Competition: Major League Soccer – Houston Dynamo vs New York Red Bulls
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium – Friday, June 5 – 21:00 ET (02:00 BST – Saturday, June 6)
Match Odds: Houston 7/5 – Draw 23/10 – New York 19/10
Both teams are locked on 17 points after 13 weeks of the season, though the Dynamo have played two games more.
Houston will hope a return home will spark a first victory in three after back-to-back road trips to LA Galaxy and New York City saw Owen Coyle’s side pick up just one point.
They won their last home game 3-1 against the Portland Timbers and have picked up 11 of their 17 points on home soil, so will be confident of picking up a result against the Red Bulls this weekend.
Jesse Marsch will be frustrated with his side’s form in recent weeks as New York have won just once in their last seven outings.
They suffered a late defeat to the Seattle Sounders last Sunday and will need to ensure that loss doesn’t further damage morale ahead of this key clash.
The Red Bulls have only won one away game so far this season and that came in Week 3’s trip to Columbus so they will have to dig deep to win this one.
Recent history is on the visitors’ side though as the Red Bulls have not lost in their last seven league meetings with the Dynamo.
The two met three teams in the Eastern Conference last season, with New York winning two and drawing the game in Houston 2-2. This will be the only league meeting this year though, following the Dynamo’s move to the West.
Owen Coyle’s Dynamo have very few worries heading into the game but Brad Davis is a doubt as he is suffering with a knee injury. Kofi Sarkodie and Ricardo Clark are both one booking away from suspension and need to watch their step.Will Bruin and Giles Barnes will continue in attack, with Bruin looking to score his fifth in five games after a fine run of form. Boniek Garcia and Luis Garrido are away on international duty and will not feature.
The New York Red Bulls will still be without Sal Zizzo, while Ronald Zubar is unlikely to make it as he continue his battle with a knee problem. Damien Perrinelle misses out through suspension after an accumulation of bookings, while Matt Miazga is away with the US U20’s so Marsch is short at the back again.
Houston Dynamo’s last five: L/W/W/L/D
New York Red Bulls’ last five: L/W/D/L/L
Key Stat: There have been 22 goals in the last six meetings between the two sides in Houston. An average of 3.6 per game.
Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – He may not have scored in his last three but BWP is the all-time scoring leader in the head-to-head series, with six regular season and seven total goals against Houston, including five in three games last season.
Houston Dynamo 2-2 New York Red Bulls – This looks too close to call but goals are to be expected in what should be a thriller. With both looking to get points on the board a draw is the most likely result.