MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, May 8, 2012
(All times Eastern)
Houston (2-2-2) at New York (5-3-1), 7 p.m.
Harrison, NJ (Sports Network) - Red Bull New York will put its shutout streak,
and two-game winning run, to the test when it welcomes the well-traveled
Houston Dynamo to Red Bull Arena on Wednesday.
The Red Bulls have had to deal with a plethora of absences over the past couple
of weeks, leaving head coach Hans Backe with no choice but to start an
inexperienced back-four of Markus Holgersson, Tyler Ruthven, Connor Lade and
Brandon Barklage. The unit defied the odds by keeping consecutive clean sheets
in 1-0 defeats of the New England Revolution and Los Angeles Galaxy.
"Normally when you have so many starters out you are forced to defend and they
did so phenomenally," Backe said. "It was a definite team effort. They were
under pressure but didn't allow them a real opportunity, a lot of crosses and
half chances, and Ryan [Meara] once again was phenomenal."
It will be interesting to see how Backe lines his team up after the impressive
run. Rafa Marquez and Roy Miller are available for selection as the Mexican
returns from suspension and the Costa Rican returns from injury, but how do
they fit in after their replacements performed so admirably in their absence?
"I always said and thought that [Dax McCarty's] strength was from the halfway
line and forward," Backe said. "But now perhaps playing a little bit deeper he
has the whole picture of the field in front of him. His passing, he only had
two, three unforced errors in this game [against LA]. Overall, defending
phenomenal, so let's see if that is perhaps his position for the future."
The Dynamo have only played six games in the 2012 season, all of which were on
the road as the club awaits the opening of its new cathedral, BBVA Compass
Stadium, Saturday against D.C. United.
The opening of the new stadium may have left the team overlooking their midweek
trip to the New York area, but striker Will Bruin stressed that kicking things
off in the venue would be best with some momentum.
"Obviously we're very excited for it and we want the home opener to happen
right away, but we still have one more game on the road trip," Bruin said.
"Sometimes you have a tendency to look past the game because it's the home
opener but then we get a reality check and realize that we have to get three
points there. It would be a lot of momentum if we could go to New York and get
a win for the home opener."
Houston has managed two goals in each of its last two games, but a poor
defensive display has seen the club take just one point from that stretch. The
Dynamo most recently played to a 2-2 draw against D.C. United before enjoying a
"Disappointed, we fought back to get back into the game twice," said Dynamo
head coach Dominic Kinnear. "We aren't helping ourselves by giving up some poor
goals, but on the other side we are scoring goals on the road, which is a good
thing. [D.C.] just scored one more goal than us."
05/08 16:39:51 ET