MLS Playoffs Preview: New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo
Added by Bryan Salazar on November 2, 2013.
There’s no time to celebrate for Red Bulls fans as they begin to prepare for their first playoff match this Sunday against the Houston Dynamo.
After a memorable night last Sunday when the New Jersey based team hoisted their first silverware in 18 years, there is no doubt that they are eyeing for a second trophy this season. Head coach Mike Petke assured the fans that there would be no celebration just yet until they could get the MLS Cup.
Thierry Henry and the Red Bulls prepare for their match against Houston in their quest for the MLS Cup. Photo Credits: usatoday.com
And with that said, Petke is also assuring they will not go to this Sunday’s game over-confident. Although the New York Red Bulls have recently won in Houston, including 4-1 and 3-0 wins at BBVA Compass Stadium, there is no guarantee they will be able to replicate those same results once again, especially after the way Houston destroyed Montreal this past week.
“Very dangerous, extremely dangerous,” Petke told reporters on Friday of the Dynamo. “They’re a playoff team; they’ve been to the MLS Cup final two years in a row. They have one of the best coaches in the history of this league; they have players that have both talent and work rate, and they showed it last night against Montreal.”
“The score lines that we’ve had against them the last two games in Houston do not indicate at all the way the games went. It was very favorable to us and a bit lucky, so I believe we’re the underdogs going into Houston this weekend,” he added.
New York will most likely go to Houston with the same squad that won the Supporter’s Shield against Chicago Fire, save for the left wing on defense and possibly the goalkeeper position. Roy Miller has been cleared to play after suffering an Achilles injury back on August 25. While new signee David Carney has done a solid job in the position, it is curious to see who the Red Bull’s coach will pick come Sunday.
New York goalkeeper Luis Robles will be questioned for Sunday’s game, though there are reports saying he should be fine for Sunday. If he is unable to suit up, however, Red Bulls’ fans should keep calm when they have a capable backup keeper, Ryan Meara. Meara was praised and celebrated during the 2012 season until an unfortunate hip injury caused the young former Fordham goalkeeper to watch the game from the bench.
Just leave it Petke to reassure the fans.
“It’s not a concern,” Petke said of Meara. “Ryan’s played phenomenal in practice. The only reason he has not seen the field is because he’s behind one of the hottest goalkeepers in the league and Ryan understands that. It’s not that he’s not on the field because of the way he played. He’s a phenomenal goalkeeper; he’s done well in the Reserve Games. I’m not concerned at all if he has to go.”
While it was nice to win the Supporter’s Shield, it would be even better if they could win the MLS Cup, especially in front of their home fans, if they do make it that far. The rookie coach has done what no coach for New York has ever done prior to his tenure: win a trophy. Now, Mike Petke will try to go for the impossible and make it two trophies in one season. Why have one when you can have two, right?