The 2016 New York Red Bulls got their lone win of the infamous 1-6 start courtesy of a porous Houston Dynamo defense in the cold at Red Bull Arena. Unfortunately, as bad as the Dynamo were last year, they only lost five times at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Fast forward to 2017 and the Dynamo are doing noticeably better: seven goals in three games with a 2-0-0 home record against Seattle and Columbus. Their best scoring threat so far as been Honduras forward Romell Quioto, who has scored in each of the Dynamo's three games, while Cubo Torres and Albert Elis making the team very dangerous up front.
Luckily (or not) for the Red Bulls, Quioto is set to miss the game with an injury - which will in turn likely give Mauro Manotas a chance to shine.
The Dynamo defense got retooled in the off-season as well, with AJ DeLaGarza, Leonardo and Adolfo Machado joining DaMarcus Beasley as the starters - and aside from a second-half collapse on the road against Portland, has played very well at home.
The Red Bulls will by no means get an easy three points against this Dynamo team, and might even consider themselves lucky to get a point against this rebuilt club.
Here is the RBNY predicted XI vs Houston:
Aurelien Collin - Often enough when Jesse Marsch says a player "could be" in the starting lineup, he is.
Connor Lade - Far more surprising that Lade's first start of the season was how much he looked to be in form.
Tyler Adams - The Red Bulls wonder-kid is coming off an eye-opening season debut. Adams has the hot hand, and now he's gonna be fed for a while.
Sacha Kljestan - Fans will probably be relieved to see Kljestan back in the lineup after the disappointing display by Alex Muyl against RSL last week.
Bench: Ryan Meara, Damien Perrinelle, Sal Zizzo, Sean Davis, Derrick Etienne, Alex Muyl, Amir Murillo
The Red Bulls are still in the process of finding their ideal starting XI, with Tyler Adams and Connor Lade earning their first minutes since 2016 and shining in last week's scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake. With Sean Davis and Sal Zizzo underwhelming thus far, the game against Houston will be important to see if Adams and Lade can solidify their spots in the XI.
What do you think?