The New York Red Bulls and Houston Dynamo remain the only two teams in Major League Soccer to maintain perfect records at home. With the upcoming home-and-home series, starting Friday night in Houston and concluding Aug. 10 at Red Bull Arena, now’s the time for both to test one another’s home turf.
All season long New York has remained adamant about making Red Bull Arena a fortress. The team has without a doubt stood by their word, posting an Eastern Conference-best 7-0-3 record at home that has only helped place them at first place in the conference.
But that isn’t the only club claiming the best home record in the East. The Dynamo, just one point behind New York in the table, also possesses a 7-0-3 record, quickly making the newly-constructed BBVA Compass Stadium a tough place to play for any visiting team. It’s something Jan Gunnar Solli feels can actually help the Red Bulls.
“It’s extra motivation I feel like because they haven’t lost at home,” Solli said. “I think we have a great opportunity, but we play away, so we just have to defend really well and that’s what we’ve been working on [Thursday]. They’re going to open up when they drive forward, so it’s about taking advantage.”
For a team that started its season with seven-straight games on the road, going 2-3-2 during that span, the Dynamo’s record at home will undoubtedly be challenged for the remainder of 2012, as seven of the remaining 12 fixtures are scheduled to take place in Houston. With the Red Bulls heading into town for Friday’s match, head coach Hans Backe and company would love nothing more than to be the team that spoils the party.
Of course, Houston is likely thinking the same thing as they look ahead at the Aug. 10 meeting at Red Bull Arena. Which is why Backe says it’s about taking care of business on the road and at home.
“They’ve been flying. It’s only Houston and ourselves that are unbeaten at home,” Backe said. “We know of course that every game’s the same. You need to show up from the first second, play hard, and then you have a chance.”
Last season the LA Galaxy escaped the 2011 regular season as the only side to post a perfect record at home, going 12-0-5 en route to an MLS Cup win over the Dynamo.
With so many regular season fixtures remaining, it’s far too early to predict whether or not the Red Bulls or Dynamo will follow in suit with a Galaxy-like home record by season’s end. But if one thing’s for certain, a big test awaits both sides starting Friday night.
The Red Bulls and Dynamo kick off Friday at 8 PM on NBC Sports. New York returns home Friday, Aug. 10, in the second half of a home-and-home series. Get your tickets now at Red Bulls Ticket Central or by calling 877.RB.SOCCER.