The Houston Dynamo and New York Red Bulls met under the lights of BBVA Compass stadium to play on Armed Forces Appreciation Night. Fans who arrived early to BBVA found themselves hiding from thunderstorms under the concourse. After the all clear fans were able to venture out into the stadium and settle in for some Fourth of July soccer. As part of the pre-game ceremonies Brad Davis, Boniek Garcia and Tim Cahill were all honored for their time in Brazil playing in the World Cup.
The Dynamo started things off with fireworks as Giles Barnes headed home a cross sent in by Kofi Sarkodie just 40 seconds into the match. Sarkodie was able to get down the right side with tons of space to send the ball over to Barnes. It had been 479 minutes since the last Dynamo goal in MLS play and you could see a giant weight lift off the entire team.
But the lead wouldn't last for long. In the 13th minute, Bradley Wright-Phillips beat Houston defender Eric Brunner as the Red Bulls sent in a long ball out of the back. Wright-Phillips got the ball at his feet in the box and made it count as he put the ball past Tally Hall and into the net.
Now level both teams fought to gain the lead. The speed of the Red Bulls got Wright-Phillips behind the Dynamo defense on multiple occasions. A free kick saw Oyongo almost score his first MLS goal, but goalkeeper Tally Hall made a save on the play. The Dynamo had their chances as well the best coming at the feet of Will Bruin, but the forward's left-footed shot went wide of the near post. The teams went into half time level.
The Armed Forces were honored at half time which included Dash reserve goal keeper Haley Carter.
As the second half got under way both teams came out firing. Henry back-heeled a pass to Tim Cahill who rifled the ball off the post. Minutes later, the Dynamo's Giles Barnes ripped a shot of towards the net but it was tipped by a defender.
In the 72nd minute Oyongo got down the left side with Andrew Driver covering him. Driver was able to stand up him, but Oyongo was able to fake and get the ball past him and right to Wright-Phillips. Putting the ball up and just above Hall's diving reach Wright-Phillips was able to get his second goal of the night and give the Red Bulls their first lead of the evening.
Then in the 81st minute Chris Duvall was called for a handball in the box. Brad Davis stepped up to take the kick giving a stutter step before kicking the ball. Luis Robles bought it and dove allowing Davis to send the ball into the net away from the keeper.
With the teams level at 2-2 Houston began to push harder hoping to take the lead before time expired on the clock. Unable to put any of their chances away the team came away with a point. While the performance may not have been anything to write home about the team finally got on the score board which is a big step for them. A step that fans can only hope will propel the team to get back to its winning ways.
Houston Dynamo: Hall; Sarkodie, Brunner, Cochran, Creavalle (79' Ownby); Driver (79' Lopez), Clark, García, Davis ©; Barnes (74' Cummings), Bruin
New York Red Bulls: Robles, Oyongo, Mazga, Olave (92' Armando), Duvall, Alexander, Cahill, Sekagya, Sam, Henry, Wright-Phillips