What to Watch for When the Red Bulls Face Houston Dynamo (Sunday, 2:00 PM, ESPN 2)

Eye on the standings, players returning, offense, and all in for red ahead of Sunday's match

Let's take a closer look at a few storylines to keep an eye on ahead of Sunday's 2:00 PM match against the Houston Dynamo.

Eye on the Standings

We’re exactly at the halfway point of the season heading into Sunday’s match against the Houston Dynamo. With a 7-6-4 record over the first 17 matches, the Red Bulls hold better ground than all but two teams in the Eastern Conference, as they currently find themselves in a second place tie with Philadelphia off a 25 point total. But it’s a tight race at this point in the season and as we’ve seen in the past it will likely come down to the last week or two of the season. So while we may not be looking at playoffs scenarios just yet, the Red Bulls can’t afford to lose ground at any point. The match against the Dynamo, a club that’s currently fifth in the East, is a prime example of what is best described as a “six-point match.”

Cahill, Juninho, Olave Return

The returns of Tim Cahill from international duty, along with Juninho and Jamison Olave from one-game suspensions (Juninho – yellow card accumulation, Olave – double yellow vs. Vancouver on June 1) is a good sign for the Red Bulls heading into this weekend’s match. Between injuries and suspensions, the club has been forced to alter the chemistry a bit. Getting back this trio will help bring stability in both the midfield and back line.

Offensive Chances

Whether it was as a result of being a man down or just bad bounces, the Red Bulls were unable to crack the goose egg in Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Philadelphia. The good thing is there were plenty of chances created, and that’s with being a man down. New York remains third overall in the East for Goals Scored with a total of 23, whereas Houston is third overall in Goals Allowed with 13. It should definitely be an interesting head to head this weekend, one that will require the Red Bulls to capitalize on whatever chances they do create if they want to walk away with three points.

Red Out at RBA

If there’s one match you don’t want to miss this season at Red Bull Arena then this is the one. Not only does Sunday’s 2:00 PM kick off pit two quality sides against one another for the first time this season, but all fans in attendance will also receive a free all in for red T-shirt, with many sizes to choose from. Don’t miss out on what’s set to be a great match at Red Bull Arena. Visit Red Bulls Ticket Central for tickets, or call 877.RB.SOCCER.