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 biggest problem for the Houston Dynamo against the San Jose Earthquakes last Saturday was themselves. The team by no means played poorly, but the offense fell flat with the forwards not being able to test the young Andrew Tarbell in goal. Despite 15 shots, 4 on target, the efforts were generally off the mark or right to Tarbell. Apart from finishing, one of the Dynamo’s strengths which has now gone cold, the entire offense simply wasn’t on the same page. Passes were played behind, runs would be wrong, and nobody looked totally comfortable finding space. Some of that could be attributed to Tomas Martinez who demonstrated plenty of vision, but he still needs some time to develop chemistry with the forwards in front of him. However, Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto struggled against the outside backs of San Jose and they pinched inside more than they helped spread the field. Cubo Torres had some of the better looks on goal, but he also didn’t seem in sync with the other attackers. For a team that has been defined this year by attacking, we need more out of our forwards. Vicente Sanchez helped bring things to life as usual, but he’s hardly a 90 minute option. Mauro Manotas deployed on the wing is not nearly as successful as putting him in a center forward role. I think our forwards break their cold spell, but hopefully it’s sooner than later.
2) Is it time to panic? The Dynamo are winless in their last four games with just one point in that time coming from their late equalizing efforts against FC Dallas. The schedule is hardly a walk in the park with New York City FC, the Chicago Fire, and two games against Sporting Kansas City. Will the Dynamo make the playoffs is a question that needs to be taken seriously now. The West is a very tight race right now so nothing is written yet, but the Dynamo’s form needs to improve away and at home.
3) One area that the Dynamo did well in against the Earthquakes was on defense. A. J. DeLaGarza in particular was adept at zeroing in on 1v1 opportunities and forcing difficult crosses or blocking a shot. Leonardo was also very strong in the air clearing balls with tons of power. Tyler Deric also had a great 1v1 save in the 80th minute to keep the deficit at one. The goal allowed Adolfo Machado could have done better to not allow Danny Hoesen to turn, pick his shot, and let it fly. However, it’s okay for us to allow some goals because the way our team is supposed to play is that they score a lot more. Unfortunately the offense was not able to support them by getting one or two more on the other end.
4) There were a few positive moments that highlighted the offense’s usual style of play, but one in particular stood out. The Dynamo recovered the ball in their own half and the ball was given to Tomas Martinez. Martinez picked his head up and saw Cubo Torres making a run. A long through ball from our half was played into San Jose’s for Cubo to run onto it and create a chance. It’s the kind of ball and run that’s available only briefly and if you’re looking for it, but it’s there often and it’s the kind of pass and chance we need to take advantage of more. Whether it’s a through ball or it’s over the top, these passes spring our forwards on the counter which has been missing in our latest outings.
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