The New York Red Bulls put in a forgettable shift against the Houston Dynamo Wednesday night. Looking to build on their success against the Chicago Fire, the Red Bulls played a defensive game plan, but ended up leaking goals.
Alberth Elis’s return to the Dynamo paid dividends. The talented attacker missed time during the Gold Cup playing for Honduras, and he wasted no time making his mark in his return. Elis notched a goal and an assist during the Dynamo’s lopsided 3-0 victory.
Brian White and Tom Barlow started together up top in a 5-3-1-2 formation. The Red Bulls used the formation to maximize available personnel during the short week. Several Red Bull starters are still away on International duty including Aaron Long and Kemar Lawrence. Additionally, Tim Parker received a foot sprain during the match against the Chicago Fire last Friday.
Chris Armas spoke before the match insinuating the team play a more defensive match. The first half showed the plan in full effect. A low defensive block kept the Dynamo’s dangerous attack in front of the backline, and prevented dangerous chances. ‘The bend, don’t break’ style worked for a while, but when it failed, it did so spectacularly.
The Dynamo opened the scoring in the 40th minute. Mauro Manotas tapped home a cross from Alberth Elis. Elis received the ball on the right wing. He used his footwork and speed to open up space, before sending in the cross. Manotas timed his run perfectly behind Amro Tarek, leaving him alone in the box to score.
The Red Bulls created a few good chances in the first half, but failed to take their chances. The Dynamo held a 1-0 lead at the half.
Tomás Martinez extended the Dynamo’s lead in the 56th minute. Following a corner kick, the ball popped out to the top of the box. Martinez pounced on the loose ball, firing a hard low shot through traffic. Luis Robles had very little time to react, and the shot snuck in the near post. Following the goal, the Red Bulls inserted Kaku, looking to gain some attacking ground.
Coming out to attack more left the team open defensively, and the Dynamo scored again in the 72nd minute. Alberth Elis made a late run to the back post, and Romell Quioto picked him out perfectly. Elis delicately nodded the ball back across goal, off the far post, and in. Elis doubled his tally in stoppage time, firing a shot from the top of the box. Robles got a hand to it, but couldn’t keep the ball out of the net.
The Red Bulls lost two players to red cards in the match. First, Michael Murillo received a second yellow card for a trip in the 83rd minute. Then Kaku received a red card for violent conduct at midfield. Kaku and Maynor Figueroa had a confrontation during the play that led to the Dynamo’s fourth goal. Both players were sent off.
The Red Bulls fall to 8-7-3 following the loss in Houston. Next up, they travel to face Atlanta United FC. The Five Stripes also suffered a big loss midweek, falling 5-1 to the Chicago Fire. They also lost Leandro González Pirez to red card suspension for the match.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography