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 again made some questionable lineup decisions as he rested Leonardo in favor of putting Jalil Anibaba, he rested DaMarcus Beasley for Dylan Remick, he played Oscar Boniek Garcia over Eric Alexander or Tomas Martinez, and Vicente Sanchez over Romell Quioto. Let’s break those down given that this was the game to not start resting players and while I understand that there have been many games in a short amount of time, this was the one to circle to have the strongest starting lineup. I was critical of his choices against Vancouver and I’m critical of his choices against FC Dallas, but I’ll be fair where he’s due.
Leonardo probably should have played, either over Anibaba or Machado. I say that because Machado (along with Alex) were in danger of being suspended this Saturday due to yellow card accumulation. Machado did not see yellow, but it was a risk. Anibaba definitely showed some rust in his first start in some time. Remick for Beasley is fine as it’s an excellent 1-2 combo at LB so I won’t criticize that move. Boniek getting the start was not a good choice given his poor form against the Whitecaps. The way this team functions is that it needs at least two defensive minded midfielders to give the third midfielder room to connect with the forwards. We lineup as a 4-3-3, but it’s really a 4-2-1-3. Boniek’s defensive abilities are limited and that puts too much pressure on Ricardo Clark, the DM. The same thing happened to Juan David Cabezas last week. Slotting in Eric Alexander next to Clark would have been what I would have done. Sanchez over Quioto was curious, but Sanchez did open the scoring and was subbed early so I don’t have too many complaints with this move.
In general, it just shows Cabrera making moves always thinking of the next game rather than the one he’s going into. He took risks and while we escaped with a draw, that was largely due to the work of his substitutes changing the flow of the game. So I’ll give him credit for managing the game very well, but I think we could have done better than a point had Cabrera put in a stronger XI.
2) Tomas Martinez, very soon, will start challenging for starting minutes. He keeps impressing in his minutes off the bench with his passing, dribbling, and ability to open up the game. I think he should take Alex’s role because I’m not sure Alex will excel in a defensive oriented role, but many want to see Clark replaced for Martinez. I just think that puts too many players higher up the field, but it could work.
3) Where have you been hiding Cubo Torres? This Cubo showed up late in the game and I think a lot of his success was due to his teammates who kept finding him. Cubo put himself in excellent positions to score two goals no doubt, but we saw him truly come to life when he was given support. This is how Cabrera intended to build this team and Cubo will reward that when given service and players up the field to take some pressure off of him.
4) While a win over FC Dallas would have sealed us keeping El Capitán, securing the road draw may mean that we hold onto it after all. Barring a meeting in the MLS Cup Playoffs with FCD as the winner (that would not rock), the Dynamo will likely hold onto the trophy.
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