HOUSTON — After the Dynamo wiped the floor with them last week, the New York Red Bulls were clear that they were eager to return the favor in this week’s return match at Red Bull Arena, where the Red Bulls are unbeaten this season.
In many ways, the Dynamo — also undefeated at home this year and winners of five straight — know what to expect on Friday night (8 pm ET, NBC Sports Network, live chat on MLSsoccer.com).
HIGHLIGHTS: Kandji, Dynamo torch New York
“We know they’re going to come out fired up but we’ve got a good team and have been playing well for a long time and want to make sure we don’t end that tomorrow night,” defender Bobby Boswell said. “They’re undefeated at home for a reason and we need to make sure we’re ready to go and aren’t going to be too thrilled about what happened at our place.”
Houston paced much of last week’s 2-0 win, never giving the visitors a glimpse at a comeback. For a New York team full of stars, it was a frustrating loss that earned a public tongue-lashing from Thierry Henry.
Therefore, the Dynamo are expecting early attacks from the home side. Normally, for a visiting team with the ability to strike in a variety of ways the way Houston can, this would seem to play into their hands. However, it has not been the Dynamo’s M.O. to change tactics or styles from game to game.
“We’re not one of those teams that go in and try and counter and score,” said striker Will Bruin. “The style we play, at home or the road, while we know we have to absorb at times, we’re going to be looking to put the ball in the back of the net.”
For the second week in a row, Houston will face all of New York’s big stars, including Henry, Tim Cahill, Kenny Cooper, and Sébastien Le Toux. But, though impressive, the individual talents on the New York roster — or any MLS roster — simply don’t scare the first-place Dynamo.
“The key focus for us is doing what works,” goalkeeper Tally Hall said. “There are some great players on other teams and what makes us successful is we have a very strong team that makes us better than a lot of teams in the league.”
Rico in the 18
After a full week of training, Ricardo Clark does not look to be showing much rust. According to head coach Dominic Kinnear, the returning midfielder has looked good in training this week and is ready to be part of the squad in New York.
“He has a lot of respect in the locker room and if guys don’t know too much about him they’re finding out pretty quick,” the Dynamo boss said. “He says he feels good and that he feels better than he thought he would at this point so he’ll be in the 18 this week and then we’ll take it from there.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.