New York Red Bulls Finish Strong to Defeat Houston Dynamo, Go Top of MLS Supporters’ Shield Standings
On the Line
The Red Bulls came into this game just two points shy of the top spot in the race for the Supporters’ Shield. While the Dynamo found themselves lower down the table, they came into the game ready to surprise the home team. Coming off a 1-1 draw during their match against FC Dallas, Houston traveled to Red Bull Arena trying to get back to winning ways.
Recently from Red Bull II, Cristian Casseres Jr and Brian White made their first starts with the MLS side. Romanian international Andreas Ivan also made the Starting XI for the first time. Chris Armas gave usual starters such as Bradley Wright-Phillips and Kemar Lawrence a rest following two Rivalry Week matchups. So Wednesday’s game served as a test for the players who don’t always break out. In the push to the playoffs, effective squad rotation may prove the difference between a top seed and a knockout round matchup.
Scoreless First Half
Despite the extreme heat, both teams made an effort to move the ball. Chances, however, were hard to come by for both teams. Robles makes a quick save at point-blank range from Alberth Elis in the 11th minute. Then in the 14th, Casseres got his first chance, but the ball went over the crossbar. Dynamo midfielder Luis Gil recovered an opportunity in the 38th minute but also sent the ball over the bar. Following two minutes of stoppage time, the first half ended scoreless.
The second half saw the Red Bulls capitalizing more and more. In the 50th minute, there came a new chance for the Red Bull attack as Brian White got to the goal, but Dynamo goalkeeper Chris Seitz interrupted his chance. But White broke through in the 55th minute for the first goal of his MLS career. When Seitz followed the play to the near post, Alex Muyl quickly sent the ball back to the center for White to tap in. The Dynamo had a chance to level in the 64th minute, but the ball hit the side post. Capped by a yellow card for Dynamo defender Leonardo (89′), RBNY held on to win the match.
The Red Bulls travel north for a matchup against Montreal Impact on the weekend.
PHOTO CREDIT: Bill Twomey Photography