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Houston Dynamo 3, D. C. United 1: Rate the Players and Quick Thoughts

Tell us how you thought the Dynamo players did in their first win on the road of the season

MLS: Houston Dynamo at D.C. United Geoff Burke-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 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 began this match the exact way they do at home. They attacked, attacked, and attacked before frustrating the D. C. United goalkeeper Travis Worra some more despite a rain soaked field slowing the ball down. They were playing long balls for players to run onto, scoring from corner kicks (and it wasn’t a short corner), and getting players up the field. This was exciting and we all thought the Dynamo would have 5 goals by the end of the game after scoring 3 in the first half. However, the second half was tame by comparison as the Wilmer Cabrera’s Dynamo were more reluctant to push up the field in many instances. Likely the team wanted its win on the road and was trying hard not to give up any more goals. That seemed to be the case when Mauro Manotas came off to bring on a 5th defender in Jalil Anibaba. The problem with this strategy is that it lets D. C. United control the lion’s share of possession and create lots of chances. The back five just cleared the ball and let DC have it right back to try over again. Thankfully, the Dynamo were able to hold onto their lead, but trying to manage games in this way does not play to this team’s strengths.

2) All of the goals that the Dynamo scored were brilliant. Andrew Wenger opened the scoring following a corner kick and the way that he beat out Ian Harke to the ball and headed the ball in was impressive. The second goal showed the Dynamo taking control of the ball in the midfield which led to a run towards goal by Alex who gave Mauro Manotas a tap in. Manotas sprinted past two defenders to be open for the shot though and both runs were great and highlighted the energy the team was playing with in the first half. The last goal had Alex back heel a pass Andrew Wenger who lobbed in a cross towards Memo Rodriguez. Memo rose up and snapped the ball into the lower corner of the goal. Wenger’s cross had little pace so Memo had to really put a lot of power on the header which was perfectly placed and out of reach by Worra.

3) There were more than a few nervous moments at the back for the Dynamo in this game. Apart from the late onslaught of chances by DC after we brought on Anibaba, there were some chances that DC did not, for one reason or another, take advantage of. Often the ball would bounce around and eventually be cleared or go out for a goal kick, but players like Ricardo Clark helped step up and make sure that ball would not go in the net. Clark had a goal line clearance and a crucial header to keep DC off the score sheet in these instances. DC would eventually score on a cross to Bobby Boswell, but as I tweeted:

4) It feels really good to finally have 3 points from a road game. The team has generally shown steady improvement, but they just haven’t gotten the points until now. 4 points from a 2 game road trip is pretty good. That draw to Minnesota United doesn’t sting quite as much after this one.

Rate the Players: