Houston away gallery 10
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Player ratings after draw with Houston

An early lead and a late goal from Mehdi Ballouchy gave New York a hard earned point on the road in a 2-2 tie with Houston. Very few players stood out in the match for New York.

The player ratings uses ‘5’ as an average performance with ‘1’ being an absolutely poor, abysmal match and ‘10’ a dominant, world-class performance:

GK – Greg Sutton: Making his first start in league play since late March, hard to fault Sutton on the penalty kick goal or the set piece tally by Koke.  Made some solid saves, controlled the area and came off his line very well. Confidence inspiring stuff from “Suts.” Rating: 7

D – Jan Gunnar Solli: Defensively was out of position on the ball that led to the penalty kick call for Houston’s first goal. Had a solid defensive second half but his crosses when he moved forward lacked placement. Rating: 5

D- Rafa Marquez: Poor challenge to get the penalty kick call, Marquez also seemed spotty in distribution. His defense outside the one blunder was solid enough. Rating: 5.5

D – Tim Ream: His challenges were strong and his positioning solid; as usual, Ream’s distribution was with a veteran’s savvy. A good night for the defender against an imposing Dynamo forward tandem. Rating: 6.5

D – Roy Miller: Perhaps a bit tentative in moving forward, Miller’s lone fault of the night was losing track of the goal scorer on the corner kick that gave Houston a 2-1 lead. Not a bad night, just not a good one from Miller. Rating: 5

M – Dane Richards: Cracker of a goal 39 seconds into the match, Richards was a constant pest to the Houston midfield all night long. Drew fouls, used speed to track back and was always in motion. Rating: 7.5

M – Teemu Tainio: Not a flashy night but Tainio’s effort was summed up by his gritty defense. Covered space very well at the bottom of the midfield and his passing to start the counterattack was usually smart and decisive. Rating: 6.5

M – Dwayne De Rosario: Some good movements into the attack by De Rosario, who still plays more like a withdrawn forward than a true No. 10 for the Red Bulls. Impressive defensive work contributed to Houston turning the ball over in their final third. Set pieces were a mixed bag. Rating: 6

M – Joel Lindpere: Well taken corner kick assisted on the equalizing goal for New York. No true moment of brilliance from the midfielder, who needs to be more certain with his crosses and passing in the final third. Rating: 6.5

F – Juan Agudelo: Rarely dangerous in his first start in several weeks, perhaps a result of rust. Agudelo won some headers and had some half-chances, but that was it. Movement off the ball rarely found space. Looked lethargic. Rating: 5

F – Luke Rodgers: All over the field with his pace, Rodgers was dangerous for New York even if his workrate wasn’t often rewarded with the ball. Had a quality chance in each half that he failed to bury. Rating: 6

M – Mehdi Ballouchy:
Oft maligned by the fans, Ballouchy rose to the occasion with a late-game header for the equalizing goal. Well-taken, clutch moment and perhaps a confidence building moment for a midfielder who has yet to stamp himself on a game this season for New York, but will be called upon to play more minutes with Gold Cup absences. Rating: 6.5

F – Corey Hertzog: Late substitution does not warrant a rating.

Kristian R. Dyer looks forward to you disagreeing with his player ratings. He can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer