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Houston Dynamo 2, Minnesota United FC 2: Rate the Players and Quick Thoughts

Quick thoughts and then tell us how the players did

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Houston Dynamo Thomas B. Shea-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. I think it’s interesting to see how we collectively felt about a player and use that as a discussion piece, but 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 first half was very good, but not perfect. Christian Ramirez flubbed a shot that he should have finished and the missed penalty call could have had Houston and Minnesota level at halftime. Of course, those things didn’t happen, but they show a lack of discipline in the back defensively that was capitalized in the second half by Minnesota. Jalil Anibaba has given uneven performances at center back to say the least and the same is true for Oscar Boniek Garcia at right back – although to be fair to Boniek, he actually had a much better showing at RB than he did in the game at New England. Leonardo and Agus along with A. J. DeLaGarza coming back will help immensely, but organizational problems will persist if the forwards and some midfielders are reluctant to get back on defense.

2) The substitutions by Cabrera were a mess. The team was up a goal and Cabrera decided things were not going well so his reasoning for the Ricardo Clark -> Kevin Garcia substitution was to push Oscar Boniek Garcia into the midfield to jumpstart the offense. The only problem with that was Clark was having a good game defensively and the same was true of Boniek minus his marking of Ramirez on MNUFC’s opening goal. Then Cabrera brought on the veteran Vicente Sanchez for Mauro Manotas. While Sanchez did play well in my opinion, I think taking out Manotas was a mistake as his pace could have been used more. The problem with these moves is that the defense is the area that needed the most support. Bringing in Juan David Cabezas would have been good, but Cabrera also only had 1 defensive player on the bench, Kevin Garcia. That’s just not smart planning as he elected to bring his entire forward corps into the starting XI and the bench.

3) This team has got to learn to come out of halftime with a lead better. This game was reminiscent of the disaster that was the Portland match as we had control of the first half and let everything go downhill in the second. It was clear from the whistle that Minnesota wanted it more and they had already used 2 of their subs and were down 2 goals. In Cabrera’s system it requires a lot of movement by the midfielders and forwards to support players up the field, but also help players back defensively. In the second half there were several instances where all 3 players up top were walking back after a failed counter attack and sometimes Alex, a midfielder, was doing the same. Had Minnesota felt like it, they could have had a numbers advantage in our half. Cabrera must get this team on the same page and he needs to learn to change his tactics if necessary.

4) Ending on a positive note, this wasn’t a complete disaster. The Dynamo limited MNUFC to just 2 shots on target and their own goals were good as well. I especially liked Alberth Elis getting his goal back after one he had scored earlier had been called back for offsides. The Dynamo ended up getting a point at home which is okay, this just feels particularly crappy because 1) the team blew a 2-0 lead, and 2) they couldn’t break through the league’s worst defense to regain the lead.

Rate the Players: