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 usually on Tuesday mornings depending when the game takes place. 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) Ever the one to stir some controversy, Wilmer Cabrera introduced a Houston Dynamo starting lineup that took everyone by surprise. He started Vicente Sanchez in midfield next to Oscar Boniek Garcia and Juan David Cabezas, but the oddest decisions were up top. He elected to have Alex Lima, Mauro Manotas, and Tomas Martinez up top together. Not everything was a hit, but Vicente Sanchez as a deep lying playmaker from midfield (who popped up nearly all over the field) turned out to be the biggest success of the lineup shakeup. In fact even the substitutes were surprises by Wilmer Cabrera as Eric Alexander replaced the injured Boniek, Alberth Elis came on for Vicente Sanchez who had been the best player on the field, and Andrew Wenger came on for Alex.
It’s hard to judge how successful or unsuccessful the changes were. The game was essentially neck and neck and Vicente Sanchez’s individual efforts all over the field propelled the team back more than systemic changes. Manotas, the Dynamo’s goal scorer, looked sharp with his runs, but he had several opportunities to push Houston into the lead, but he was a step behind or ahead of the passes to him.
2) The lineup that Cabrera had out seemed to immediately fail with no defense or offense to speak of as the team stumbled out of the gate. Tyler Deric made a very poor play on David Villa, one that could have seen him sent off just two minutes into the game, but the play was thankfully not reviewed. Not long after, New Yok City FC would find the net after poor marking on the side by DaMarcus Beasley and Deric being well off his line not covering the near post. The poor play would continue for awhile with the Dynamo bunched together in places, passes were off, and the NYCFC chances continued to build until the Dynamo responded with an opportunistic goal that reversed the momentum.
3) On that play, Alex Lima was fouled just outside the 18 yard box and Vicente Sanchez played a quick free kick to Mauro Manotas who put the ball passed NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson. This would build the confidence of the team as they began playing longer passes, they stretched the field better, and even though they did give NYCFC some chances to score, Tyler Deric and the defense were able to step up and quickly transition the ball the other way. The defense, Adolfo Machado in particular, was very good at limiting service to David Villa and players in the box. There were several opportunities by NYCFC, especially late, but Tyler Deric made some huge saves to keep the game level.
4) Overall, this was not the best to follow up two scoreless games and the winless streak continues. As I mentioned above, it’s hard to judge the effectiveness of Cabrera’s changes, apart from Vicente Sanchez who should be the Man of the Match, but the overall play was better against a quality team while the Dynamo were on the road.