Let's take a look ahead at a few storylines ahead of Sunday’s action when the Red Bulls travel to face the Houston Dynamo for a 4:00 p.m. ET kickoff. Watch live on MSG or UniMas, or follow updates and video clips throughout via our Twitter feed.
The Supporters’ Shield
After a few tense weeks of waiting to see what other teams were going to do with their games in hand, the Red Bulls’ path to winning the Supporters’ Shield is now very well-defined: Win your next two games, and you win the trophy.
New York sit in a tie with the Portland Timbers atop the League with 53 points, but if both teams win out, the Red Bulls will win the Shield based on games won. Even though their fate is in their own hands, however, there are still three teams within two points of New York in the standings, making wins in these last two games almost a necessity.
Winning in Houston
The last time the Red Bulls traveled to face Houston they dazzled in a 4-1 victory. It was the kind of performance that would make you think that they’d done this before.
Think again. As impressive as that win was, it was the first one that the Red Bulls had ever picked up in Houston. Will there be a revenge factor at play for the Dynamo?
The Cahill Train
Tim Cahill has scored some big goals this season, and two of the biggest came in his last two games. The Australian iron man netted a crucial equalizer against the Seattle Sounders on September 29 before scoring his iconic goal against the New England Revolution the next week to put New York in the playoffs.
Cahill has been away for a week on national team duty with the Socceroos, but if he can return fresh enough to make an impact in Houston, he’ll be the man to watch for New York.
Robles And The Record
With the Red Bulls recent battle to make the MLS Cup Playoffs and ongoing attempt to win the Supporters’ Shield, there’s one accolade that has gotten lost in the shuffle - but one that is still up for grabs. With a shutout in either of New York’s last two games, goalkeeper Luis Robles would break the club’s single season record for clean sheets that was set by Bouna Coundoul in 2010.
Robles, who has started all 32 of the Red Bulls’ games this year, recorded his 10th shutout of the season in a 1-0 win over FC Dallas on September 22. It was Robles’ 15th win of the season, pushing him past the single-season wins record that Tony Meola and Bouna Coundoul had shared previously.