The New York Red Bulls have won just one MLS regular season match in Houston. Ever.
The good news? That win came in New York’s last outing against the Dynamo, a dazzling 4-1 win on Sept. 8.
Revenge may be a factor for Houston, but there’s plenty of stake for both teams as they charge towards the end of the regular season. The Dynamo are third in the Eastern Conference with 48 points, just three ahead of the seventh-place New England Revolution. With the Montreal Impact's loss to the LA Galaxy last night, Houston can clinch a playoff spot this weekend with a win against New York, provided that the Chicago Fire draw or lose against Toronto FC or the New England Revolution draw or lose against the Columbus Crew.
For the Red Bulls, the stakes are much simpler, though no less pressing. With two wins in their final two games, New York would win the Supporters’ Shield, but with three other teams within two points of them in the standings, losing is not an option.
June 30 – Red Bulls 2, Dynamo 0
After going through a 5-0-2 roll through the end of April and the whole of May, the Red Bulls proceeded to drop their first two matches of June before heading into their first game of the season against Houston.
Despite the slump, New York came out firing, and striker Thierry Henry nearly got his team on the board in the 15th minute before firing wide. The Dynamo escaped unscathed after two more chances from Henry in the first half, but the Red Bulls would break the deadlock in the 60th minute as Fabian Espindola got in behind Houston’s defense and converted his one-on-one with goalkeeper Tally Hall.
New York midfielder Jonny Steele would finish off the scoring in the 88th minute with a rocket from the top of the box, putting the Red Bulls win on ice.
September 8 – Dynamo 1, Red Bulls 4
After notching a 2-1 win over D.C. United at home, New York travelled to Houston to see if they couldn’t get off the schneid in Bayou City.
They did, and in some style. The visitors got on the board in the 14th minute, as Eric Alexander finished off a pretty series by floating a shot over Tally Hall. The Dynamo tied the game four minutes later, as Jason Johnson did well to control a pass from Alex Lopez box and poke the ball past Luis Robles.
The Red Bulls would take back the lead two minutes into the second half, as Thierry Henry sliced through Houston’s defense and slotted home. New York never looked back, adding goals from Jonny Steele in the 59th minute and from Lloyd Sam in the 88th.