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Houston Dynamo 2, Sporting Kansas City 1: Rate the Players and Quick Thoughts

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How would you grade the player performances in the Dynamo’s 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City?

MLS: Sporting KC at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

At the beginning of the year I introduced a new way for the Dynamo Theory community to be a part of Player Ratings. After matches everyone will get a chance to submit how each player did on a scale of 1 to 10 which will be averaged out in a later article usually on Tuesday mornings depending when the game takes place. These ratings are interesting because we all view how players perform differently. Rating websites like WhoScored.com view things from an analytical perspective, but a statistic, even one as big as a goal, doesn’t quite tell the entire story as some goals are bigger and more important to a game than others. I think seeing how we as a community feel can create fun conversations. Of course, how we feel individually matters as well so please comment about player performances as you wish in the comments.

Quick Thoughts about the Game:

1) First, this result was incredibly important. This was a must win game, and the Houston Dynamo were able to get three points after going down a goal to Sporting Kansas City. While the three points didn’t push them higher up the Western Conference standings, it did give them some breathing room from the clubs below them and it could position them to advance higher up the table depending on how they do in the remaining games. They haven’t secured their playoff spot just yet, but this was an encouraging result.

2) The Dynamo did not come out to win this game. They defended very well for most of the game, but they invited Sporting Kansas City a lot of time on the ball in their half. The goal allowed by the Dynamo came from Dylan Remick too far off his mark on Saad Abdul-Salaam, although he closed the space well, all midfielders out of position including Eric Alexander and Tomas Martinez which helped create space for the assist, and Ricardo Clark too far off his man Jimmy Medranda. Medranda took advantage of the space and smashed in the game’s opening goal from distance. It was a fantastic finish, but the Dynamo had been giving this kind of space in their half of the field for most of the first half.

3) Despite not coming out very aggressive, the Dynamo turned it around in the second half and showed tremendous resolve as they battled through to get the much needed win. Andrew Wenger, who was largely absent in the first half, made several good runs, Vicente Sanchez became even more involved in playmaking, and Mauro Manotas saw the ball more. Sanchez in particular stands out as he was the man behind the Dynamo’s equalizer. He sent in an inch perfect through ball to A. J. DeLaGarza whose cross was poorly cleared and found its way to Tomas Martinez who volleyed it into the back of the net. Martinez was again influential in the outcome of the game as a free kick he took turned into a SKC own goal with Eric Palmer-Brown clearing the free kick into his own net. I don’t understand why it took the Dynamo so long to play their brand, but I’m glad they found form and got themselves back in the game.

4) Wilmer Cabrera managed this game very well. I think his lineup selection was the right one and his use of subs helped win the game. Cubo Torres and Alex were impact subs and he kept a sub for use late in case a player was injured – which happened. Alex nearly got a goal himself as he slalomed through defenders and took a shot himself (though I wish he passed it off to Cubo or Martinez who had chances to go 1v1 with the keeper). I’ve been critical of some of Cabrera’s decisions in the past, but it’s important to give credit when it’s due and Cabrera did a great job with his team without several key starting players.

Rate the Players: