The New York Red Bulls know the effort they displayed in Houston against the Dynamo on August 3rd couldn’t net them a point or more on the road, as the match ended in a 2-0 shutout loss. On Friday, however, New York will have another crack at the Dynamo, hosting the Eastern Conference leaders at Red Bull Arena in the regular season meeting between the two sides. The Red Bulls, who currently sit third in the league table, have taken the week to regroup after their losing performance with the hopes of reversing the result in Friday night’s rematch (8 PM ET, NBC Sports).
Tim Cahill made his MLS debut on the road at BBVA Compass Stadium, playing the full 90 minutes despite initial projections that he might not go the full match. Now, as he anticipates his MLS debut at Red Bull Arena, Cahill believes New York will have a better understanding of the Dynamo.
“I definitely know their strengths but I think for us it is important to find out their weakness and utilize it tomorrow to our benefits,” Cahill said while speaking to members of the media following New York’s training session at Montclair State University.
With one MLS match already under his belt, the Australian midfielder looks to put together a more complete game than the one in Houston.
“I’m trying to work hard on the training pitch and off it and definitely get an understanding with the team, so tomorrow is going to be exciting,” he said.
One of the recent additions to the Red Bulls also acknowledged that there will be several things New York will be focused on improving this time around against the Dynamo.
“They’re set plays, we knew they were dangerous,” Cahill said. “Cleaning up the second ball [will be important] because we dealt with the the first one, and then probably getting a lot tighter than we did. You see from the second goal he [Macoumba Kandji] had a lot of time to cross the ball.”
Cahill and the Red Bulls have taken this past week to reflect on their loss in Houston, in which New York fell from atop the Eastern Conference, to focus on how they’ll need to raise their level of play.
“We’ve prepared well this week, we’ve done video, we’ve looked at things that can help us in the game and make us better to help us win the game,” Cahill said.
Captain Thierry Henry also realizes the team will need to step up their game if they hope to avoid a fate similar to the one they suffered in Houston.
“If we play the way we played against Houston at their place,” Henry said, “we’re going to have our first defeat at home. That’s a fact.”
The Red Bulls are looking to defend their perfect home record of 7-0-3, just as Houston did last week by shutting out New York to preserve their own unbeaten home streak (8-0-3). Still, Henry remains optimistic about the outcome.
“If we play the same we played at their house we’re going to lose. Having said that, I don’t think we’re going to play the same way,” Henry said. “I know [Friday] everybody is going to step up, I have no doubt about it.”