Harrison, NJ (Sports Network) - Red Bull New York's young defensive unit
impressed once again as the club held on for its third straight clean sheet in
a 1-0 defeat of the Houston Dynamo at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday.
With Wilman Conde and Stephen Keel unavailable to selection and Roy Miller
relegated to a substitute appearance, New York's inexperienced back-line of
Tyler Ruthven, Markus Holgersson, Brandon Barklage and Connor Lade was kept in
tact as it made the most of an early goal from Kenny Cooper to claim its third
1-0 victory in a row.
New York continued its habit of scoring early when a defensive miscue from
Corey Ashe gifted the home side the lead in just the seventh minute. The
Houston defender played a soft pass back to his goalkeeper and Cooper was quick
to apply pressure, redirecting Tally Hall's hurried clearance into the back of
an empty net.
Houston pressed for an equalizer before the close of the first half, but the
Red Bulls defended as a unit and looked unlikely to be broken down.
New York looked to extend its lead in the second half as Juan Agudelo ripped a
shot on goal in the 65th minute only for Hall to produce a sprawling save, and
Dax McCarty hit a screamer shortly after that sailed inches wide of the post.
Brad Davis had a golden opportunity to get the Dynamo on level terms when the
ball was pulled back for him at the top of the box in the 82nd minute, but his
left-footed curler went just wide.
That strike opened up the final stages of the match as end-to-end action
Agudelo's brilliant side-volley was hit with pace but directly at Hall, while
Houston's Adam Moffat sent a rocket just over the crossbar moments later at the
Davis had arguably the best chance of the final 10 minutes when he ghosted into
the box to latch onto a cross, but he failed to get his free header on target.
New York's rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara preserved his third straight shutout
with some late heroics, producing a fine reaction save to deny Houston an
equalizer in stoppage time. Meara nearly parried Calen Carr's header into his
own net, but he recovered to collect the ball on the second attempt.
The Red Bulls are proving to be a formidable side without some of their
perceived first-teamers as Thierry Henry, Rafa Marquez and Teemu Tainio did not
feature in Wednesday's win. New York (6-3-1) moves into second place in the
Eastern Conference ahead of D.C. United and will return to action Sunday at PPL
Park against its I-95 rivals, the Philadelphia Union.
Houston (2-3-2) was looking to gain some momentum heading into its first home
game of the season. Instead, the Dynamo will ride a two-game losing skid into
Saturday's grand opening of BBVA Compass Stadium against D.C. United.
The Sports Network