After each game we’ll be handing out player ratings on a 1 - 10 scale. Saturday, the Houston Dynamo put in one of their best performances in recent memory, beating Nashville SC 2-0, playing most of the game with 10 men. There were a number of standout performances this week, as you’ll see in the ratings. All stats referenced are from fbref.
Steve Clark – 7
Clark picked up his third clean sheet of the season, making 2 saves. Steve’s passing wasn’t as crisp this game and he wasn’t called on a lot, but he made the plays he needed to make and kept the back line under control amidst a number of Nashville attacks late on.
Adam Lundkvist – 4
I know Nagamura said Adam’s foul was never a red card and that the team would appeal but, I saw it differently. You can’t dive into a challenge knee-high with your studs up, contact or no contact, ball or no ball. Lundkvist has to know better than that, and he will.
Teenage Hadebe – 8
It seemed like every time I looked up Teenage was blocking a pass or a shot or breaking up an attack. Hadebe had a whopping 12 clearances to go along with 2 interceptions, 2 tackles, and 3 blocked shots. The DP center back was a wall on Saturday night.
Tim Parker – 7
Saturday night was a typical Parker game. He didn’t have a lot of defensive actions, but he led the back line well. Parker got in the face of it seemed like 4 or 5 Nashville players toward the end of the game, sticking up for his guys. Captain.
Zeca – 7
The Brazilian is finding his form in Major League Soccer and is locking down the right back spot. (Check out our interview with him after Saturday’s game.) Zeca completed 85% of his passes and had 2 progressive dribbles and 2 progressive carries. Defensively he added 5 clearances, 2 tackles, and 2 interceptions.
Darwin Ceren – 7
Ceren followed up his solid performance in the midweek Lamar Hunt US Open Cup match, getting the start for the absent Matias Vera. Darwin carried over the form he had against San Antonio and was good in moving the ball through the midfield as well as on the defensive end.
Adalberto Carrasquilla – 9
What a way to celebrate staying in Houston. Coco was simply brilliant, there’s no other way to put it. There’s just something about watching a remarkable performance out of a midfielder and Coco is someone who can deliver those. He scored the opening goal, completed 90% of his passes, had 5 progressive carries, 3 progressive dribbles, and was successful on all 3 dribble attempts. Oh, and he had 3 tackles and 3 interceptions.
Darwin Quintero – 8
Good DQ was on display Saturday night. Quintero scored from the spot and contributed 5 shot-creating actions and 1 goal-creating action. He still “tries things” a little too much but when he can pull them off a fair amount, you can live with that ambitious spirit.
Memo Rodriguez – 8
Memo had one of his best games in a Dynamo shirt. He was in the starting lineup as a wing but played more centrally in the flow of the game and was all over the place. Memo led the team with 20 pressures, 9 of them in the middle third of the field. His shot led to Coco scoring on the rebound and he had another volley saved in first half stoppage time. If the Dynamo can get this Memo every week, look out.
Fafa Picault – 6
Slow feet don’t eat. Fafa is going to do what Fafa does, and that’s take guys on the dribble and be a constant nuisance to opposing defenses. Picault had 5 progressive carries and 3 successful dribble attempts. His passing wasn’t great but when the midfield has the game they did, it doesn’t hurt to give up some of that passing for more 1 v 1 play.
Thor Ulfarsson – 5
Thor’s first MLS start was short lived after he picked up a knock and then ended up being sacrificed for Sam Junqua after Lundkvist’s red card. It was interesting to see his versatility and ability to play on the wing, and head coach Paulo Nagamura’s trust in the rookie.
Sam Junqua – 7
Junqua had to come in at left back in the first half after Lundkvist was sent off and ended up playing a very solid game. Sam had 5 clearances and helped neutralize some of Nashville’s wide play, especially late on when they were throwing numbers forward.
Ethan Bartlow – 7
Nagamura brought Bartlow on after Quintero’s penalty to protect the lead. The 5-man backline helped keep the shutout and Bartlow played a big part. He helped clear a ball off the line during a mad scramble in front of goal. With Teenage Hadebe suspended Wednesday, look for Bartlow to be called on in a starting role against Seattle.
Beto Avila – 6
Congratulations to Beto on making his MLS debut. Avila wasn’t involved much in his 12 minutes, but his story is just fantastic and hopefully is a sign of the pipeline developing from the youth ranks all the way to the first team.
Griffin Dorsey – 5
Tyler Pasher – 5
Dorsey and Pasher came on for the last 12 minutes, with Avila, to help see the game out and get some fresh legs on the pitch. They weren’t the offensive pieces they usually are, but they came on and helped see out a big team win.