It seems like the Houston Dynamo take two steps forward and one step back as the 2017 MLS season continues on. After an encouraging road draw at FC Dallas and a 5-1 thumping of Real Salt Lake, the Dynamo should have been able to get some result against a Seattle Sounders side missing some of its stars. While the team has definitely made some progress in their road trips, there is still room to improve. The Dynamo played at Seattle as if they had one foot in Houston and one foot on the road; the tactics felt like a conservative approach to playing all out offense which just didn’t seem to work. The passing was particularly poor in the midfield which hurt their ability to create scoring chances and it gifted Seattle opportunities.
I think Juan David Cabezas should have been a top performer given his 4 tackles, 4 intercepted passes, and blocked shot, but that’s my opinion. Nobody scored too high in the player performance scores, with the exception of our highest rated player, and nobody scored too low which is generally fair considering the game. We created good chances but couldn’t capitalize and the defense generally stood up to Seattle’s offense.
The Top Performers:
Dylan Remick, Man of the Match, (7.8) –It seems fitting that the former Seattle Sounder be the best player in a game against Seattle. While his score somehow ballooned well above others, it’s not too far off from where I would have put him (a 7). I don’t believe Remick to have been the best player, but he certainly was one of the top players for the Dynamo at CenturyLink Field. Remick had 3 tackles and had some big time clearances in the box. He also passed the ball well from left back and got up the field well combining with Mauro Manotas towards the end of the game which nearly helped the Dynamo find an equalizer.
Adolfo Machado (6.1) – Machado did his part to keep things close between the Dynamo and the Sounders. He had a pair of tackles, recovered the ball well when he pushed higher up the field, and had the 2nd most aerial duels won with 5 (behind Remick’s 6). Machado distributed the ball well out of the back, an area of the game that he is improving, and blocked a shot from around the penalty spot in the 16th minute.
Tyler Deric (6.1) – Deric only made a single save in this game with Seattle only able to get 2 shots on frame, but he did keep his defensive line organized and came up with this save which somehow didn’t make it to MLS’s Save of the Week, an honor that Deric won last week.
It’s very tough to blame the goal on Deric. For starters, Dylan Remick is out of position on Cristian Roldan who sent in the pass to Will Bruin, Leonardo is out of position forcing Adolfo Machado over and for Ricardo Clark to mark Bruin which he’s late to get to. Overall, it was a decent showing by Deric who has been very good lately. He’s still producing amazing saves and I can’t fault the goal on him.
Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera (4.5) – So I think that this score is pretty fair overall (I had him at 4) and it’s not necessarily about this game, but how he’s managed road games and this stretch of 3 games in 8 days. I’m glad that in this game, we didn’t see the team that got beaten in New England or Philly or Atlanta. This wasn’t a poor performance, but every fan seems to know the answer except for Wilmer Cabrera: he needs to get this team to play on the road the same way they play at home. I know there’s obviously more to it than just that, but the huge differences tell us that he’s doing something to make them play differently so maybe there isn’t much more to it. He could have managed the minutes better for some players which could have potentially changed the result in this game. Maybe Clark gets to the ball on Seattle’s goal if he didn’t play the full 90 at Dallas and against RSL. It’s impossible to tell in that scenario and Clark is among the fitter players on the team despite his age, but if he managed the RSL game and FCD game maybe we could have started Alberth Elis in this one and he clearly had an impact on the game.
At any rate, I’m glad that moving in the right direction, but as I said above, it seems two steps forward and one back. We’re making progress on the road, it’s just taking longer than I’d like to get to the level I know we’re capable of playing at.
The Rest of the Starters:
DEF: Leonardo (5.9)
DEF: A. J. DeLaGarza (5.7)
MID: Alex Lima (5.5)
MID: Juan David Cabezas (5.6)
MID: Ricardo Clark (5.1)
FW: Mauro Manotas (5.1)
FW: Erick “Cubo” Torres (3.4)
FW: Andrew Wenger (4.9)
FW: Alberth Elis (5.9)
MID: Oscar Boniek Garcia (5.3)
FW: Vicente Sanchez (5.6)