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) Wilmer Cabrera gets it right this time with his starting XI. Last week Cabrera inexplicably left Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto on the bench alongside Cubo Torres. While Mauro Manotas in the center forward position could justify Cubo on the bench, not having Elis or Quioto out there hurts this team’s ability to produce. Yes, Memo Rodriguez and Andrew Wenger played fine against D. C. United, but Elis and Quioto were not available.
Against the San Jose Earthquakes Cabrera went back to the group up front that worked well early in the season with Quioto – Cubo – and Elis. With Alex suspended he opted for the veteran Oscar Boniek Garcia to replace him which worked well. We also saw smart substitutions with Manotas coming on for Cubo and Vicente Sanchez on for Quioto who looked gassed by the end. Tomas Martinez also made his debut and while I will knock Cabrera for taking Ricardo Clark off instead of Boniek who had a yellow, I’m nit picking at this point. Cabrera definitely managed this game better from start to finish which helped put the club in the top position of the Western Conference table.
2) This was not Cubo Torres’s night as his first touch looked very off which often led to quick turnovers. This season Cubo has improved his hold up play and passing, but against the ‘Quakes it just didn’t look very sharp as he went to ground too easily and slowed some counters down. He did have some good moments including a very nice touch to Boniek that sparked a counter attack and he did connect well from time to time in the attacking third, but overall it didn’t seem like enough. Manotas coming on highlighted some of the areas where Cubo struggled because Manotas is quicker with his turns and passing which fits our system. Then there was Cubo’s penalty that was saved. It looked like Cubo was trying to “ice the ‘keeper” by taking a long time and long run up, but the shot was low, slow, and easily pushed away from the goal by Andrew Tarbell.
3) Welcome to Houston Tomas Martinez. The club’s newest designated player who has trained with the club for a few weeks finally made his Dynamo debut and he fit in very well. There were a few chemistry issues, specifically between Martinez and Elis who just wants to run, but those will be ironed out in time. Martinez just looked very polished, comfortable on the ball, and set up some very good opportunities in his time off the bench.
4) Overall, this was a game we should have won and we got all three points from it. San Jose came into this game playing a midweek match that went to penalties and they’re not especially good on the road. The Dynamo are good at home and, for the most part, looked comfortable enough to deserve the three points. There were a few periods where the club was chasing the ball as San Jose dictated possession, but with a few adjustments by Cabrera we were back attacking the goal. The team is still unbeaten at home, unbeaten in their last six games overall, top of the Western Conference, and Tomas Martinez looks like the genuine article. It’s a good time to be a Houston Dynamo fan.
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