Saturday, May 21, 2011

Matchday @Houston: Dynamo vs Red Bulls

Good afternoon! A beautiful day, surely befitting a Rapture, here in Red Bulls Land. Our team closes out the regular season series against the Dynamo today at Houston's Robertson Stadium (8:30pm et, MSG). The first Dynamo/RBNY meeting this season ended in a 1-1 draw @The Cathedral of Football, thanks to a massive gaffe by RBNY goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul. Let's explore how both teams come into today's match.

Houston comes into this game having posted a 0-0 draw, against RSL, with two losses before that. They'll be desperate to get back into the win column and will be looking to take the game to the visiting Red Bulls. That said, this is not the Dynamo of old, as the team from H-Town is clearly in rebuilding mode.

The Red Bulls are coming off a very dissapointing 3-2 home loss to Chivas USA. Up until the Chivas match, our team had given up only 3 goals in League play. Justin Braun alone doubled that in just one game, with a very impressive hat-trick. Needless to say, RBNY will be looking to shore up their defense but will have to cope with the oppressive Texas heat & humidity as well. With Thierry Henry sidelined by a knee injury, it will be up to the Rodgers/Agudelo tandem to score some goals today. With all that in mind, let's get to some predictions!

Matt Conroy (aka Who Shot Sam) has this for us:
The Red Bulls will travel to Houston without Thierry Henry, who has been on a scoring tear of late. Still, I think there's more than enough talent in the squad to get a result against Houston, especially a Houston without Brian Ching. It's time for Juan Agudelo to do his thing, and it'll be interesting to see how he complements Luke Rodgers.

At the back, I expect the Red Bulls to revert to their previous solid defense, since Coach Backe has been drilling it into their skulls for a week. Don't be surprised if Rafa Marquez is either sharing corner kick duties with someone else or relieved of them entirely. Final prediction: Red Bulls 2 Houston 1. Goals by Dynamo killer Dane Richards and young Mr. Agudelo. The Dynamo get one from Geoff Cameron.
I'm going to disagree with Matt's prediction of a Red Bulls victory. The Dynamo have only been getting better and it would be difficult to defeat Houston @home. I'm going to predict, however, that the Red Bulls defense will wake up from last week's nightmare against Chivas and only give up one goal. I'll say that the Red Bulls scored one (either from Rodgers or Agudelo) and the points are shared in a 1-1 draw.

Homebrew Tim has this for us:
A full week of training, and time to reflect upon and be motivated by last week's uninspiring performance will have the boys at their best again. Red Bulls take a 2-0 victory at Houston. Look for Agudelo to make the most of his starting opportunity with a goal and an assist. Dane Richards nets the other goal.
Our man in the UK, Glenn Williams, has this for us:
The defeat to Chivas was heart-breakingly disappointing. We simply have to win games like that without question if we're to be taken seriously as a top side.

As it is we now travel to Houston knowing defeat will mean they leapfrog us at the top. Is love to say it won't happen, but with Henry out and if morale is low, I think we could be set for a 2-0 loss.
No prediction from YSC this week, unfortunately, so that's going to be all for now. Please look for our Award Winning coverage in the next few days.
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