Playoff positioning? Try Supporters’ Shield positioning. Friday’s primetime match had it all: top of table clubs, Tim Cahill’s Major League Soccer debut and the beautiful new BBVA Compass Stadium. Oh yeah, and New York’s always polarizing yellow shorts.
Yet with all the fanfare and expectations leading up to this contest, it only took 73 seconds to set up the one-sided result. Was the heat too much for New York? Was the home field advantage enjoyed by the Dynamo that overwhelming? Maybe it was the injection of yet another star (and an unknown mix of chemistry) into the lineup that caused this. Whatever it was, Houston’s 2-0 dispatching of the visiting Red Bulls means there’s a bit more separation at the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
Houston got on the board just past the one-minute mark, scoring on a Brad Davis set piece. The veteran played a dangerous ball into the box which ultimately fell to the feet of Macoumba Kandji, who slammed it on goal. Bill Gaudette made a diving save in the corner, parrying the ball back into the box. It was ultimately scuffed towards the far post and found Jermaine Taylor for the Jamaican’s first MLS goal. Taylor nearly finished a brace in the 10th minute, side-footing a one-time shot just off the outside of the near post during a Houston corner.
New York had difficulty getting the ball out of its own half for much of the first 20 minutes, as the Dynamo showed why they were a spotless 9-0-2 coming into the match when scoring first.
Kandji was in on the second goal as well, bodying off a few Red Bull defenders to hold possession. The forward swung in a dangerous ball into the penalty area, finding a rising Calen Carr at the far post. Carr headed his fourth goal of the season just out of Gaudette’s reach at the far post to make it 2-0.
How long did it take for New York to mount its first legitimate scoring threat? Come the end of the first 45 minutes, that question remained unanswered.
One of New York’s best chances of the match came in the 64th minute when new acquisition Cahill glanced a header just wide of the far post during a Red Bull corner. It was just that kind of night for the visitors in Houston but they’ll get a chance for redemption at home against the Dynamo in only seven days time.
There’s a reason why Houston has now won five matches in a row. Keep an eye on those boys in orange.
This is Brett Compton’s 250th post for WeFollowFutbol. Read more about him here.