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) The Houston Dynamo were ousted from the Western Conference Finals by the Seattle Sounders. In the first leg the Dynamo were beaten 0-2 at home before losing 0-3 in Seattle. Coming into this game the Dynamo needed to be aggressive and get on the scoresheet. It was very unfortunate to not have Romell Quioto due to illness as the club was also without Alberth Elis who was suspended for yellow card accumulation. The energy out of the gate was a lot better than in the first leg with Vicente Sanchez and Tomas Martinez leading the way, but I still thought it was a too conservative lineup starting Alex who didn’t get up the field as often as a player like Cubo Torres or Andrew Wenger might. Regardless of how the team began, the momentum completely shifted to Seattle when they started putting away their breakaway chances.
2) In the first leg between these clubs I thought that the Dynamo had done Seattle a favor by giving them easy goals to put away. First it was Eric Alexander who did not mark his man on a corner kick and then it was allowing an uncontested cross into a dangerous area. The same largely holds up in the second leg. The opening goal saw Dylan Remick, playing RB with Jalil Anibaba suspended and Philippe Senderos injured, keeping Will Bruin onside followed by Adolfo Machado not following Victor Rodriguez who received the pass from Bruin and opened the scoring for the Sounders.
The next goal saw Remick way out of position as he drifted too far centrally which allowed Joevin Jones a run down the right side of the field. Another uncontested pass into a dangerous area was allowed and Clint Dempsey doubled the Sounder’s lead. Leonardo briefly gets caught ball watching on the play which gives Deuce just enough room to receive the ball even though he was behind Leonardo. Just like in leg 1, if the player that sent the cross wasn’t wide open, the quality of the pass may have not been as good.
The final goal again saw Remick out of position which allowed Harry Shipp to send a fantastic ball into Will Bruin. Adolfo Machado could not keep up with Bruin’s run and the former Dynamo man put Seattle up by 3. Remick likely was making a run up the field before the Dynamo lost possession, but that means a player like Oscar Boniek Garcia needs to make sure to cover those areas. Basically, Remick was serviceable at RB in game 1 off the bench, but that position needs some depth behind A.J. DeLaGarza because Seattle exploited that side of the field in this series.
3) Wilmer’s response to some of Seattle’s goals with his use of substitutes was confusing to say the least. Boniek Garcia coming on for Eric Alexander made sense on paper. Cabrera wanted to transition the ball faster from midfield to the forwards and Alexander tends to hold the ball a little longer than Boni. Boniek can also play a pretty good long pass. The problem with this sub is that it didn’t address the real issue which was our midfielders turning the ball over. Boniek did pass better than Alexander, but Boniek didn’t defend nearly as well as Alexander to warrant the change. My biggest problem was taking off Vicente Sanchez for Cubo. Sanchez was one of the two best attacking players in this game for Houston and having him come off took out a huge spark. Cubo should have come on, but it would have made more sense for Alex or even Alexander.
4) There was a red card that was somewhat controversial. I would have given both players a yellow and moved on. No need to reduce the team that’s down 4 goals on aggregate (at the time) to 10 men unless it was warranted and this red card didn’t pass the smell test for deserved.
5) It was a pretty horrible series if you’re a Dynamo fan. Losing 0-5 on aggregate is a disastrous series, but there were plenty of positives about this club and plenty to look forward to. The Dynamo got back to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons and almost made it to the final game. They got through quality competition in Sporting Kansas City and the Portland Timbers to get there as well. For a season that was, more or less, a rebuild year, I think we can all agree that this was a successful season. I for one am very excited to see this club next year.