The Houston Dynamo go on the road for the first time this season. The Dynamo have put up an incredible 8 goals in 2 matches notching a 3-3 draw against the New England Revolution in their first match and then a 5-0 blowout over rivals FC Dallas. This time they'll travel to Harrison, New Jersey to take on the New York Red Bulls in a game that should serve as a litmus test for the Dynamo to prove they have redefined themselves following last year's poor finish.
Against FC Dallas we saw the Dynamo beat a quality club while utilizing its attacking strengths to put the game away early. Andrew Wenger's cross to David Horst in the 6th minute opened up the scoring and the Dynamo never looked back. A Matt Hedges' own goal followed by Ricardo Clark and Andrew Wenger scoring before the 30th minute mark made sure the 3 points belonged to the Dynamo. Throw in Will Bruin's exclamation point goal in the 85th minute and the Dynamo have shown they can play attractive, fun, and offense heavy soccer without letting up on the defense.
Injuries to Test Depth
The Dynamo have been without several key players to start this year, notably goalkeeper Tyler Deric along with right-back Sheanon Williams. While Williams could be available to make his return, Tyler Deric is expected to miss another 2-4 weeks.
On Tyler Deric (abdominal strain): Today was first time I heard Coyle say 4-6 weeks for him. He's already missed two.— Corey Roepken (@RipSports) March 15, 2016
Giles Barnes and Cristian Maidana are also expected to miss out against Saturday's clash with RBNY. Barnes injured his hamstring against FC Dallas early into the first half and Maidana was involved in a nasty collision before halftime which left him with a bloodied head injury. In their place Oscar Boniek Garcia and Leonel Miranda are expected to fill in, though David Rocha could also slot in next to Ricardo Clark with Alex Lima pushing to left winger or CAM.
Red Bulls Seek First Win & Goal of the Season
The Red Bulls have a dominating 8-0-3 record at home over the Dynamo in the regular season, but this year they've struggled to earn points and even score goals as they've lost both of their first matches without getting on the score sheet. The Red Bulls will come out strong looking to prove the opening games were flukes and that they can put away their chances. The Dynamo will have to work against their poor record in Harrison, NJ and stay disciplined against a Red Bulls team hungry for goals. With players like Bradley Wright-Phillips, Mike Grella, and Sacha Kljestan the Red Bulls cannot be slept on.
Riding the Hot Streak
One key to the Dynamo's success would be to continue to utilize right winger Andrew Wenger who has contributed to 2 goals and 2 assists in just 2 games. Wenger's ability to send in accurate crosses, force defensive mistakes, and his vision for goal will be key if Barnes and Maidana aren't available. Bruin and Wenger have demonstrated some chemistry as Bruin has assisted Wenger in the opening match against the Revolution, but without Barnes or Maidana around the pressure will be on Wenger and Bruin to continue the offensive momentum built up in the first two matches.
This game has the makings of a trap game for the Dynamo as the club rarely performs well at Red Bull Arena and this New York side is motivated to show its fans a strong outing. Still, the Dynamo have demonstrated their defensive capabilities against quality competition in their game versus Dallas and they're ability to score in several different ways. This game will test what our men in orange are made of, but the first games of the season have been encouraging and could see them win out in their first road game.