After each game we’ll be handing out player ratings on a 1-10 scale. The Houston Dynamo picked up their first win Saturday night, 2-1 over the Vancouver Whitecaps. There were some great performances at PNC Stadium, and the ratings will reflect that. All stats referenced are from fbref.
Steve Clark – 5
The Houston goalkeeper got beat by Vancouver’s only shot on target, a Lucas Cavallini volley early in the first half. Clark is such a good passer, completing 23 of 23 passes attempted less that 30 yards.
Adam Lundkvist – 5
Lundkvist let Cristian Dajome get by him into crossing position to set up Vancouver’s goal. He was second on the team with 5 progressive passes but did not get involved in the offense as much as previous weeks (likely because of the offensive options that got the start at midfield positions).
Tim Parker – 7
The captain had another very solid game anchoring the back line. Cavallini was able to split Parker and Steres on Vancouver’s goal but the Houston skipper played a good 90 minutes. Parker finished with a blocked shot, three tackles, and three clearances.
Daniel Steres – 5
If anoyone was at fault on the Cavallini goal it was probably Steres. The center back was slow to react and let the Canadian striker get behind him and then failed to get a head on the cross. Head coach Paulo Nagamura keeps starting Steres over Teenage Hadebe with the defense playing solid early, we’ll see what, if anything, will change that in the coming weeks.
Griffin Dorsey – 7
After missing last week due to injury, Dorsey came back into the starting lineup at right back. Dorsey saved the match in the second half with a leaping header to clear a Vancouver shot off the line and did well getting forward, completing 90% of his passes. With Zeca and Zarek Valentin right behind him, Dorsey will need to keep playing at a high level to keep his starting spot.
Matias Vera – 5
Vera continued to do what he does. The Argentine completes a high number of passes and bridges the back line to the attackers. His defensive numbers weren’t as flashy this week, mostly because the Dynamo had more possession than Vancouver did.
Adalberto Carrasquilla – 8
Everyone wanted Coco to start and Nagamura gave him his first of the season. Carrasquilla did not disappoint, putting in a man of the match level performance. The Panamanian had five shot-creating actions and two goal-creating actions, bringing a much-needed spark to the Houston offense. His pass over the top to set up Corey Baird’s assist on the first goal was a thing of beauty.
Darwin Quintero – 9
The Scientist of Goals also got his first start of 2022 and stole the show. Quintero scored a tap-in to tie the game and then unleashed a thunderbolt for the eventual match-winning goal. It’s not just goals that Quintero brings either, he led the team with thirteen progressive passes (Lundkvist was second with five). If Darwin can stay healthy and fit enough to play 70-80 minutes a week, the Dynamo are going to be dangerous on the attack.
Fafa Picault – 7
In last week’s ratings I called out the wingers, saying they needed to play better. Both Picault and Baird had very good games on Saturday night. Picault was successful on five of seven dribble attempts and he and Baird tied for the team lead with six progressive carries.
Corey Baird – 8
Baird played his best game in orange, in my opinion. His run in behind was perfectly timed to get on the end of Coco’s pass and set up Darwin with an assist. Baird also did his normal exceptional defensive work, leading the team with 24 pressures. Pat Onstad mentioned an attacking player could be announced in the next week or two, potentially putting Baird’s starting spot in jeaopardy. If he keeps playing this well, Baird will be a valuable asset to the Dynamo in spot starts and off the bench.
Sebastian Ferreira – 7
The Paragauyan striker got on the score sheet for the first time, picking up the assist on Quintero’s second goal. Ferreira attempted three shots and looked much more comfortable in the attack. Having Quintero and Carrasquilla behind him definitely helped Sebas and should give him more scoring opportunities, and confidence, going forward.
Thor Ulfarsson - 6
Nagamura definitely likes what he sees in Thor and trusts him, having used him off the bench in all three games this season. The rookie had a decent chane late on but also picked up a yellow card toward the end of the match.
Memo Rodriguez - 6
Memo rattled the crossbar on a direct free kick just outside the box. After being relegated to the bench for this game, Rodriguez came in off the bench and provided a spark in his 16 minutes. This could be a very valuable role for Memo to play this season.
Darwin Ceren - 5
Ceren came on to help solidify the midfield and he did a fine job. Replacing Ceren in the starting lineup did what most expected and got the offense going. Ceren has a role on this team but I’m not sure it will be as a starter much any more.
Teenage Hadebe – N/A
The Designated Player center back once again did not start and came on for a very late cameo.