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, it was outstanding to see the Houston Dynamo reach the postseason and give supporters a chance to see them by snagging home field advantage in the knock out round, but they were able to move on and give the Dynamo a chance in the Conference Semifinals against the Portland Timbers. Congrats to the team – it wasn’t easy to get through Sporting Kansas City, it wasn’t pretty, but you got the job done and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.
2) The first 90 minutes of game play was far from the Dynamo’s brand of soccer, but they stayed in it. The Dynamo struggled to transition the ball to its forwards and the forwards (Alex in particular) did not spread the field well. Cubo Torres did not do a great job of holding the ball up for other players to get involved, but he was able to draw some fouls in good areas. Sporting Kansas City made it tough for the Dynamo when they did have chances by repeatedly getting in front of shots to block them as just when you thought the Dynamo would break through, Matt Besler would step in front of a shot and send the ball back towards the mid line.
The game was very back and forth with momentum quickly changing sides. For stretches the Dynamo excelled at pressing SKC’s defenders and goalkeeper which would lead to turnovers and quick chances, but they never amounted to anything of substance. On the other side, Kansas City found opportunities by transitioning the ball well to offense right through the midfield and the heart of the defense. Tyler Deric and the defenders were able to deal with the pressure, but things will need to be tighter against the offensively superior Portland Timbers.
3) Wilmer Cabrera’s adjustments ended up paying off. Romell Quioto coming on gave the Dynamo a burst of energy and even though he couldn’t change the outcome of the game during regulation, he definitely sharpened the offense and had great runs in extra time. Vicente Sanchez though is the hero. His run down the right side of the field showed tremendous skill against Jimmy Medranda who had been a thorn in the Dynamo’s side all night accumulating a dozen tackles total. Sanchez was able to get down the side of the field towards the end line, get around Medranda while masterfully keeping the ball in play, and played a perfect ball to Alberth Elis who slotted home the game winner. Throughout extra time, the Dynamo were the superior side and they looked like the vintage home version of themselves. They could have had 3 or 4 more goals than they did, but moving on is all that matters.
4) The game itself was just an odd one. Center Official Mark Geiger kept the whistle going all night – sometimes fairly, and sometimes unfairly to both teams. Neither side was particularly dominant during the first 90 minutes with both sides conceding chance after chance, only to see nothing come to fruition for the effort. The late start and the extra time periods were taxing as fans, but with the result it’s a good time for Houston Sports.