Dynamo face tough trip ahead
A week after getting a valuable point against the Seattle Sounders at Qwest Field, life on the road does not get any easier for the Houston Dynamo, who now travel to New York to face the Red Bulls on Saturday night (6:30 p.m. CT, KHOU 11.2, KPRC 950, La Ranchera 850, Direct Kick, and Matchday Live).
Last season, the Dynamo went to New York after giving up a stoppage-time goal the week before to Philadelphia. Lightning struck twice, as Houston gave up another tally in stoppage-time to Juan Pablo Angel at Red Bull Arena to lose 2-1.
“Last year, that was one of the toughest weeks I’ve had as a professional – when we lost to Philly last minute and then lost to New York and LA,” said defender Bobby Boswell. “But we can’t look at last year; all we can do is look at the way [New York’s] been playing lately and focus on what we’ve got to do.”
The Dynamo head to New York after giving up an 80th-minute goal in Seattle to settle for a 1-1 draw. And while points on the road are always welcome in MLS, giving up late goals is a pattern the club is working to avoid this week against a full-strength Red Bulls.
“Last week we gave up a goal in the last 10 minutes, and while we would have been happier coming off the field with a win, we’ll take the point,” said Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear. “This week, [New York] has their internationals coming back, and they’re good in the back and have good passing going forward, so it’ll be a difficult match for us.”
The Dynamo will likely be without defender Jermaine Taylor due to a foot injury suffered while with the Jamaican national team. With Taylor out, it’s likely the Dynamo will employ Andre Hainault – who scored the winner in Canada’s win against Belarus – at center back again this week.
“For me, he is one of the best one-on-one defenders there is because he’s so hard to beat,” Boswell said of his Canadian teammate. “We’re working on organizing and getting used to playing there. If he’s in the middle, I know he’ll be another guy that’s ready to battle.”
In the Attack
Houston is still looking to get its attack going in 2011. After dominating the possession against a bunkered-in Philadelphia, the Dynamo struggled to gain traction early but settled in for a good second half against Seattle. The uneven performances have the Dynamo ready to get on track against a tough Red Bull back line led by international defenders Tim Ream and Rafa Márquez.
“We’re looking to possess the ball more and get some more confidence in our attack to get our first win,” said forward Brian Ching.
New York has one of the best attacking corps in MLS despite the club’s one goal this season. It will be up to the Dynamo back line to handle the speed and precision of the Red Bulls attackers.
“They’ve got two world-class speed guys up front,” said Boswell. “They’ve got [Thierry] Henry, who likes to pull out wide, and [Juan] Agudelo who’s in great form, along with Dane Richards and Ream and Márquez playing balls out of the back.”
“We know what they have and now we just need to prepare properly and limit their chances and not put so much burden on Tally [Hall, Dynamo goalkeeper] and I think we’ll be all right.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.