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Player Ratings Houston Dynamo vs. Orlando City SC

High marks for the Dynamo in their 4-0 win over Orlando City SC

MLS: Orlando City SC at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo are one of the best teams when they’re playing at home and they proved that again in their last match against Orlando City SC who, coming into this game, were the top team in the Eastern Conference. The Dynamo turned around a lousy 0-2 loss on the road to Toronto FC and thumped Orlando with a commanding 4-0 victory at BBVA Compass Stadium. Apart from goals galore, the defense held one of the league’s best scorers in Cyle Larin in check. The defense as a whole looked good including goalkeeper Joe Willis.

Immediately after the game Justin from The Peel asked me who my man of the match was and I really didn’t have an answer. I still don’t. I know who the top players are, but I think solid cases can be made for any of the forwards and Alex. The one player that I was surprised didn’t break into the Top Performers category (and it was very close) was Mauro Manotas who scored twice and had an assist. I guess everyone was still feeling that missed penalty.

The Top Performers:

Romell Quioto, Man of the Match, (8.8) – In Romell Quioto’s return to the starting lineup he showed how valuable he is to the offense of this team, but also the defense. Quioto had 3 total tackles to support the defense, but he was most dangerous on the counter attack. As the goals began to come for Houston, Orlando had little choice than to push their fullbacks higher into the attack in order to get something going for them offensively. Quioto feasted on the long passes after the defense made a stop and he was able to set up Mauro Manotas’s 2nd goal and a goal of his own. He could have had a goal earlier, but Joe Bendik was able to knock Quioto’s chipped shot away from goal.

Alex Lima (8.7) – Although Alex was listed in a right midfield/right central midfield position, he actually has much more freedom with 2 natural central defensive midfielders next to him. Alex pushes into the offense often and springs counters well while playing in a defensive role. His hard work helped give him an assist to Mauro Manotas in the 51st minute and he had a secondary assist credit (pass to the player that assisted on the goal) in Manotas’s 2nd goal of the game.

Alberth Elis (8.5) – Alberth Elis opened up the scoring at BBVA with a fantastic strike and run. The step overs, the speed to create an angle, and then the shot all embody what Elis is about: he’s fast, he likes to dribble and take on defenders, and he can score. Although Bendik may have been able to save it, I don’t think he was expecting a shot from Elis or maybe he was just dazzled by the step overs. Another thing on Elis: his speed never ceases to amaze me. He nearly caught up to a pass played by an opponent to another player.

Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera (7.8) – Wilmer Cabrera rightly went back to the 4-3-3 as many of us had called for. It’s not that we don’t like the 4-4-2, we do, but that should be a tactic to help manage games and hold onto leads. This team was built to counter attack and score a ton of goals so I’m happy to see us return to our true identity. Furthermore, this team’s defense looked great in a system that 1) doesn’t possess the ball very often and 2) its forwards don’t get back very often to help defend. That didn’t seem to matter as Cabrera never let up on the gas pedal and the goals kept flowing.

The Rest of the Starters:

GK: Joe Willis (7.8)

DEF: DaMarcus Beasley (7.5)

DEF: Leonardo (7.3)

DEF: Adolfo Machado (7.5)

DEF: A. J. DeLaGarza (7.4)

MID: Juan David Cabezas (7.4)

MID: Eric Alexander (5.6)

FW: Mauro Manotas (8.4)

The Subs:

MID: Ricardo Clark (7.1)

MID: Oscar Boniek Garcia (6.7)

FW: Vicente Sanchez (6.3)