand that feet get slow in the 6 yard box after heavy rains.
David Horst (5.5) - It was a fairly pedestrian game for Horst as he made few defensive plays other than clearances around the 6 yard box and winning defensive headers. He passed reasonably well and had one great run up the field after taking an excellent touch.
Raul Rodriguez (6) - Rodriguez got the starting nod again over Agus and Raul demonstrated his keen ability to intercept passes including 2 from inside the 18 yard box. Rodriguez struggled with some of his own passes, partly due to the many long balls he sent in, but also nearly headed home a 2nd Dynamo goal.
Jalil Anibaba (4.5) - Anibaba was selected over Sheanon Williams due to Anibaba's pace in an attempt to keep up with Fabian Castillo. The experiment was met with mixed results. In the end the field conditions did slow both players a bit and at times Anibaba was able to make quality tackles or foul Castillo effectively ending a run. However, at other times Castillo was able to easily maneuver around Anibaba including on the play which set up the game's opening goal. Anibaba failed to close down the space in front of Castillo and close the angle on the goal which Castillo exploited to pick out Ryan Hollingshead.
Ricardo Clark, MotM, (7.5) - Clark was very disciplined with his positioning as he advanced up the field, but not too much in order to prevent counter attacks. He passed reasonably well for a central midfielder and was able to put in work on the defensive end through the dispossessing of opponents and blocking a shot at the top of the 18 yard box. Of course Clark is the real hero for taking advantage of a ball that came his way and absolutely letting it rip to equalize the game and shift momentum to the visiting Dynamo side.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (6) - Had more touches than anyone on either side and was still able to pass the ball effectively as a central midfielder. Boniek's defensive skills were limited in this match to a few headers won and balls recovered, but he was active advancing the ball up the field which included an incredible run and shot from distance.
Collen Warner (6.5) - Warner looked more comfortable in the holding midfield role and he afforded Clark and Boniek opportunities to join the offense by staying mostly defensive himself. Warner showed plenty of discipline intercepting passes, tackling, and even fouling to halt a run by Dallas. Warner was a little lucky to escape without seeing a yellow card as his 7 fouls (he would've fouled out in basketball at 6) was on the excessive end.
Cristian Maidana (6) - Chaco started the game at left midfield which was somewhat successful. He moved the ball extremely well and linked with those around him, but the work defensively really wasn't there. Offensively, Chaco provided plenty of key passes and even had a good shot himself, but the effort was blocked.
Andrew Wenger (6) - Wenger gets a lot of points for the work he put in on the defensive side which included 3 tackles and 3 intercepted passes. His passing still needs some work, but one of his errant passes did end up leading to Ricardo Clark's goal. Wenger gets some minus points for missing two very close shots after Will Bruin set him up perfectly.
Will Bruin (5.5) - Bruin once again didn't see a lot of touches as the midfield primarily held onto the ball, but when he did get the chance to make a play, he often did including making a great run towards the box and cutting the ball and the defender to square a pass to Wenger whose shot went straight at goalkeeper Chris Seitz and the rebounded shot was well off the mark.
Erick Torres (N/A) - Entered the match for Bruin in the 76th minute and looked uninterested. Cubo had just 3 touches for his time on the pitch while he didn't challenge for possession. This was a step back for Cubo who had looked much better the last few appearances for the Dynamo.
Sheanon Williams (N/A) - Came on for Maidana in the 86th minute in an effort to preserve the road point, Williams only had 3 touches in his appearance so it isn't fair to give him a player grade.
Interim Coach Wade Barrett & Co. (6) - Many fans gawked at the lineup the Dynamo announced and compared it to previous manager Owen Coyle's style. In fairness, it resembled that in many ways on paper, but during the game the tactics looked renewed as the club possessed better, was able to rebound following a 1st half goal, and shifted momentum after that equalizing goal all while playing on terrible field conditions. Has Barrett done enough to secure himself the official interim title?