Week 16: Putting Red Bulls-Dynamo to Bed

The Red Bulls broke their losing streak Sunday afternoon, with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo

June 30, 2013: Red Bulls 2, Houston Dynamo 0

In truth, it was the sort of game the Red Bulls should be winning. With the return of Tim Cahill and Jamison Olave, the Red Bulls were at full strength. The Dynamo? Not so much, with Brad Davis and Oscar Boniek Garcia on international duty.

And thanks to goals from Fabian Espindola and Jonny Steele, the Red Bulls did it.

Heading into the game, the Red Bulls were 1-3-1 in their last five overall, and 1-2-2 in the league. It was a cold streak where the team didn't look particularly interested or dangerous. Against an ailing Dynamo team -- with their own problems -- the Red Bulls needed to get a win and build some confidence.

They did, and that's the big takeaway: A win breaks the losing streak and is big for building confidence.

Positives

  • The Red Bulls got a shot on target yesterday. That was nice.
  • Thierry Henry finally got the ball yesterday. Henry is the team's best player -- and probably the league's, too -- but he can't be that player if he doesn't have the ball at his feet.
  • Dax McCarty seems to get getting back to his early season form, where he looked like the league's best defensive midfielder. Yesterday wasn't one of his best games, but it's still a massive improvement over the last few, where he seemed like he was still working out some post-injury kinks.
  • It was something like 500-plus minutes since Fabian Espindola scored his last goal. He broke that streak yesterday, netting what would be the game winner.
  • Reportedly, Steele had to get some stitches at the half, but toughed it out and netted his second goal of the season. That's toughness everyone can appreciate.
  • The win vaults the Red Bulls to second in the East and fifth in the league.

Negatives

  • Peguy Luyindula still can't score. He had a few chances, but he just couldn't put them away. After a while, you start feeling for the guy as it's clearly weighing on him. It feels a bit Cahill-ish. All he needs is the one, then they'll start coming.
  • The Red Bulls still have the most games played in the league. Fortunately, they share that distinction with Supporters' Shield leaders Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids. It's not as lopsided before, either, with most teams sitting on 17 games played.

Notable Quotes

Head Coach Mike Petke, via the New York Post...

A huge result for us in many aspects. Obviously it puts us in sole possession second place at this moment. Very important, after the last two league games which we lost, to get back up to a winning mentality against a solid side. I thought a lot of the play today. There was one thing I'm a little disappointed in: some of the passing. Our passing percentage wasn't very good I'm sure today with certain players, but the chances we created to come out of the first half without a goal I was surprised. We did create some very good combination play going forward. So overall, obviously we're very happy.

Steele, via the Post...

To be honest is not about me, it's about the team. Everything I do is for the team; again that goal, I don't look at it as me getting a goal, I see it as us winning the game. It gave us a cushion up 2-0 with ten minutes left or whatever it was, it gave us a little bit of breathing space.

Relevant Statistics

Red Bulls Statistic Dynamo
14 Attempts on Goal 11
1 Corners 6
10 Fouls 8
13 Crosses 26
78% Passing Accuracy 82%
49.2% Possession 50.2%

Source

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