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 WhoScored.com 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 came out relatively flat in this game and got sucked into chasing the ball as the Portland Timbers’ possession oriented style made it very tough for the Dynamo to make an impression. Defensively, the Dynamo had few answers for how well the Timbers penetrated our back four evidenced by the opening goal, but the club was able to make the necessary clearances most of the time. Offensively, Houston struggled breaking down Portland who crowded the midfield making it difficult for Houston to get off their counter attacks. With Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto beginning the game on the bench, Mauro Manotas and Andrew Wenger simply didn’t play with enough width or pace to spread the field to open up more chances. As Wilmer Cabrera made the necessary substitutes the flow of the game shifted a bit, but the Dynamo always seemed to be chasing Portland until Juan David Cabezas’s equalizing header.
2) There’s just something about Portland’s 2nd goal that doesn’t sit right with me and that has to do with Fanendo Adi taking down Leonardo. Leonardo probably wasn’t going to be able to get to the ball to Sebastian Blanco, but he pushed his forearm into Leonardo removing him from having any chance of making a play on the ball. It’s a foul in my view and the goal should not have stood.
Blanco puts Portland up 2-1 pic.twitter.com/wse6HriaHI— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) July 30, 2017
The officiating in this game was far from consistent, but central referee Jose Carlos Rivero made a very good call later in the game that nearly put the Timbers up 3-1 on the home team. It’s just a shame that the quality of officiating on that play, which saw Rivero discuss the incident with his linesman, was not on display for the Timbers’ 2nd goal.
.gif of Portland's correctly negated goal. You see Fanendo Adi is offside when ball is played forward. Then he interferes with Leonardo. pic.twitter.com/zL5J5b0zfx— Corey Roepken (@RipSports) July 30, 2017
3) Memo Rodriguez is truly flourishing with the minutes he’s been given lately and his set piece play was absolutely on point against the Portland Timbers. While I don’t think Memo should have come on for Ricardo Clark who was having a good game by most accounts (Alex or Cubo would have been better options in my view), Memo took the new role of right/right central midfield on and did well in it. Each and every one of his set piece deliveries was deadly accurate and it helped get the Dynamo back in the game with Memo assisting to Juan David Cabezas and it nearly helped them get the game winner with Romell Quioto just missing the mark.
4) Overall, this felt like a pretty fair result. The Timbers controlled much of the game well, but I think the Dynamo were able to take control for long stretches in the 2nd half. They currently sit in 3rd place just a single point behind FC Dallas and remain unbeaten at BBVA Compass Stadium.
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