New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo | MLS Match Preview

NEW YORK RED BULLS vs HOUSTON DYNAMO
RED BULL ARENA, Harrison, N.J.
June 30, 2013 (WEEK 18, MLS Game #160) 2 p.m. ET (ESPN2/Deportes)
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A key match in the Eastern Conference is ahead on Sunday afternoon when the New York Red Bulls play host to the Houston Dynamo at Red Bull Arena before an ESPN2 audience. The teams both still currently sit in playoff positions, separated by two points in the conference standings. The Red Bulls are coming off back-to-back losses, last a 3-0
defeat at Philadelphia Union. The Dynamo are riding a six-game winless streak of their own, following a scoreless draw at home with Toronto FC a week ago.

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REFEREE: Hilario Grajeda. AR1 (bench): Bill Dittmar; AR2 (opposite): Brian Poeschel; 4th: Kevin Terry Jr.
MLS Career: 87 games; FC/gm: 24.3; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 15; pens: 13

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: NY: Lloyd Sam (through June 30)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: HOU: Andrew Driver, Kofi Sarkodie
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NY: Tim Cahill … HOU: Corey Ashe
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: NY: Roy Miller (Costa Rica)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (15 meetings): Red Bulls 5 wins, 17 goals … Dynamo 3 wins, 16 goals … Ties 7
AT NEW YORK (7 meetings): Red Bulls 5 wins, 12 goals … Dynamo 0 wins, 4 goals … Ties 3
RETURN MATCHES: 9/8: Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls, 4 p.m. CT (UniMas); 10/20: Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls, 4 p.m. CT (UniMas)

LAST YEAR (MLS)
5/9: NY 1, HOU 0 (Cooper 7)
8/3: HOU 2, NY 0 (Taylor 2; Carr 28)
8/10: NY 2, HOU 0 (Holgersson 61; Solli 92+)

  • The visiting team has never won in league play in the all-time series between the teams. The Red Bulls are 5-0-3 all-time at home vs. Houston; the Dynamo are 4-0-3 all-time at home vs. New York.
  • The Red Bulls did win the second leg of a conference semifinal series in Houston in the 2008 MLS Cup Playoffs, advancing 4-1 on aggregate after a 3-0 win at Robertson Stadium, following a 1-1 draw in the first leg.
  • Coaches record: Mike Petke vs. HOU: first game … Dominic Kinnear v NY: P20 W6 L6 D8

NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls lost for a second time in as many starts, falling 3-0 to Philadelphia Union on Sunday afternoon at PPL Park. The Red Bulls are in a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference with 25 points from 17 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Union opened the scoring after just seven minutes. A corner kick was cleared, but the ball made it out to Sheanon Williams at the edge of the box. He then sent in a cross that found a streaking Conor Casey to head into the back of the net.
  • The match truly turned in the 28th minute, when the Red Bulls' Lloyd Sam was shown a straight red card by referee Baldomero Toledo for going studs up on Philadelphia's Danny Cruz.
  • Union finally took advantage in the 64th minute. Keon Daniel saw his shot from the top of the box saved by goalkeeper Luis Robles, but Casey took a nice touch after latching onto the rebound and fired home a leftfooted shot.
  • Antoine Hoppenot sealed the win for Philadelphia with an 89th-minute goal, finishing off a counterattack by stroking home a Sebastien Le Toux rolling pass from the right side of the box.
  • Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke made four changes to the team that suffered a 2-1 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Red Bull Arena. Brandon Barklage and Heath Pearce came into the back four for Kosuke Kimura and the suspended Jamison Olave, Lloyd Sam started in the midfield in place of Juninho, and Peguy Luyindula returned to the attack for Fabian Espindola.
  • NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-2): Luis Robles - Brandon Barklage (Kosuke Kimura 46), Heath Pearce, Markus Holgersson, Roy Miller - Dax McCarty - Lloyd Sam (sent off 28), Eric Alexander, Jonny Steele (Fabian Espindola 67) - Thierry Henry, Peguy Luyindula (Andre Akpan 83).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Red Bulls have suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this season after the loss to Philadelphia Union. They have gone three games without a win, the most since opening the season with a four-game winless run.
  • “Give them credit,” Thierry Henry said. “They started better than us. We went down to 10 men, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose 3-0. We’ll see them at home again.”
  • The Red Bulls allowed a sixth goal of the season in the opening 15 minutes, tied for most in MLS with D.C. United.
  • “We talked about that leading up to this,” said Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke. “If we were feeling not as sharp as we should be with the layoff our plan was to hold back and get into a rhythm, but we didn’t feel that way coming out. The first four set pieces they got a head on it every time.”
  • Lloyd Sam was in the starting lineup for the first time since May 11, but the appearance lasted just 28 minutes before he was sent off.
  • “When I saw red, already being 1-0 down, I felt I’ve let down my teammates,” Sam said. “Obviously, it was already a tough game with 11 [players] so that was immediately what I thought.”
  • Said Petke: “The red card obviously killed us.Ironically, I thought we played some of our best soccer, moving wise, getting out of the back and into the final third, when we had 10 men at some points in the second half, which is hilarious to me.”
  • Tim Cahill missed the match, remaining in Australia after the 1-0 win vs. Iraq in World Cup qualifying on June 18. He suffered a minor knock in that match and also dealt with a family emergency, but is expected to be available for the Houston match.
  • “He felt a little something in his groin. It’s nothing to be concerned about, but he definitely felt something,” said Petke. “The thing is, even if he had come back, he might not have been available for Philly. You couple that with [that fact that] his mom had a pretty serious medical issue that popped up, that she had to have emergency surgery, so of course you’d rather he stay there.”

READ: Sources - Red Bulls' Heath Pearce set to undergo surgery, likely to be out remainder of season

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo had their winless run extended to six games, following a scoreless draw with Toronto FC on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 23 points from 15 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Both teams struggled to put together coherent attacks. Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall made three saves, while Toronto FC goalkeeper Joseph Bendik was called upon to make four saves.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that suffered a 2-0 loss to the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo. Brad Davis returned from international duty in place of Adam Moffat.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-2-3-1): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Warren Creavalle (Omar Cummings 74), Ricardo Clark (Adam Moffat 90) - Andrew Driver, Giles Barnes (Cam Weaver 60), Brad Davis - Will Bruin.

READ: Will Bruin, Houston Dynamo trying to figure out why attack has hit a sudden standstill

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo had their winless streak extended to six games following the scoreless draw with Toronto, the club’s longest since going seven games without a win in the 2011 season.
  • “They defended well,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. "We had some chances, we could’ve scored some goals and we didn’t. It helps to have a veteran team that’s motivated to do better. I think that’s what we have. As a whole, as a staff and as a team we’re not happy right now because you want to win.”
  • It was also a fourth consecutive match without a win at BBVA Compass Stadium after four home wins to start the season, the draw snapping a two-game home losing skid.
  • “It’s tough when we’re a team accustomed to getting wins, especially at home,” fullback Kofi Sarkodie said. “This adversity will be a good test to how deep and strong our team is. We’ve just got to continue to push and try and finish. Maybe we’ll break through and the floodgates will open and we’ll have a different conversation. Until then, we’ve just got to keep working hard.”
  • The Dynamo were also shut out at the attacking end for the fourth time in the last six games. They’ve scored just two goals since a 4-0 defeat of D.C. United on May 8. In all competitions, the Dynamo have not scored a goal in 329 minutes.
  • “I need to finish my chances,” striker Will Bruin said. “We got a shutout, but we got shut out, too. That’s getting real frustrating for me as a forward. We need to score plain and simple.”
  • On the defensive end, the Dynamo were able to keep a clean sheet for the first time since that May 8 victory, their fifth of the season.
  • “I don’t think we gave them too many opportunities, I think we stayed strong, we stayed organized, we stayed compact, I think we outfought them,” said goalkeeper Tally Hall. “I think we had our chances on the other end as well that didn’t go in, but I think defensively we played well and we get a shutout and walk away with a point. I’d love to have three, but that’s not how the game went.”
  • Boniek Garcia missed a third consecutive league match after suffering a hamstring injury while on international duty with Honduras, but has returned to full training.
  • “It’s very difficult,” García said. “I’m desperate to get back out there at a time like this. The level’s dropped off a little bit, but in time we’ll get back to where we were before.” Said Kinnear: “Boniek joined in and fingers crossed he should be good to play [Sunday].”
  • But there was an injury concern during the week, as Brad Davis exited training during the week with what was termed as a hamstring injury.