HARRISON, N.J. – Dwayne De Rosario earned an assist as a second-half subsitute in his New York debut, but Cam Weaver's equalizer spoiled the party as Houston survived a wild finish for a 1-1 draw at Red Bull Arena on Saturday.
De Rosario immediately gave the Red Bulls offense the shot in the arm the club had been seeking when it acquired him from Toronto FC on Friday, and the Canadian international sparked a lethargic New York attack as he came off the bench at the restart.
In the 47th minute, De Rosario sliced a ball from the middle of the field to Dane Richards. Getting control along the left side of the Dynamo box, Richards freed himself with a cutback and fired past goalkeeper Tally Hall for his first goal of the season. But after an equally lackluster first half, Houston responded with a goal of their own just three minutes later.
In the 50th, a Will Bruin header went over the top of the Red Bulls defense. Center back Rafa Márquez lackadaisically tracked back, assuming Bouna Coundoul would clear the effort. Instead, the New York goalkeeper stayed on his line and Weaver touched the ball around Coundoul for his first goal of the season.
The Red Bulls held the run of play and possession throughout the match, but the visitors held the edge in quality chances in the first half. The Dynamo had two good chances early, including Brian Ching rattling an effort off the bar in the 22nd minute, but Houston lacked sustained pressure. The Dynamo attack took a hit when Ching was substituted in the 39th minute following several touch collisions with Coundoul.
But it was the second half when both sides threw aside any tentativeness. The Red Bulls seemed to benefit the most from the freedom to attack, with Richards nearly doubling his scoring account in the 54th minute, sending a laser from inside the six-yard box just past Hall’s far post. Joel Lindpere’s deflected shot struck post one minute and Thierry Henry was denied on the goal line by Hall in the 70th.
GALLERY: New York vs. Houston
The Red Bulls came close to pulling out a winner three more times in the game’s last gasps. In the 87th minute, De Rosario put a Lindpere cross just wide of goal and in the 90th, an Henry header forced Hall to acrobatically tip the ball over the bar. Roy Miller's header in stoppage time went well over the bar.
With De Rosario in tow, New York next travel to Philadelphia on April 9. Houston host Vancouver on April 10.
NY -- Dane Richards 1 (Dwayne De Rosario 1) 47
HOU -- Cam Weaver 1 (Will Bruin 1, Tally Hall 1) 50
HOU -- Cam Weaver (caution; Reckless Tackle) 73
Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall, Bobby Boswell, Andre Hainault, Corey Ashe, Hunter Freeman, Danny Cruz (Mike Chabala 83), Brad Davis, Lovel Palmer, Geoff Cameron, Brian Ching (Cam Weaver 39), Will Bruin (Alex Dixon 73).
Substitutes Not Used: Jason Garey, Eddie Robinson, Kofi Sarkodie, Tyler Deric.
New York Red Bulls -- Bouna Coundoul, Jan Gunnar Solli, Tim Ream, Rafael Marquez, Roy Miller, Dane Richards (Luke Rodgers 78), Mehdi Ballouchy (Dwayne De Rosario 46), Teemu Tainio, Joel Lindpere, Juan Agudelo, Thierry Henry.
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Kassel, Stephen Keel, Carlos Mendes, Carl Robinson, Alex Horwath.
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee's Assistants: Peter Manikowski; Claudio Badea
4th Official: Armando Villarreal
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Clear and 58 degrees