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Player Ratings: Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United

The Dynamo earned high marks in their first away win of the season in their 3-1 victory over D.C. United

MLS: Houston Dynamo at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo achieved the seemingly impossible this season – at least for them. They finally notched their first win on the road as they cruised to a 3-1 victory over D. C. United. The Dynamo had gotten a somewhat disappointing 0-0 draw in their midweek matchup against Minnesota United FC, but finished their road trip strong earning 4 points of a possible 6. In the game in the nation’s capital, the Dynamo came out aggressively and were able to put their chances away despite not having regular forwards Cubo Torres, Alberth Elis, and Romell Quioto who were away with their respective national teams. Despite regressing a bit to their typical road form nature in the second half, the defense largely held up and only absorbed one goal against them after the Dynamo’s offense was able to score three. Hopefully the curse is broken and we can see more games like this from the team away from BBVA Compass Stadium.

Personnel wise I think the ratings were dead on. Ricardo Clark would be the only player I might push into the top 3 because of how well he defended and cleared a ball off the line, but I’m still quite comfortable with the ratings overall.

The Top Performers:

Alex Lima, Man of the Match, (9.1) – There isn’t much to say about Alex in his performance in this one other than he played a crucial role in how our offense functioned. He was a part of every goal the Dynamo scored and his influence on the pitch helped earn the Dynamo their first road win of the season. Harrison Hamm wrote an excellent piece about his performance in this game and it highlights how Alex thrives in this system when implemented correctly. Essentially let Alex roam free and he can produce and set up forwards. What I enjoyed most from how he played was how unselfish he was with the ball. Alex has definitely been the MVP this season so it will be interesting to see how Tomas Martinez gets implemented with Alex playing so well.

Andrew Wenger (8.7) – Finally we get to see a bit more of what the former number 1 pick from the MLS SuperDraft can do. Wenger took players on, was strong in the air (notably from the opening goal of the game where he showed strength and speed to get past the defender to head the ball in), and sent in quality crosses which helped notch him an assist to Memo Rodriguez. Overall, this is what we want to see from Wenger as an attacker. Too often he’s played too deep and defended – which we appreciate, but where he shines is up top and this outing supports that.

Memo Rodriguez (8.7) – Memo has shown incredibly well with the minutes he’s been given and he’s flourishing in a wing role over his natural central midfield position which shows he has versatility as a young player. He’s scoring excellent goals, setting up players with great and smart passing, and is getting back to defend. While the Dynamo have been thin at the forward position with the Gold Cup going on, Memo’s performances have shown that in the future he can not only be a reliable player off the bench, but a starter as well.

Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera (8.2) – Cabrera got his players to come out the way they do at home which is to attack relentlessly. It was simply too much for D. C. United as the Dynamo put away their chances. While Cabrera did this in the Minnesota United FC game, this time his players found the net and found it often. The only criticism I have is I think onus of getting the first away win weighed on his tactics in the second half and we sat back and invited more pressure than we would have liked. The team was less dynamic, but the defense overall held up despite a few shaky moments.

The Rest of the Starters:

GK: Tyler Deric (8.7)

DEF: Dylan Remick (8.4)

DEF: Leonardo (7.8)

DEF: Adolfo Machado (8)

DEF: A. J. DeLaGarza (8.2)

MID: Juan David Cabezas (7.4)

MID: Ricardo Clark (8.6)

FW: Mauro Manotas (8.5)

The Subs:

MID: Charlie Ward (7.5)

DEF: Jalil Anibaba (7.5)

MID: Joseph Holland (7.6)