The unbeaten run is over at six games. The Houston Dynamo were defeated 1-2 by the Vancouver Whitecaps in their latest fixture as a combination of factors led to the club’s loss in British Columbia.
Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera, a week after making better lineup decisions, opted to rest several players due to the volume of games over the course of the next week. That meant keeping Ricardo Clark, Cubo Torres, and Vicente Sanchez at home which definitely had some impact on how this game played out. Ricardo Clark in particular was missed as his partnership with Juan David Cabezas has gifted players like Alex and our forward group more time up top because they don’t have to play as much on the defensive side of the ball. Oscar Boniek Garcia filled in and his defensive capabilities were not up to Clark’s caliber as two huge mistakes by Boniek directly led to goals for the Whitecaps.
Another issue was players on yellow cards. It’s obvious that Cabrera was eyeing our midweek match against FC Dallas when he rested players, but by keeping Juan David Cabezas, A. J. DeLaGarza, and Alex on the field in this one he risked them picking up a yellow card and missing out on the FC Dallas game entirely. Alex was the only one of these three to not see yellow meaning JDC and AJ will be out against FCD this Wednesday. Now, some of that is hindsight, but there were several chances to substitute Cabezas who had plenty of warnings by the center referee. It wasn’t all bad though as Romell Quioto’s goal rejuvenated our side and we saw a few more opportunities to score afterwards. It was also good to see him score as he’s struggled finishing since his stint with the Honduran National Team (who also struggled to score) during the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
I think the voting of performances more or less captured how the game went. Romell Quioto did well, Boniek Garcia didn’t, Wilmer Cabrera could have done better, and the rest of the players were okay.
The Top Performers:
Romell Quioto, Man of the Match, (7.3) – As I mentioned above, it was fantastic to see Quioto get a goal in this one. His goal itself was a cheeky chip over the keeper and it should give him confidence in upcoming games. He also had a very good free kick that was nearly deflected into the goal and led the Dynamo in shots taken.
Quioto pulls one back for Houston. 2-1 now! pic.twitter.com/pKIW8HfpK0— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) August 20, 2017
DaMarcus Beasley (6.9) – Beasley isn’t a top performer to me and I think Machado is arguably more deserving due to how effective he was at clearing the ball, but Beasley by no means had a bad game. He’s very good at putting himself in the way to block shots and crosses and at drawing fouls. Beasley also has good chemistry with Quioto pushing up the field which helps create chances on the other end of the field.
Mauro Manotas (6.6) – Manotas quietly had a good game for the Dynamo as he didn’t get many shots or showed much flash, but he was effective. His assist to Quioto was also a deligtful chip helped get the Dynamo back in the game. Manotas is a much better center forward than Cubo in my view, but Manotas didn’t show much of his hold up play against the physical Whitecaps.
Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera (4.9) – I’ve already talked about Cabrera’s decision to rest players above and how it was a calculated risk. I don’t think it was successful and he could have rested someone like Cabezas, but it’s difficult to predict the future. I do think he could have managed the game better by taking off Cabezas before the 80th minute (he was carded in the 83rd) to keep him available for Wednesday’s game. There were signs he would see yellow as he continued to foul players like Yordy Reyna and he had an option off the bench in Eric Alexander. He also should have taken Boniek Garcia off earlier for Tomas Martinez due to Boniek’s poor outing. I think a 4.9 is a little too generous, but I probably wouldn’t have given below a 4.
The Rest of the Starters:
GK: Tyler Deric (5.8)
DEF: Leonardo (5.1)
DEF: Adolfo Machado (5.2)
DEF: A. J. DeLaGarza (5.6)
MID: Alex Lima (6.2)
MID: Juan David Cabezas (6.1)
MID: Oscar Boniek Garcia (3.2)
FW: Andrew Wenger (5)
MID: Tomas Martinez (5.7)
FW: Memo Rodriguez (5.9)
FW: Jose Escalante (4.4)