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Red Bulls and Dynamo struggle to rediscover 2013 form
by Paul Kennedy, April 22nd, 2014 8:47PM

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TAGS:  houston dynamo, mls, new york red bulls

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[MLS: Week 8] A week after finally picking up its first win, the New York Red Bulls are back in action on Wednesday against Houston, another team off to slow start in 2014. Both teams are searching to rediscover the form that produced one of 2013's best playoff series won by the Dynamo over New York, the Supporters' Shield champion, following a 2-1 overtime win in the second leg at Red Bull Arena.

Both teams have been playing short-handed. For the last two games --  a 2-0 loss to New England and 0-0 tie with Philadelphia -- the Dynamo has been without captain Brad Davis, and it has missed his playmaking.

Australian DP Tim Cahill has played just 326 minutes and has yet to record a goal or assist for the Red Bulls.

Both players hold out hopes to play in the World Cup so their recovery has been slow. Davis is listed as doubt for Wednesday night, while Cahill has been ruled out with a persistent hamstring problem. He came off the bench to play in next week's 2-1 win over Philadelphia but sat out training at the beginning of the week.

Both teams will be without starting defenders on Wednesday after losing them to red cards in their last games against Philadelphia. Kofi Sarkodie's second yellow against Philadelphia came for time-wasting, while Ibrahim Sekagya was red carded in the Union match for a handball in the penalty area.

Warren Creavalle, projected to start in midfield this season but slowed by injury in preseason, might replace Sarkodie, while Spaniard Armando will likely step in for the suspended Sekagya.

Four teams below them in the 2013 Eastern Conference standings -- Columbus, Toronto FC, D.C. United and Philadelphia -- made significant offseason moves after failing to make the playoffs, and they now find themselves ahead of Houston and New York, tied for seventh place through Week 7 after basically sitting on the sidelines during the offseason.

Houston's only moves of note were to pick up David Horst from Portland ahead of the Re-Entry Draft and acquire Tony Cascio on loan from Colorado. New York picked up Armando as a free agent and made separate deals to acquire Bobby Convey and Richard Eckersley from Toronto FC but the latter two are both currently injured. None was in the blockbuster category.

Both teams may have to think about midseason moves before too long.

MLS SCHEDULE, Week 8:
Wednesday, April 23
7:30 pm ET
New York vs. Houston, MLS LIVE
Saturday, April 26
4 pm ET
Seattle vs. Colorado, MLS LIVE, Univision Dep.
Montreal vs. Philadelphia, MLS LIVE
7 pm ET
D.C. United vs. FC Dallas, MLS LIVE
7:30 pm ET
Columbus vs. New York, MLS LIVE
New England vs. Sporting KC, MLS LIVE
9:30 pm ET
Real Salt Lake vs. Vancouver, MLS LIVE
10:30 pm ET
San Jose vs. Chivas USA, MLS LIVE
Sunday, April 27
3 pm ET
Houston vs. Portland, UniMas
------------------------------------------------
MLS Standings:
EASTERN CONFERENCE
PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA
11 Columbus 3-1-2 11/6
11 Sporting KC 3-1-2 9/4
9 Toronto FC 3-3-0 5/7
8 D.C. United 2-2-2 6/7
8 New England 2-3-2 5/9
------------------------------------------------
8 Philadelphia 1-2-5 9/10
7 Houston 2-3-1 7/8
7 New York 1-2-4 8/11
6 Chicago 0-1-6 11/12
3 Montreal 0-4-3 7/15

WESTERN CONFERENCE
PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA
16 FC Dallas 5-1-1 17/9
13 Seattle 4-2-1 14/11
13 Real Salt Lake 3-0-4 11/6
11 Colorado 3-1-2 8/5
9 Vancouver 2-2-3 10/8
------------------------------------------------
8 LA Galaxy 2-1-2 7/4
6 Chivas USA 1-3-3 8/13
4 Portland 0-3-4 8/12
3 San Jose 0-2-3 5/7
------------------------------------------------
MLS: Leading Scorers
G PLAYER, TEAM
6+1 Erick Torres, Chivas USA
6 Clint Dempsey, Seattle
4+2 Dom Dwyer, Sporting KC
4+1 Quincy Amarikwa, Chicago
4+1 Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy
4 Federico Higuain, Columbus
4 Vicente Sanchez, Colorado
3+1 Blas Perez
, FC Dallas
3 Will Bruin, Houston
3 Jermain Defoe, Toronto FC
3 Michel, FC Dallas
3 Kenny Miller, Vancouver
3 Alvaro Saborio, Real Salt Lake
3 Je-Vaughn Watson, FC Dallas
3 Chris Wondolowski, San Jose


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