1) This was far from a perfect road performance. We spent large amounts of time defending our lead which helped San Jose dominate possession and chances on goal. The ‘Quakes had 18 shots with 5 on target compared to our 7 shots with 4 on target. That says something about the quality of our goals, but also should warn about how we defend leads in the future.
2) This was our first road win of the year. Our last road win of the year came last season at, coincidentally, San Jose.
3) Our passing needs to improve. We turned the ball over far too often and had 6 players not including Joe Willis (because GK passing accuracy doesn't mean too much) pass below 70%. Many of these players were defensive minded players where passing must be sharper in order to prevent turnovers in bad areas of the field.
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings
Joe Willis (6.5) - Once again, Willis was the man in goal for the Dynamo while Deric becomes fit to start and he faced more pressure than he had in previous weeks. Willis made several big time saves to deny San Jose including one that may or may not have crossed the line (video evidence is inconclusive) but the ref decided it didn't which is good enough for Dynamo fans. However, he did flub up on his attempt to catch a cross which directly led to a San Jose goal just a short while after his heroic save.
Sheanon Williams (5) - San Jose often attacked the left side so as a RB Williams was targeted fewer times than his LB counterpart, but he was able to tackle and clear the ball when called upon. He tracked up the field less than he typically does as the squad tended to sit in to defend their early goal.
David Horst (6.5) - Horst may have gotten away with a foul inside our penalty area, but Horst's fiery personality against Quincy Amarikwa helped keep the Dynamo back passionate in their defense of the lead. Horst also finally found the net via a set piece as Cristian Maidana found Horst who headed the 2nd Dynamo goal of the game and he did so with power. Horst's celebration with Barrett was also nice.
Raul Rodriguez (6.5) - Raul was easily the most effective defender against San Jose as he amassed 3 tackles and 4 intercepted passes and kept the Dynamo box safe with several urgently clearances. However, both he and Horst need to improve their passing accuracy after this game as both passed the ball about 50% accurately.
Jalil Anibaba (5) - Anibaba returned to left back after spending time successfully at center back and it was difficult for Anibaba to completely adjust. While Anibaba was able to make several defensive plays, he was routinely burned by the quick Alberto Quintero which set up several chances for San Jose.
Collen Warner (5.5) - Passed the ball well out of central midfield and allowed Clark early opportunities to get forward more. Warner tackled well in advanced areas of the field and even helped block a kick just outside the 6 yard box.
Ricardo Clark, MotM, (7) - Clark tracked back very well while the Dynamo sat in and was able to make several defensive plays to keep things tidy on the defensive end. On the offensive side of the ball he opened up the scoring at Avaya Stadium with an opportunistic strike as the ball fell to him inside San Jose's box in just the 6th minute and he put it away. Clark also was among the best passers in the game as he passed above 91% accuracy. The game also marked his 300th MLS appearance and he was able to help guide the team to their first win on the road with his early goal.
Alex Lima (6) - With Barrett rolling out a new formation, Alex was pushed over to left midfield which saw his typical tackling prowess on display along with his ability to fight for every ball. On offense, Alex got forward less often as the team as a whole sat back early, but he was utilized as one of the focal points when the team did advance higher up the pitch.
Cristian Maidana (6.5) - Chaco's assist to Horst was a beautifully curled set piece that found the head of Horst which took you back to the Brad Davis days. Beyond his assist Maidana moved the ball very well through the midfield.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (5) - Boniek shifted to right midfield with Barrett's new lineup and it was somewhat effective with his passing and movements. Boniek got up the field well, but was limited in his defensive contributions.
Mauro Manotas (4.5) - The Dynamo fell into another center forward trap as Manotas was largely marginalized in the same effect as Bruin has been. Manotas failed to register a single shot in his start and rarely saw the ball.
Andrew Wenger (5) - Wenger's defensive prowess brought him on for Chaco Maidana in the 59th minute and those skills were on display. Offensively, Wenger was limited as his passing was atrocious, but he was able to help successfully kill the clock towards the end of the match which kept San Jose from getting an equalizer.
Will Bruin (5.5) - Bruin came on as a defensive minded substitute for Manotas in the 64th minute, but was far more effective on the offensive end as he nearly beat San Jose goalkeeper David Bingham with a rocket of a shot and he set up Oscar Boniek Garcia with a shot just outside the 6 yard box.
Eric Alexander (N/A) - Entered the match for Boniek in the 86th minute, Alexander only saw 3 touches in his time on the pitch.
Coach Wade Barrett (6) - It was great seeing the Dynamo get their first win on the road, but it should have come a long time ago. This was a far from perfect performance as our early goal changed our tactics which allowed San Jose to dominate possession and opportunities on goal as we attempted to defend our lead. This wasn't our best effort on the road this year, but we were able to take a lead and hold onto it which is something we haven't done all year.