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Player Ratings Houston Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake

Player Ratings from the Dynamo 5-1 win over Real Salt Lake

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo proved once again that they are one of the best teams in MLS when they play at BBVA Compass Stadium as they bested 10th place in the Western Conference Real Salt Lake 5-1. In the Rate the Players article that preceded this I mentioned that this wasn’t quite as dominating as our 4-0 win over Orlando City SC and the defense had to make several big stops to keep the game out of reach for a comeback. The offense looked rejuvenated as forwards and midfielders pushed up to pressure and win the ball and risks were taken with the kinds of passing which worked wonderfully. This type of passing and attacking mentality is a stark contrast to the tactics and form we see on the road.

The player performance scores this week were very fair and all pretty close to what I had as well.

The Top Performers:

Alex Lima, Man of the Match, (8.5) – Every week I do a question exchange piece with a member of another MLS SB Nation blog and when Matt Montgomery of RSL Soapbox asked me about Cubo and who I thought the real catalyst for this team was my answer was Alex. He connects the ball to the forwards and makes this offense run. He hasn’t been in peak form the last few games, but whether that’s been due to illness or tactics for road games, he looked alive against RSL. His goal was odd, but it was a wonderful goal. I say odd simply because that looked like a drawn up play for a corner kick, but it was also something I do in FIFA which rarely translates well to professional soccer. Either way, it worked and how it found its way through traffic to the corner of the goal was fantastic. His passing and vision is improved and is on display when he makes a pass to Alberth Elis who is able to find Cubo Torres for a tap in. Harrison Hamm has written that Alex’s role is undefined and I agree. He’s given license to push up as much or as little as he wants and when he’s given the chance to find a forward or go at goal himself he takes it.

Mauro Manotas (8.4) – Manotas once again filled in for Romell Quioto on the left wing of the forward group and had himself a pretty good game. I’m not sure it was 8.4 good, but I can’t argue too much with a goal and assist credit to Manotas’s name in this one. The assist was pretty tame with a pass back to Alex on the short corner who dribbled around the top of the box to find the net. Tame, but it worked. His goal on the other hand was a spectacular strike from a difficult angle that perfectly hit the far corner of the net. I should also say it was Manotas’s cross to Elis that opened up the scoring with an own goal by RSL. The area he needed to improve in this game was his passing and ball control. At times he simply gave up the ball too easily in a poor area of the field that nearly led to a chance for the visitors. But, he still had a fantastic game and deserves to be in the Top Performers spots.

Tyler Deric (8.4) – Tyler Deric started his second consecutive game in goal since losing out on the starting gig after an uneven performance at New England and it is his second appearance in a Top Performers spot. While the offense certainly garnered most of the glory, the defense was putting out fires for extended stretches of the game and Deric had more fires to put out than anyone else. Deric came away with 8 total saves as he witnessed RSL take 16 total shots with 9 of them on target. By comparison the Dynamo had 18 total shots with 7 on target. He’s definitely given Wilmer Cabrera something to think about in his goalkeeper debacle after 2 standout performances. How Deric fares on the road in Seattle could solidify his position as the #1 keeper.

Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera (7.8) – I have to wonder why Cabrera is so afraid to see his team play like this away from home because it’s mind boggling. I went over some of the differences in the Rate the Players article, but what’s missing is the why so we can all understand the thought process behind willingly choosing something that hasn’t worked over something that has. Either way, we saw a very good Dynamo team that went out with energy. The way they attacked the ball and created an early own goal was vintage BBVA Dynamo. They’re relentless in how they go after the ball and how quickly they make something happen. The defense and goalkeeping had to step up at times, but it largely held up and that’s okay. The point of an all-out offense is that you do give up some defense which puts pressure on them to be organized. But, by going all out and converting these chances it puts pressure on opponents. They now have to commit more numbers forward to try and get a goal back which in turn opens them up even more. That’s why when Vicente Sanchez came on he nearly had a few goals and assists. This is the team we want to see on the road.

The Rest of the Starters:

DEF: Dylan Remick (6.9)

DEF: Leonardo (7.7)

DEF: Adolfo Machado (7.5)

DEF: A. J. DeLaGarza (6.9)

MID: Juan David Cabezas (7.2)

MID: Ricardo Clark (6.9)

FW: Erick “Cubo” Torres (7.9)

FW: Alberth Elis (8.2)

The Subs:

MID: Oscar Boniek Garcia (7.1)

MID: Memo Rodriguez (6)

FW: Vicente Sanchez (6.3)