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Player Ratings: Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United

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The Houston Dynamo coughed up a late equalizer to D.C. United in their 2-2 draw on the road.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at D.C. United Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo were hoping to escape the poor road form from last season that became a defining characteristic of the team, but an equalizer in stoppage time by D. C. United stopped the Dynamo from grabbing three points in their first road trip of the season. While the Dynamo showed promise in their ability to finish and generate opportunistic chances, they fell back into old habits as they sat back and let the home team fight their way back into this one.

The votes largely represent my feelings on this game in that it was generally average performances to go around. Kevin Garcia looked sharp against Atlanta United FC, but he’s struggled against the Vancouver Whitecaps and now D. C. United. The right back is a spot that the Seattle Sounders routinely punished us in the playoffs last year so we’re really missing A. J. DeLaGarza.

The Top Performers:

Alberth Elis, Man of the Match, (7) – Once again Alberth Elis was the most dangerous attacking players for the Dynamo. He’s very awake to poor decisions made by defenders and he’s ready to pounce. Elis made the MLS Team of the Week as he notched a goal and an assist in the 2-2 draw. My only real criticism of his in this one is he had a chance to put the game away with a goal that would have made it 3-1, but he skied his shot. It was unfortunate, but overall it was an excellent performance from a player who continues to put the team on his back.

DaMarcus Beasley (7) – Beasley’s performance is actually pretty easy to overlook given the score and weight of the result. DCU found more success going through Kevin Garcia’s side than Beasley’s. DMB led the team in tackles with 5 and he did it without conceding a foul. He also intercepted the ball well and recovered it in dangerous areas of the field. Beasley did not get up the field often, which seemed part of Cabrera’s more conservative game plan, but he had a fantastic game defensively.

Eric Alexander (6.4) – You could make arguments for Mauro Manotas to be the last top performer since he scored and had some dangerous passes in the box or even for Andrew Wenger who had a very good game defensively, but Eric Alexander had a great, though not flashy, performance as well. He intercepted the ball four times and was a very accurate passer through the center of the park. He also wasn’t afraid to let it fly early on with a shot on the volley that was close to being on target. Alexander does a lot of the little things that go unnoticed. Mainly, he provides outlet passes to Wenger, Romell Quioto, Elis, or Manotas and gets things going. Sometimes he’s a little slow to make the pass and sometimes he dribbles too much, but his pass is usually on target and that sets the offense in motion.

Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera (5.3) – My biggest criticism of the Dynamo last year was how they sat back on leads and let teams back in games and we saw that against D.C. United. The Dynamo got some opportunistic goals and let their opponents try chance after chance until they broke through. This defense, with AJ out, isn’t good enough to withstand that every week – especially on the road. They will make mistakes and some of those will lead to goals. A big problem why we couldn’t make DC chase us was we gave the ball away too frequently with fewer passing options getting up the field. That was a recipe for disaster and just a road point was a bit of a relief after the mounting chances for DC. That being said, I think we will learn from this and previous instances of success such as our win at the Portland Timbers in the playoffs.

The Rest of the Starters:

GK: Chris Seitz (6.1)

DEF: Leonardo (4.8)

DEF: Adolfo Machado (4.1)

DEF: Kevin Garcia (3.9)

MID: Tomás Martínez (5.1)

MID: Darwin Cerén (6.3)

FW: Andrew Wenger (6)

FW: Mauro Manotas (5.5)

The Subs:

FW: Romell Quioto (5.6)

MID: Oscar Boniek García (5.8)

FW: Arturo Álvarez (5.3)