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Houston Dynamo 0, Philadelphia Union 2: Rate the Players and Quick Thoughts

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Returning to the road yields familiar results. Rate how you thought the players performed in the 0-2 loss to the Philadelphia Union

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Philadelphia Union Eric Hartline-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. 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 stink on the road, and that may be putting it lightly. It’s been an enigma trying to discern why a team that can perform so well and dominantly at home and then can look the polar opposite on the road. I have a bit of a working theory though. At BBVA Compass Stadium, the Dynamo are never satisfied with the number of goals they’ve scored. They want more and that hunger leads to pressuring defenders with the ball and playing quick over the top passes to start counter attacks. This is who the Dynamo are supposed to be. It isn’t perfect and has some flaws generally regarding possession and defending, but it works very well most of the time. On the road the team does not exhibit any of this energy and passion. They look tired, they walk, and they ball watch. In a system with 3 forwards that seldom get back to help defend this kind of “style” will lead to goals being conceded. The Dynamo sit back and invite pressure and it’s costly.

This is why I don’t like what Wilmer Cabrera said about how his team prepares for each game. He said that they take the same approach regardless of the opponent or venue and it’s clear that this team plays differently on the road. We all see it. If the Dynamo want to start stealing points away from home they need to do what Cabrera said and play their brand.

2) The substitutions that Cabrera made, while puzzling, actually seemed somewhat effective. Taking off Alex early in the 2nd half seemed like a crazy idea given how well he’s connected the defense to the offense this season, but Vicente Sanchez’s playmaking helped create some quality chances. Alex may have been battling flu-like symptoms, but given the 2 goal deficit, taking him off early to be fresh for Saturday’s fixture was probably a smart move. Andrew Wenger also shined in his role as he had some very threatening runs despite not finding the net. It was also nice to see Joseph Holland get some minutes in and he actually looked pretty good as he brought some energy to the field that had been missing.

3) The goals we allowed we really shouldn’t have allowed. Joe Willis should not have come out to try and get the ball on the opening goal and A. J. DeLaGarza was completely out muscled for the cross. On the Union’s 2nd goal, Romell Quioto got dispossessed in a very poor area of the field and Chris Pontius’s cross to Ilsinho should have been cut out either by Adolfo Machado or Ricardo Clark.

4) We just need to learn to win on the road.

Rate the Players: