After falling in Houston just seven days ago, the New York Red Bulls returned the favor and regained first place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-0 victory over the Dynamo on Friday night at Red Bull Arena. New Designated Player Tim Cahill registered his first two MLS assists, setting up Markus Holgersson and substitute Jan Gunnar Solli for New York’s goals. The win improved New York to 12-7-5, 41 points on the season, putting it one point ahead of Houston and Sporting Kansas City. The Red Bulls also remain unbeaten at Red Bull Arena in 2012 with an 8-0-3 record.
The hosts had the first good scoring chance of the match, but the Dynamo defense came up with a crucial stop. New York defender Heath Pearce split the Houston defense with a long pass, finding Kenny Cooper on the left side of the box. Cooper picked out Sebastien Le Toux near the penalty spot. However, his shot was blocked by Corey Ashe.
In the 30th minute, New York captain Thierry Henry nearly netted his 12th goal of the season but was denied by Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall. Henry was put in alone on goal with a long pass from Joel Lindpere. Hall though was able to get down and block the Frenchman’s attempt towards the far post from the left side of the penalty area.
The teams entered the second half still scoreless, and again it was the home side that threatened to break the deadlock. In the 54th minute, Henry flicked on a long ball with his head, looping it into the path of Cahill towards the middle of the penalty area. The Australian, who made his MLS home debut for the Red Bulls, fired his shot just over the crossbar.
Although Cahill missed a chance for his first goal in MLS, he provided his first assist as a Red Bull in the 61st minute. On the left side deep in Houston territory, Roy Miller looped a left footed cross into the area. Cahill leapt and was first to the ball, heading it back across the goalmouth into the path of Holgersson, who knocked the ball into the open net for his second goal of the season.
Houston continued to press for the equalizer. In the 71st minute, former New York forward Macoumba Kandji found himself in behind the New York defense after receiving a pass from Bobby Boswell. Red Bulls defender Connor Lade did well to retreat and cut off Kandji’s angle, and the forward sent his shot skipping wide of Bill Gaudette’s goal. Five minutes later, Corey Ashe tried his luck from distance with a left-footed blast that rang off the crossbar, and in the 78th minute, substitute Brian Ching headed a Luiz Camargo cross just wide of the right post.
The Red Bulls made sure that all three points would be theirs in second half stoppage time as Solli notched his third goal of the year. New York went ahead on a counterattack as Cahill sent Henry free behind the Dynamo defense. Henry came down the left flank and found Solli wide open in the middle of the box and the Norwegian easily tapped the ball in.
New York remains at home for its next match on Sunday, Aug. 19 as the club hosts Western Conference foe, the Portland Timbers, with kickoff slated for 7:00 PM ET (TV: MSG+, Galavision; Radio: 93.1 FM). Tickets are available and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RBSOCCER or by logging on to www.newyorkredbulls.com.
New York Red Bulls 2, Houston Dynamo 0
August 10, 2012 – Red Bull Arena – Harrison, NJ
MLS Regular Season
NY: Markus Holgersson 2 (Tim Cahill 1, Roy Miller 6) 61’
NY: Jan Gunnar Solli 3 (Thierry Henry 7, Tim Cahill 2) 92’+