The Houston Dynamo have found themselves in a bit of a skid lately as they’ve failed to pick up a win since August 12th when they defeated the San Jose Earthquakes while their lone away win of the season came July 22nd against D.C. United. Their latest match was a 0-1 loss at Avaya Stadium to the Earthquakes in a game that seemed winnable. The Dynamo showed some promise moving up the field, but the forwards were not on the same page as they struggled to threaten the goalkeeper for most of the game. The Earthquakes had produced several of their own chances, but the defense was generally up to the task of stopping their chances. The exception was when Kofi Sarkodie found room on the wing and sent in a cross to Danny Hoesen who had time to steady the ball, turn towards goal, and fire.
It was a decent showing overall – except up top, but the team’s failure to pick up a point puts them below the playoff line. With the Western Conference race being a tight one, they need every point to remain competitive and this was a place where they probably should have picked up at least a one point.
From the rate the players’ article that accompanied this one the votes generally align with the way I felt. The defenders stepped up, there could have been more spark in the midfield, and the forwards squandered a few of their chances.
The Top Performers:
Tyler Deric, Man of the Match, (7.5) – Tyler Deric had an excellent showing as he was able to grab four saves including one that was a 1v1 with Marco Ureña which kept the Dynamo in the game. Deric kept his line mostly organized and he can’t be faulted for the goal. Sarkodie should have been marked and Hoesen should not have been able to turn and face goal.
A. J. DeLaGarza (6.8) – If there is one player that I might rate higher than Deric, it is DeLaGarza. He did a fantastic job frustrating Ureña up top with his exceptional 1v1 defending. He forced bad crosses, blocked a shot, and overall helped maintain composure in the back. He could have done a little better getting forward, but that’s not his primary responsibility.
Leonardo (6.5) – Like AJ, Leonardo was a rock at the back. When those crosses came into the box, Leonardo was there to head them away and he did so with power ensuring they wouldn’t be sent back in. He had a pair of tackles, three intercepted passes, and led the team in cleared balls from the back.
Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera (4.2) – I think overall Cabrera adjusted well with his lineup and tactics from the 0-1 defeat to the Colorado Rapids. He put in a very strong starting XI, although I would have kept Ricardo Clark in over Oscar Boniek Garcia given how poor Boniek was in the Vancouver game. He also gave Tomas Martinez a start which I think, at the very least, gave him minutes to develop chemistry with his teammates. That’s a silver lining from this game. I still felt some of the tactics were a little conservative since we struggled to let our forwards loose, but it isn’t on Cabrera that they couldn’t find a goal on 15 total shots.
The Rest of the Starters:
DEF: DaMarcus Beasley (6)
DEF: Adolfo Machado (6.2)
MID: Tomas Martinez (6)
MID: Juan David Cabezas (6.5)
MID: Oscar Boniek Garcia (5.5)
FW: Romell Quioto (4.5)
FW: Erick “Cubo” Torres (3)
FW: Alberth Elis (4.7)
FW: Vicente Sanchez (6.3)
FW: Mauro Manotas (5.5)