The Houston Dynamo fell to the New York Red Bulls on Sunday afternoon after giving up two second half goals. Fabian Espindola put the Red Bulls up in the 60th minute, while Jonathan Steele added a second in the 88th minute.
This is a frustrating patch for Houston, who are now winless in seven matches and are barely clinging on to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. With the conclusion of Sunday's match, half of the Dynamo season has now officially been played.
Is it me or are all the recent matches kind of similar? Will Bruin and Giles Barnes struggle, the defense gives up a couple goals, and Tally Hall made a couple of highlight saves. That's pretty much how it went down again against New York.
With Boniek Garcia and Brad Davis out of the match due to injury, the offense naturally could sputter a bit. But Andrew Driver has been a sparkplug for the Dynamo and he's been filling in just fine. The issues lie more with the two big men up front.
In this seven game stretch, Houston has only scored two goals. Will Bruin and Giles Barnes both sit on four goals through 17 games. That's just not going to get it done.
Houston's road ahead could get tougher with Corey Ashe and Bruin leaving for Gold Cup duty with the U.S. Men's National Team. Although, Bruin's absence could be a welcomed break for the team and for him to clear his head.
With half the season gone, the Dynamo have to figure out how to get out of this slump. The Eastern Conference is getting tighter and there are hungry teams crawling up the standings.
Next up for the Dynamo is a home match with the Philadelphia Union, who are third in the East with 26 points.
New York Red Bulls (8-6-4; 28 points) vs. Houston Dynamo (6-6-5; 23 points)
MLS regular season
June 30, 2013 - Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ
Attendance: 25,483 (sellout)
New York: Fabian Espindola 4 (Eric Alexander 2) 60
New York: Jonny Steele 2 (Thierry Henry 2) 88
HOU: Kofi Sarkodie (caution) 45+
NY: Markus Holgersson (caution) 58
New York Red Bulls: Luis Robles, Brandon Barklage, Jamison Olave, Markus Holgersson, Connor Lade; Eric Alexander (Kosuke Kimura 81), Dax McCarty, Tim Cahill, Jonny Steele (Ruben Bover 90), Fabian Espindola (Peguy Luyindula 78), Thierry Henry
Substitutes Not Used: Ryan Meara, Matt Miazga, Andre Akpan, Juninho
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor, Corey Ashe, Warren Creavalle (Omar Cummings 65), Ricardo Clark, Adam Moffat (Alex Dixon 78), Andrew Driver; Will Bruin, Giles Barnes (Brian Ching 78)
Substitutes not used: Tyler Deric, Cam Weaver, Eric Brunner, Mike Chabala
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