August 2, 2012
A look at the upcoming game
New York Red Bulls (11-6-5, 38 pts)@ Houston Dynamo (10-5-7, 37 pts), 8:00 pm ET (NBCSN)
New NY Red Bulls Designated Player Tim Cahill is expected to make his MLS debut against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium on Friday night. Cahill started for the Red Bulls in Tuesday night’s 2-1 friendly loss to England’s Tottenham Hotspur, drawing a penalty in the eighth minute to send Kenny Cooper to the spot for the go-ahead goal. The Dynamo have won four straight, moving into second place in the MLS East after last weekend’s 2-0 win over Toronto FC, and are unbeaten in 18 straight home games. The Red Bulls are thin in back, with defenders Brandon Barklage and Heath Pearce both hobbled by hamstring strains. Jan Gunnar Solli returned to the starting backfield in last weekend’s 3-1 loss to Montreal, but showed some obvious rust. At midfield, Dax McCarthy is suspended due to yellow card accumulation, but Cahill’s arrival blunts the impact of that loss considerably. Cooper scored the only goal of the teams’ first match of the season, a 1-0 Red Bulls victory on May 9. Brad Davis has been the catalyst for the Dynamo’s recent success, collecting five assists over his last three games, including two helpers in each of his last two games. Houston scoring leader Will Bruin missed the Toronto match with a calf injury, and is considered doubtful for Friday night. Brian Ching replaced him against the Reds, and scored his fourth goal of the season. Joel Lindpere has stepped up in the playmaking department for New York, notching four of his five assists in the last eight games, and Thierry Henry has snapped a prolonged scoring drought with two goals in his last three games.