Match Preview: Dynamo vs. New York

Houston going for first win of 2011 Saturday night

HOU_20100731_Thorne_11_Chabala

Photo Credit: 
Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

The New York Red Bulls return home looking to keep their unbeaten start going when they face the Houston Dynamo at Red Bull Arena. Missing a host of starters, the Red Bulls reached a scoreless draw at Columbus last weekend. The Dynamo took their first point of the campaign last time out, playing to a draw at the Seattle Sounders.

INJURY REPORT: NEW YORK RED BULLS – OUT: DF Chris Albright (knee surgery recovery); GK Greg Sutton(concussion); QUESTIONABLE: FW Thierry Henry (L hamstring strain) ... HOUSTON DYNAMO – OUT: FW Calen Carr (concussion); DF Jermaine Taylor (right foot sprain); PROBABLE: MF Colin Clark (L knee ACL); MF Geoff Cameron (L hamstring strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES:
 NY: Sacir Hot (U.S. U-20s) 

SUSPENDED: none

BROADCAST INFO:
KHOU 11.2 (English TV, 6:30 p.m. CT)
KPRC 950 (English radio, 6 p.m. CT)
La Ranchera 850 (Spanish radio, 6 p.m. CT)
TV Azteca-51 (Spanish TV, Sunday morning 8:30 a.m. CT)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (10 meetings): Red Bulls 3 wins, 11 goals ... Dynamo 2 wins, 11 goals ... Ties 5
AT NEW YORK (5 meetings): Red Bulls 3 wins, 8 goals ... Dynamo 0 wins, 3 goals ... Ties 2
RETURN MATCH: 5/21: Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m. CT

LAST YEAR (MLS): 
6/2: NY 2, HOU 1 (Ubiparipovic 15; Angel 90 – Ching 65) 
7/31: HOU 2, NY 2 (Davis 24; Mullan 90 – Angel 10, 58)

The Dynamo have never won a game against the Red Bulls in New Jersey. The Red Bulls have won three of the five home league meetings all-time with two draws; the teams also played to a draw in an Eastern Conference semifinal.

New York has come away with a point on each of their last two league meetings in Houston; they are unbeaten in their last three trips to Robertson Stadium, including a 3-0 victory in the return leg of the 2008 Western Conference Semifinal Series.

The visiting team has yet to win a game in the all-time league series, though the Red Bulls did manage the feat in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Coaches record: Hans Backe vs. HOU: P2 W1 L0 D1 ... Dominic Kinnear v NY: P15 W5 L4 D6

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo claimed their first point of the season, playing to a 1-1 draw with the Seattle Sounders on Friday night at Qwest Field. The Dynamo have 1 point from 2 games on the season.

LAST MATCH

The Dynamo took the lead in the 42nd minute after Lovel Palmer crashed a thunderous 30-yard bomb off the crossbar. The loose ball from the rebound found its way to Geoff Cameron, who unleashed a low drive that ricocheted off the foot of a fallen defender and rung off the bar on its way into the net.

Seattle pulled even with 10 minutes to play when a corner kick from Erik Friberg deflected off the thigh of Houston defender Bobby Boswell and rolled to streaking Steve Zakuani who converted at the back post to break Seattle's goal-scoring drought.

Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that fell 1-0 to the Philadelphia Union at Robertson Stadium. Kofi Sarkodie came into the back four, in place of Jermaine Taylor, who was away on international duty.

HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-3-2): Tally Hall – Kofi Sarkodie, Bobby Boswell, Andre Hainault, Hunter Freeman - Lovel Palmer - Corey Ashe (Danny Cruz 85), Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis - Will Bruin (Brian Ching 75), Jason Garey (Cam Weaver 46).

TEAM NEWS

After the 1-1 draw at Seattle, the Dynamo are unbeaten in their last four road games (2-0-2). The last away loss for Houston came in a 4-3 defeat by Kansas City last Sept. 22.

“We held the ball a lot better in the second half, especially the forwards,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “They gave us possession farther up the field. In the first half, we struggled to hold the ball, and that’s why we were pinned for the period that we were.”

Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall was credited with six saves while facing 26 total shots in the 1-1 draw at Qwest Field. Hall improved to 1-4-2 in his MLS career, with his lone victory coming in a 2-0 win against D.C. United last May 22 in his league debut; he was raised in nearby Gig Harbor, Wash.

“I enjoy coming here. I don’t try any harder than I do for any other game,” Hall said. “This was one of those games that was scrappy. Our goal was kind of a scrappy goal, and theirs was a bit of a scrappy goal, and that’s what the game dictates.”

With Jermaine Taylor on international duty, Canadian international André Hainault moved into central defense and rookie Kofi Sarkodie made his MLS debut at right back. It was the first time in Dynamo club history two rookies started the same game, as Will Bruin remained in the starting lineup.

“I was definitely a little antsy in the beginning, but I felt over the duration of the match I got better and better,” Sarkodie said. “Now throughout the week I’ll look to keep improving and hopefully get another start against New York and continue to get better.”

Brian Ching made his first appearance of 2011, coming on as a 75th-minute substitute for Bruin.

NEW YORK RED BULLS

The New York Red Bulls maintained their unbeaten and unscored upon start to the season, coming away from Columbus with a scoreless draw against the Crew on Saturday evening. The Red Bulls have 4 points from 2 games.

LAST MATCH

Facing a makeshift Red Bulls side forced to make six changes through international duty and injury, Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer was called upon to make two saves.

Red Bulls goalkeeper Alex Horwath, who signed with the club Friday, made his MLS debut between the posts and recorded five saves.

Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe made six changes to the starting XI from the 1-0 win against Seattle at Red Bull Arena. Defenders Jan Gunnar Solli and Roy Miller and midfielders Teemu Tainio, Joel Lindpere, and Mehdi Ballouchy were the only returnees to the lineup.

NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-2): Alex Horwath – Jan Gunnar Solli, Carlos Mendes, Stephen Keel, Roy Miller – Teemu Tainio – Tony Tchani, Joel Lindpere, Danleigh Borman – Mehdi Ballouchy, Luke Rodgers (Corey Hertzog 84)

TEAM NEWS

The Red Bulls set an MLS record for lineup changes from the first game to the second in a season, with six players out to international duty and Thierry Henry (left hamstring strain) and goalkeeper Greg Sutton (concussion) also missing. Five starters were national teams: goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul (Senegal), central defenders Tim Ream (U.S.) and Rafa Marquez (Mexico), midfielder Dane Richards (Jamaica) and forward Juan Agudelo (U.S.).

English forward Luke Rodgers made his Red Bulls debut, playing 84 minutes before he was replaced by rookie Corey Hertzog.

Goalkeeper Alex Horwath, a league pool goalkeeper a year ago who was signed the day before the Columbus match, recorded the shutout. "He didn't have that much to do," Backe said. "What he had to do, he did well. He played solid."

Henry originally injured his hamstring in the season-opening win against Seattle, and though he completed that match, was not able to train in the week before the Columbus match. But Backe indicated he should return.

“I feel rather positively that he’ll be ready for Saturday,” Backe said. “It looks that way right now, he’s recovered well from the injury and it is a real positive for us.”

Goalkeeper Greg Sutton faces a midweek scan after suffering the concussion that kept him out of the Columbus match. Said Sutton: “I feel OK. It’s not the worst concussion I’ve had. It’s not as bad as that one a few years ago (in 2007 with the Canadian national team).”

“I won’t make a decision on Greg playing until I see that test,” Backe said. “We’ll see that first, then decide.”

Juan Agudelo, one of those starters away after scoring his first MLS goal on First Kick, scored his second goal with the U.S. national team in its 1-1 draw with Argentina on Saturday at the New Meadowlands Stadium