Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls

Dynamo try to keep pace in playoff race against Henry, Cahill and New York

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls
Sunday, October 20, 3:00 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX

BROADCAST INFORMATION
CSN Houston - 3:00 p.m. (2:30 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
UniMas - 3:00 p.m. CHANNEL LISTINGS
Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 AM - 3:00 p.m. (2:30 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM - 3:00 p.m. (2:30 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW

The Houston Dynamo and New York Red Bulls will meet for the second match in little more than a month in a crunch match in the Eastern Conference when the clubs face off Sunday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo can clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs with a win and the right combination of other results, following their scoreless draw at Sporting KC last week. The Red Bulls have already booked their ticket to the postseason – but are now chasing the Supporters’ Shield – coming off a late 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution two weeks ago.

REFEREES

REFEREE: Hilario Grajeda. AR1 (bench): Paul Scott; AR2 (opposite): Kevin Klinger; 4th: Ted Unkel MLS Career: 97 games; FC/gm: 24.1; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 17; pens: 14

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: Brian Ownby – Right knee sprain

NEW YORK RED BULLS -- OUT: Ian Christianson – Right fifth metatarsal surgery; Heath Pearce – Hip surgery; QUESTIONABLE: Connor Lade – Right knee injury; Roy Miller – Left Achilles injury

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (17 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 17 goals ... Red Bulls 7 wins, 23 goals ... Ties 7
  • AT HOUSTON (8 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 13 goals ... Red Bulls 1 win, 9 goals ... Ties 4
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season, and the Red Bulls have won both. The Dynamo allowed a club-record four goals in a home match in a 4-1 New York win Sept. 8 at BBVA Compass Stadium; Fabian Espíndola and Jonny Steele scored second-half goals to lead the Red Bulls to a 2-0 win June 30 in Harrison.
  • It was New York’s first league win ever in Houston; the Dynamo came into the last meeting 4-0-3 all-time at home vs. New York. The Red Bulls are 6-0-3 all-time at home vs. Houston.
  • 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 v NY: P22 W6 L8 D8 ... Mike Petke vs. HOU: P2 W2 L0 D0

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo stretched their late-season undefeated run to five matches, reaching a scoreless draw with Sporting Kansas City on Oct. 9 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in third place in the Eastern Conference with 48 points from 32 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen was called upon to make four saves in keeping the clean sheet, including three saves in the opening seven minutes of the match. Two of the shots were from Dynamo striker Will Bruin from point blank range.
  • The Dynamo came closest to scoring on the stroke of halftime, when Aurelien Collin headed a Brad Davis free kick off the line. Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall was required to make just one save for the shutout.
  • Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall was called upon to make four saves in keeping the clean sheet.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made two changes to the team that held on for a 1-0 win against the Montréal Impact at BBVA Compass Stadium. Eric Brunner and Andrew Driver came into the side with Jermaine Taylor and Boniek Garcia away on national team duty.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Eric Brunner, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Andrew Driver, Warren Creavalle, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis - Giles Barnes (Cam Weaver 89), Will Bruin.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo extended their late-season undefeated streak to five matches, since losing back-to-back games to Columbus (0-2) and New York (1-4) on Sept. 4-8.
  • “Sometimes the game doesn’t work out the way you want it to, sometimes you can play a great game and lose and you can play bad games and win. So this was one of those nights where I think we played a good game,” said midfielder Brad Davis. “I think everyone feels like that but we’re unfortunate to not get three points. It is what it is we’re going to look at the positives and just keep going.”
  • The Dynamo are coming off back-to-back defensive shutouts for the first time since May 5-8, following the scoreless draw with Sporting KC. They have shutouts in three of the last five matches.
  • “I thought it was a good game all around for us,” said Davis. “We kept another clean sheet against another difficult team, which is always a good thing. We felt like we deserved three points.”
  • Andrew Driver was able to return to the starting lineup for the first time since Sept. 4, playing the full match in a wide midfield role. He had come on as a late substitute the week before vs. Montréal.
  • “It was great, I stuck with the guys for so long because it was a perfect night, the level of intensity and effort never dropped or stopped,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “It was good to see them get through this, we know this next week is going to lead up to something really big for us which are important games against New York, in Panama and D.C United so it’s good to have some healthy guys knowing they can go long periods of time because it is a great bonus for us.”
  • Eric Brunner also made his first start since Sept. 1, when he was forced off before halftime with an ankle injury in the Columbus match.
  • “Everyone is fighting for points to get those playoffs spots and we have a good streak going,” Brunner said. “I think the team gave it a good effort and I think you get a good effort if you leave it all on the field and that’s what we did.”