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

Sept. 8, 2013 (WEEK 28, MLS Game #258)
4 pm CT (UniMás; CSN-Hou2; MSG)

The Houston Dynamo return home to face a massive match in their bid for a playoff spot as they play host to the New York Red Bulls on Sunday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo come home off a three-game road swing that ended with a 2-0 midweek loss at Columbus that dropped them out of the top five in the Eastern Conference. The Red Bulls have moved back into a tie atop the division, following their 2-1 home win against D.C. United last week.


REFEREE: Chris Penso. AR1 (bench): Jeff Muschik; AR2 (opposite): Jonathan Johnson; 4th: Daniel Fitzgerald
MLS Career: 45 games; FC/gm: 22.7; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 13; pens: 15

SUSPENDED: NY: Ibrahim Sekagya (through Sept. 8)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: HOU: Andrew Driver, Boniek Garcia
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: HOU: Corey Ashe, Adam Moffat … NY: Jamison Olave, Tim Cahill, Jonny Steele
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: HOU: Boniek García (Honduras), Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica) … NY: Tim Cahill (Australia)

ALL-TIME (16 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 16 goals … Red Bulls 6 wins, 19 goals … Ties 7
AT HOUSTON (7 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 12 goals … Red Bulls 0 wins, 5 goals … Ties 4
FUTURE MATCH: 10/20: Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls, 4 p.m. CT (UniMas)

2013 (MLS)
6/30: NY 2, HOU 0 (Alexander 60; Steele 88)

• The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Fabian Espíndola and Jonny Steele scored second-half goals to lead the Red Bulls to a 2-0 win June 30 in Harrison.

Highlights: NY 2, HOU 0

• The visiting team has never won in league play in the all-time series between the teams. The Red Bulls are 6-0-3 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: P1 W1 L0 D0 … Dominic Kinnear v NY: P21 W6 L7 D8


• The Red Bulls finally broke through at the hour mark. Eric Alexander hit a great ball in from the right flank that Fabian Espíndola raced onto with a well-timed run, before tucking his shot underneath Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall.

• The home side put the game away with a second two minutes from time. Thierry Henry collected a pass in the middle of the field and laid it off for Jonny Steele on the left side of the penalty area, and he unleashed a venomous shot that soared into the far top corner.

• NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Luis Robles - Brandon Barklage, Jamison Olave, Markus Holgersson, Connor Lade - Eric Alexander (Kosuke Kimura 81), Dax McCarty, Tim Cahill, Jonny Steele (Ruben Bover 90) - Fabian Espindola (Peguy Luyindula 78), Thierry Henry.

• HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Warren Creavalle (Omar Cummings 65), Adam Moffat (Alex Dixon 78), Ricardo Clark, Andrew Driver - Giles Barnes (Brian Ching 78), Will Bruin.


The Houston Dynamo concluded their three-game road swing with a second defeat, this time a 2-0 loss to the Columbus Crew on Wednesday evening at Crew Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 37 points from 26 matches.


• The Crew opened the scoring in the 47th minute. Bernardo Añor found Justin Meram with a beautiful diagonal pass, and he played a ball across the six-yard box for Ryan Finley to tuck away.

• The Crew had a glorious chance to double their lead when they were awarded a penalty kick after Bobby Boswell pulled back Dominic Oduro as he surged into the box. But Finley put his ensuing spot kick directly at Dynamo 'keeper Tally Hall.

Highlights: CLB 2, HOU 0

• The Crew made up for it in the 74th minute, when Meram found himself with the ball on the outside of the box after Finley was able to only deflect a cross from Oduro from the right wing. Meram faked to his right, and cut back to his left foot before sliding a low shot past Hall inside the far post.

• Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made four changes to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Corey Ashe, Jason Johnson, Andrew Driver and Cam Weaver all came into the team, in place of Eric Brunner and Giles Barnes and international campaigners Jermaine Taylor and Boniek Garcia.

• HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Warren Creavalle, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe (Mike Chabala 63) - Jason Johnson (Brian Ownby 75), Adam Moffat, Brad Davis, Andrew Driver (Giles Barnes 53) - Will Bruin, Cam Weaver.


• The Dynamo return home after taking one of a possible nine points on their three-game road swing, all against Eastern Conference opposition, and are now winless in their last four road matches.

• “We had some really good chances early but didn’t capitalize,” Dynamo goalkeepers coach Tim Hanley said. “It’s one of those things that are unlucky – it really could’ve changed the game, but it didn’t tonight.”

• The Dynamo conceded multiple goals in a game for the second time on their three-game tour, after going nearly two months without allowing more than a single goal in a contest.

• “We’re disappointed with the result obviously. At the end we were fishing for an equalizer and sometimes we give up that second goal. That’s frustrating, but as a team we’ll stick together,” said midfielder Adam Moffat. “We’ve got eight more games left, five are at home and three on the road so we still feel it’s in our own hands, but it was a tough one to take.”

• After featuring in the midfield in the draw at Chicago, Warren Creavalle slotted into central defense alongside Bobby Boswell.

• “You’ve got to have confidence in whoever is in there. We practice enough with each other; it’s late in the year, so we’re a pretty cohesive group,” said Boswell. “Obviously you don’t want to see guys get injured and go down, but it’s a part of it and we kind of knew with three games in this week with guys missing for different reasons that this was going to be an issue, but for me there’s no fingers to point.”

• Jason Johnson made his second career MLS start, his first since June 1, coming into wide on the right of midfield. Both of his career league starts have come against the Columbus Crew.

• Brian Ownby made his first league appearance of the season, coming on for the final 15 minutes. He had seen first-team action in the U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League.

• Mike Chabala also saw his first MLS minutes since June 1,coming in at left back for the final quarter of the match.

• “I think it’s good for some of these guys, a guy like [Jason Johnson], a young guy to get out there and get a start,” said defender Bobby Boswell. “It’s good to get some guys minutes, but you never call it a success when you lose. You obviously want to get back out there and go at it again.”


The New York Red Bulls put an end to their winless run after three matches, defeating D.C. United 2-1 on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls are in a three-way tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points from 27 matches.


• The Red Bulls took the lead in the eighth minute. Lloyd Sam hit what looked to be a cross from the right side that floated over United goalkeeper Bill Hamid and clanked off the far post before completely crossing the line.

Highlights: NY 2, DC 1

• United pulled even in the 36th minute. Dwayne De Rosario's cross-field pass found Nick DeLeon, and he brought the ball down well before cutting inside to smash a shot inside the near post past a helpless Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles.

• But the home side was back on top just two minutes later. Jonny Steele delivered a cross from the left flank and Tim Cahill met the ball with a powerful header that Hamid could do little about.

• The turning point came in the 72nd minute when New York center back Ibrahim Sekagya was whistled for a penalty kick and subsequently shown a red card for obstructing De Rosario from getting to a ball in the penalty area. De Rosario then took the spot kick from 12 yards out, but Robles who dove low to his right to turn aside the shot to preserve the win.

• Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke made three changes to the team that fell 3-2 to Chivas USA at StubHub Center. David Carney came into the back four for Roy Miller, and Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips came into the side in place of Fabian Espindola and Thierry Henry.

• NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Luis Robles - Brandon Barklage (Kosuke Kimura 33), Markus Holgersson, Ibrahim Sekagya (ejected 72), David Carney - Lloyd Sam, Dax McCarty, Eric Alexander, Jonny Steele - Tim Cahill (Thierry Henry 58), Bradley Wright-Phillips (Jamison Olave 76).


• The Red Bulls extended their undefeated streak at Red Bull Arena to five matches, after losing for the fourth time in six road games the week before at Chivas USA. After the trip to Houston, four of New York’s final six matches will be at home.

• “It was a gritty, gutsy performance and we had some quality mixed in there for a lot of the game,” said Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke. “When we went down a man, it was difficult on these guys but a gutsy performance. They really put everything they had out there.”

• Tim Cahill moved forward to play as an underneath striker, scoring a goal for a second consecutive match. But after he had come off the field following a tackle just before the hour mark, Cahill will now be out 3-4 weeks.

• “I’m a bit angry that now within two months we have two tackles on Cahill that sideline him,” Petke said. “This time, it‘s going to be around three to four weeks, last time it was close to three weeks. Two tackles, that he tears a PCL and now he has ligament damage, and both of them go unpunished … Now we have the same key player missing a chunk of the season because of it, so we’re not very happy obviously about that.”

• Lloyd Sam made his first start since June 23, when he played just 28 minutes vs. Philadelphia before being sent off. He scored his third goal of the MLS campaign, his second in five matches.

• “I’m happy. I don’t know how many crosses I put in the box, but I feel like I’ve done my job putting the balls in and one of them ended up being a goal, so that makes me even happier,” said Sam. “I’ve not had that many games, so it’s nice to get in there, first start at home and get a goal. I was saying good things would happen when you start me at home, so I had to kind of back up my talk.”

• After a training ground clash and subsequent off-field meeting with Petke, Thierry Henry was held out of the starting lineup, coming on as a substitute with a little more than a half-hour remaining.

• “He’s a fiery personality, I’m a fiery personality. We get together [and] sometimes it’s like a tornado meeting a volcano,” Petke said. “As far as what exactly it was about, that’s a team-related thing. … We immediately were in my office for two hours and had a civil conversation. I heard him out, of course, he heard me out and we moved on immediately. Immediately. It didn’t affect the team whatsoever. It didn’t affect Thierry. It didn’t affect me. He’s on board and that’s exactly what happened.”

• Bradley Wright-Phillips made his first MLS start in attack, after coming on for 32 minutes in his Red Bulls debut the week before vs. Chivas USA.

• “Bradley [Wright-Phillips] did very well tonight, along with everybody,” added Petke. “His timing on his runs was very good, his ball control with his back to the goal, playing one- and two-touch, laying it off and spinning, his understanding with Tim up there, and when Thierry came in for the short time he was on. It was good.”

• David Carney also made his Red Bulls and MLS debut, starting at left back with Roy Miller injured and Brandon Barklage coming off early in the United match.

• “Carney come through, he hasn’t played in a while, but I knew his quality. I knew what he can do as a footballer, safe, can get forward, can cross the ball and in the end a complete performance by the team with a goalkeeper and that’s what we’re all about,” said Cahill. “We’re a team that should leave everything on the pitch and we’ve got a few casualties now, but I’m proud of the boys on the team and obviously the fans got a good reaction for what they deserve.”