Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Red Bulls face ruthless Dynamo
by Ridge Mahoney, November 7th, 2008 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS PLAYOFF PREVIEW] Going into the second leg of a conference semifinal tied is a new experience for the two-time defending champion Houston Dynamo and bad news for its opponents from New York.

Houston, which is 10-1-4 this season at Robertson Stadium, trailed by a goal after the first leg in both the 2006 and 2007 conference semifinals. The response? It beat Chivas USA, 2-0, to win 3-2 on aggregate two years ago, and thrashed FC Dallas, 4-1, in overtime last year for a 4-2 series victory.

"I'm not saying it's OK to lose, because you never want to do that, but the most important thing in the two-leg format is not to lose by two goals," says Coach Dominic Kinnear. "In 2006, we were down 2-0 in the second half, but we knew if we got a goal we'd go back home in good shape, and we got one from Brian Ching, and that gave us a big boost going into the home game."

Brad Guzan saved a late Dwayne De Rosario penalty kick that could have tied the game, yet still Kinnear and his team exuded confidence and duly got the win they needed in the second leg.

Last week at the Meadowlands, Houston fell behind, 1-0, to a Juan Pablo Angel goal in the 48th minute, and nearly went down two goals five minutes later but Richard Mulrooney cleared away a Dane Richards shot that had evaded keeper Pat Onstad. The Red Bulls took another discouraging hit with five minutes left in regulation when Stuart Holden set up Kei Kamara for the equalizer.

"We stepped up to their physical play and we matched them," said Richards. "They're supposed to be one of the best teams in MLS, if not [the best team]. We matched them. We almost won, five minutes left we gave up a goal. Hopefully, we can do the same at their home with a different end result."

A more objective viewpoint is the Red Bulls played one of their best games in recent months and still couldn't win at home, and midfield catalyst De Rosario and Ching will almost certainly be sharper than they were in the first leg. New York has won only once on the road this season, but all it needs to force penalties is a tie, which it has done in six away games.

The lineup tinkering and tweaking of Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio will doubtless present a different lineup than the one he used last week when he benched playmaker Jorge Rojas in favor of Sinisa Ubiparipovic, and started Luke Sassano at holding mid instead of Juan Pietravallo.

The goalscoring guile of Angel, the pace of Richards, and the spunky goalkeeping of Danny Cepero certainly give New York a chance to pull a staggering upset, but all the personnel maneuvering and tactical acumen in the world can't mask the stark fact that Houston is a deeper, better, hungrier team that ruthlessly throttles teams when it plays at home, especially in the playoffs.

WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS, Game 2
HOUSTON vs. NEW YORK (1-1)

Sunday, 3 p.m. (TeleFutura)



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Video Pick: Chelsea star injured without playing     
Chelsea defender Nemanja Matic was suspended for its English League Cup final win over Tottenham last ...
Josh Perez spurs big win for U.S. U-17s     
The USA can clinch a spot at the 2015 World Cup with a win in its ...
Top 10 new reasons why to get excited about MLS    
The Major League Soccer kicks off its new season this weekend. There's a lot to get ...
What They're Saying: Danny Cruz    
"This wasn't an easy decision. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my ...
id2 all-stars tie, lose in first matches in Buenos Aires    
The id2 all-stars, U.S. Club Soccer's touring under-14 selection, played to a 3-3 tie with Velez ...
Moreno scores in Tijuana's Copa MX victory    
U.S. U-20 forward Amando Moreno has yet to play for Tijuana in its charge to the ...
Former MLS players dominate MLS coaching ranks    
The first 19 MLS titles have been won by 12 coaches. Six of the 20 current ...
D.C. United wins second leg but loses CCL series    
Needing a three-goal victory to advance in the Concacaf Champions League, D.C. United came up short ...
MLS CBA deal: who got what? who gave up what?    
An agreement in principle was reached between MLS and the MLS Players Union early Wednesday evening ...
What They're Saying: NBA player Luol Deng    
"We played with balls made of socks, or put a towel over a balloon and wrapped ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives