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Player Ratings: Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City

See how the Dynamo players performed in their 0-0 draw at Sporting Kansas City

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Sporting KC Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo finished out a tough double game week against Sporting Kansas City, the opponent in both fixtures, with four points and a playoff berth for the first time since 2013. The Dynamo came out strong, but had to sit back some as SKC found its form. The defense, and Tyler Deric most importantly, were able to keep the pressure from the home SKC side out of their own goal. Despite the offense not getting on the board, there were some good build up moments and counters that nearly led to chances, but at times the forwards were not on the same page with each other.

Overall, it’s hard to not complain about a result that got the team into the playoffs. As I explained in the piece where we rated the players initially, the defense and goalkeeping was the star in this one and that was reflected in the votes.

The Top Performers:

Tyler Deric, Man of the Match, (10) – Could there really be anyone else as the Man of the Match? Tyler Deric was in MLS Cup form as he amassed a career high 9 saves, several of which were acrobatic off the line saves. Deric was named to the MLS Team of the Week for his heroics and he put the team on his back to carry us into the postseason.

A. J. DeLaGarza (7.5) – I think that Leonardo’s 6 blocked shots overshadow AJ’s 2, but AJ did a good job of staying with and getting in front of Diego Rubio and Daniel Salloi which was incredibly important to slowing down play and letting the defense cover up potential passing targets. AJ was a little too wide on his marks, as was DaMarcus Beasley on the other side, which allowed SKC to switch the field rather than move backward, but it was a solid outing for DeLaGarza.

Ricardo Clark (7.3) – It was a toss up here between Vicente Sanchez and Rico, but since this was a defensive win for Houston, I’m giving it to the veteran midfielder. Clark and Cabezas have a very good partnership with Cabezas being the heavy tackler and Clark being quick to intercept passes and distribute out wide to Alberth Elis or Alex Lima. He’s also quick to switch the field when the offense hits a dead end. There wasn’t much overly impressive about Clark’s evening, but he did the routine very well. Led the team in intercepted passes with 3, blocked a shot in front of our 18 yard box, and won a tackle in SKC’s half.

Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera (7.7) – It was another strong managerial performance from Wilmer Cabrera. After a midweek win over SKC without many of his starting players at BBVA Compass Stadium, he now had to go on the road and win on their turf, but this time with the return of his international players. He plugged most of them back into the lineup and was able to get a draw in a difficult venue which got the club back in the playoffs. The tactics were a little more conservative than I would have liked, but far from the typical road form we’ve seen all season. The team did come out pretty aggressive and defended very well for 90 minutes. Cabrera’s use of subs was also impressive as he got Romell Quioto off the bench pretty early and then Sanchez with Mauro Manotas coming on at the end to kill some time.

The Rest of the Starters:

DEF: DaMarcus Beasley (7)

DEF: Leonardo (7.2)

DEF: Adolfo Machado (6.9)

MID: Tomas Martinez (6.7)

MID: Juan David Cabezas (6.8)

FW: Alex Lima (6.3)

FW: Erick “Cubo” Torres (5.3)

FW: Alberth Elis (6.8)

The Subs:

FW: Romell Quioto (6.9)

FW: Vicente Sanchez (7.3)

FW: Mauro Manotas (6.7)