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) Houston Dynamo Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera has never hesitated to make some changes to his starting lineup even if some of the decisions seem like head scratchers. Against the league bottom Colorado Rapids we saw some questionable choices, but really the focus was on why he decided to play so many of the international players who were short on rest. DaMarcus Beasley, Alberth Elis, and Romell Quioto all played big minutes and had played earlier this week. They all seemed fine and nobody was injured, but it was a risk they didn’t need to take.
Philippe Senderos also started over Leonardo, which was fine overall. I just wonder why Leonardo wasn’t the one starting considering we were playing a low opponent on the table and the other center back, Adolfo Machado, could have been suspended a game due to yellow card accumulation if he saw yellow (thankfully he didn’t). There was a player who was suspended who could have been better used as a substitute and that was Alex Lima. Alex did not have a particularly good outing and was shown a yellow card before he came off for Tomas Martinez. Getting Martinez the start seemed to make sense to me against the Rapids, but now it’s likely he’ll get the go against the San Jose Earthquakes with Alex suspended.
2) Overall the Dynamo were just too conservative and patient with the ball. They tried to pick and choose how they attacked Colorado, but most of the time they took too long to make the pass and had to retreat back towards our defenders. This isn’t uncommon for us because we aren’t really built to be a possession oriented team. The Dynamo had just under 65% of the total possession and yet they rarely looked threatening. The substitutes helped and Tomas Martinez did provide some creativity, but the game plan by Cabrera overall was too cautious rather than the breakneck counter attacking based soccer.
It wasn’t all bad and as the clock ticked away the number of quality chances began to build, but unfortunately that goal never materialized. Or rather it did, just on the other end. As I’ve mentioned before, the Dynamo are built to allow some goals because of the formation and tactics they usually allow. But for the result to be a positive one they need to be getting goals on their opponents and Tim Howard rarely was tested.
3) The Dynamo are no longer undefeated at home. The Dynamo were one of three teams to keep losses away from their home stadium along with Toronto FC and Sporting Kansas City. The result was just disappointing. The effort was better late, but this game felt too much like an away game and now the Dynamo have a two game road trip to look forward to.
4) Even though there was a game last Saturday evening, this night was about supporting those affected by Hurricane Harvey and celebrating the strength of the spirit of the city along with those that worked hard to help during the storm. Andrew Wenger and Davy Arnaud both gave speeches before kickoff that reminded us what it meant to be Houston Strong and several members of the media that worked tirelessly to keep us informed during the storm were honored at halftime. $5 of every ticket sold is going to relief so this evening while a failure on the field, was a success off it and it was a good move by the organization to show how they connect with the community.
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