Preview: Houston Dynamo at New York Red Bulls

Dynamo try to end six-game winless skid at Red Bull Arena

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo at New York Red Bulls
Sunday, June 30, 1:00 p.m. CT
Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ

BROADCAST INFORMATION
ESPN2 - 1:00 p.m. CHANNEL LISTINGS
Yahoo! Sports Radio 1560 AM - 1:00 p.m. (12:30 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM - 1:00 p.m. (12:30 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW
A key match in the Eastern Conference is ahead on Sunday afternoon when the New York Red Bulls play host to the Houston Dynamo at Red Bull Arena before an ESPN2 audience. The teams both still currently sit in playoff positions, separated by two points in the conference standings. The Red Bulls are coming off back-to-back losses, last a 3-0 defeat at Philadelphia Union. The Dynamo are riding a six-game winless streak of their own, following a scoreless draw at home with Toronto FC a week ago.

REFEREES
Hilario Grajeda. AR1 (bench): Bill Dittmar; AR2 (opposite): Brian Poeschel; 4th: Kevin Terry Jr. MLS Career: 87 games; FC/gm: 24.3; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 15; pens: 13

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY THE METHODIST HOSPITAL SYSTEM

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: Calen Carr – left knee; Anthony Arena – right ankle sprain; QUESTIONABLE: Brad Davis – left hamstring strain; Boniek Garcia – right hamstring strain

NEW YORK RED BULLS -- OUT: Ian Christianson – right foot injury, Digao – heel injury

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (15 meetings): Red Bulls 5 wins, 17 goals … Dynamo 3 wins, 16 goals … Ties 7
  • AT NEW YORK (7 meetings): Red Bulls 5 wins, 12 goals … Dynamo 0 wins, 4 goals … Ties 3
  • RETURN MATCHES: 9/8: Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls, 4 p.m. CT (UniMas); 10/20: Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls, 4 p.m. CT (UniMas)
  • The visiting team has never won in league play in the all-time series between the teams. The Red Bulls are 5- 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: Dominic Kinnear vs. TOR: P14 W4 L3 D7 … Ryan Nelsen vs. HOU: P1 W0 L0 D1

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo had their winless run extended to six games, following a scoreless draw with Toronto FC on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 23 points from 15 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Both teams struggled to put together coherent attacks. Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall made three saves, while Toronto FC goalkeeper Joseph Bendik was called upon to make four saves.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that suffered a 2-0 loss to the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo. Brad Davis returned from international duty in place of Adam Moffat.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-2-3-1): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Warren Creavalle (Omar Cummings 74), Ricardo Clark (Adam Moffat 90) - Andrew Driver, Giles Barnes (Cam Weaver 60), Brad Davis - Will Bruin.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo had their winless streak extended to six games following the scoreless draw with Toronto, the club’s longest since going seven games without a win in the 2011 season.
  • “They defended well,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. "We had some chances, we could’ve scored some goals and we didn’t. It helps to have a veteran team that’s motivated to do better. I think that’s what we have. As a whole, as a staff and as a team we’re not happy right now because you want to win.”
  • It was also a fourth consecutive match without a win at BBVA Compass Stadium after four home wins to start the season, the draw snapping a two-game home losing skid.
  • “It’s tough when we’re a team accustomed to getting wins, especially at home,” fullback Kofi Sarkodie said. “This adversity will be a good test to how deep and strong our team is. We’ve just got to continue to push and try and finish. Maybe we’ll break through and the floodgates will open and we’ll have a different conversation. Until then, we’ve just got to keep working hard.”
  • The Dynamo were also shut out at the attacking end for the fourth time in the last six games. They’ve scored just two goals since a 4-0 defeat of D.C. United on May 8. In all competitions, the Dynamo have not scored a goal in 329 minutes.
  • “I need to finish my chances,” striker Will Bruin said. “We got a shutout, but we got shut out, too. That’s getting real frustrating for me as a forward. We need to score plain and simple.”
  • On the defensive end, the Dynamo were able to keep a clean sheet for the first time since that May 8 victory, their fifth of the season.
  • “I don’t think we gave them too many opportunities, I think we stayed strong, we stayed organized, we stayed compact, I think we outfought them,” said goalkeeper Tally Hall. “I think we had our chances on the other end as well that didn’t go in, but I think defensively we played well and we get a shutout and walk away with a point. I’d love to have three, but that’s not how the game went.”
  • Boniek Garcia missed a third consecutive league match after suffering a hamstring injury while on international duty with Honduras, but has returned to full training.
  • “It’s very difficult,” García said. “I’m desperate to get back out there at a time like this. The level’s dropped off a little bit, but in time we’ll get back to where we were before.” Said Kinnear: “Boniek joined in and fingers crossed he should be good to play [Sunday].”
  • But there was an injury concern during the week, as Brad Davis exited training during the week with what was termed as a hamstring injury.