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Wilf Thorne / Houston Dynamo

Glenn Davis previews #NYvHOU

We preview the upcoming game with Dynamo broadcaster Glenn Davis. The former professional player can be seen on national soccer broadcasts on ESPN and FOX and hosts the Soccer Matters radio show. Look for more daily soccer content from Davis on his Soccer Matters Facebook page and Twitter. Saturday’s match versus the New York Red Bulls will be broadcast live on ROOT SPORTS Southwest Alternate Channel, with pregame at 5:30 p.m. CT and kickoff set for 6 p.m.  

Matt Pedersen: The Dynamo set a club record with a 5-0 win over FC Dallas on Saturday, the largest win in team history and largest margin of victory ever in the Texas Derby. The opening half hour was one of the best in Dynamo history, with four Dynamo goals. What will you remember from this night, which was perhaps the biggest win of Owen Coyle’s tenure as head coach?

Glenn Davis: I think we will look back at this night as symbolic over the course of this Dynamo season. A new needed freshness has been visible in the opening two games, more chances created in open play, and new faces that the fans are going to get to know. Purpose of play is a real selling point in all sports these days as entertainment comes to the forefront. These games were entertaining and left Dynamo fans excited!!!

MP: The Dynamo attacked Dallas’ outside backs, with Andrew Wenger getting behind Maynor Figueroa and Giles Barnes, Boniek Garcia and DaMarcus Beasley targeting Atiba Harris. Like the New England game, the “wide game” of the Dynamo was a big part of the offense. Did you expect that part of the field to be so effective this early for Houston?

GD: With the quality of players in the Dynamo wide areas I am not surprised that they played well and matched up wonderfully with Figueroa and Harris. Having a threat central with Maidana, which is something new since the times of Dwayne De Rosario and Stuart Holden, can only complement, enhance, and improve the Dynamo wide game. Teams are always hopefully striving to have threats wide and central. Why settle for just one? This also leads to a more entertaining team!

MP: Andrew Wenger had a goal and two assists and was named MLS Player of the Week. The Dynamo coaching staff seems to have given him simple instructions and the confidence that he will play one position this season. What do you make of Wenger’s fast start in Houston?

GD: Wenger has been outstanding and is surprising many. If he had remained in Philly my understanding was he was going to be turned into an outside back. Having played professionally I can only say that for some players they really need their roles "defined". Simplicity and clarity is something that soccer players need and can thrive off. A masterstroke from Dynamo management to define Wenger's role, his work ethic is exceptional and he will help to control the right side of the field for the Dynamo. He defended, attacked and penetrated, set up and scored goals, not to mention chased down the fastest man in the league in Fabian Castillo. On top of that he got in to the box on many occasions to become a striker. At one point I thought there were two of him out there! A great start, but two games do not make a season, but the indicators are there that this might just be a breakout year for Wenger!

MP: New York is 0-2 for the first time in the club’s 21 seasons. They’re the reigning Supporters’ Shield winner and a proud, veteran team. What do you expect from the Red Bulls in front of their home fans on Saturday night, and how should the Dynamo approach the match?

GD: Coming off a deceptive 3-0 loss at Montreal I expect the Red Bulls to come out pressing the game as a bold home team. It will be very interesting to see how the Dynamo and Owen Coyle approach this; I am sure they are prepared for an aggressive home team. On the road the Dynamo must improve and this weekend they will do it without Giles Barnes and Cristian Maidana, to key attacking pieces. My theory on the road is that yes you will likely defend for longer periods but you must counter pressure with some of your own. The Dynamo will push the game at select and intelligent moments and will likely defend for large portions. They will be a better road team this year when at full strength with their ability to now finally be a threat on the counter attack. I am so interested to see how Owen Coyle sets his team up in this big test.

MP: Giles Barnes and Cristian Maidana are injury doubts for the Dynamo. In what ways can Owen Coyle set up differently without two starting midfielders?

GD: One would assume Boniek Garcia and likely Leonel Miranda are in the starting lineup, although there are choices for sure. Could Cubo Torres or Mauro Manotas play behind Will Bruin? Does Boniek play central in midfield, or wide? This will dictate a lot. I am excited to see the Dynamo depth play out against a team with few changes.

MP: Bradley Wright-Phillips has 44 goals over the last two seasons. What makes him such an effective goal scorer in MLS?

GD: Movement, mobility, use of his body and a goal scorer that does not need five chances to score. Slowing down the NYRB wide game will go a long way in containing him. He will get chances, as he does every game.

MP: The Dynamo seem to be a better counterattacking team than in 2015. How will this new weapon help in road games in 2016, where they may have to concede possession more than at home? Could this be a tonic to the road woes of the last few seasons, a clear target of improvement for Owen Coyle and the club?

GD: As stated above Matt, you cannot survive in MLS without a team that strikes some fear and awareness into opponents on the counter attack. Having a break-out game makes defenses drop off, play you more honestly and creates space for your midfield. It is an ingredient that has lacked in the last few years for the Dynamo and it made it tough. It also is such an exciting element to the game! The Dynamo will score goals on the counter this year for sure!