Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls

Dynamo welcome Thierry Henry and New York for first of two late-season battles in Houston

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls
Sunday, September 4, 4:00 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas

BROADCAST INFORMATION
CSN Houston Plus - 4:00 p.m. (3:30 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
Unímas - 4:00 p.m.  CHANNEL LISTINGS
Yahoo! Sports Radio 1560 AM - 4:00 p.m. (3:30 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM - 4:00 p.m. (3:30 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW

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.

REFEREES

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

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: Corey Ashe – Left hamstring strain; Eric Brunner – Right ankle sprain; Andrew Driver – Right calf strain; QUESTIONABLE: Omar Cummings – Left knee sprain; Ricardo Clark – Illness; Tyler Deric – Right thumb fracture; INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: Boniek García (Honduras); Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica); Brad Davis (USA)

NEW YORK RED BULLS -- OUT: Tim Cahill – Right ankle ligament tear; Ian Christianson – Right fifth metatarsal surgery; Connor Lade – Right knee injury; Roy Miller – Left Achilles injury; Heath Pearce – Hip surgery; QUESTIONABLE: Brandon Barklage – Left glute strain; INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: Tim Cahill (Australia); SUSPENDED: Ibrahim Sekagya

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • 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)
  • 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.
  • 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

HOUSTON DYNAMO

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.

LAST MATCH

  • 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.
  • 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.

TEAM NEWS

  • 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.”
  • Hall was credited with seven saves, allowing one goal in the game for the sixth time in the last seven matches. The Crew took a season-high 24 total attempts at goal.
  • 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.”