The New York Red Bulls are placed second in the Eastern Conference after three consecutive shutout wins in MLS. The Red Bulls won all three games by a 1-0 margin, the first coming at home on April 28 against the New England Revolution (3-6-0), then away at Los Angeles against the Galaxy (3-5-1), and finally, back on home turf against the Houston Dynamo (2-3-2).
The Red Bulls (6-3-1) won a crucial game against the Dynamo which put them on top of DC United (5-3-3) with a game in hand. If New York were to win against Philadelphia (2-5-1), which seems very likely, they would solidify their lead against rivals DC.
The game on Wednesday night was the Red Bulls' second night without world-renowned striker, Thierry Henry, who currently is recovering from a hamstring injury.
An early seventh-minute goal by Kenny Cooper was the only goal of the game.
Cooper's eighth goal of the season came from a horrible back-pass from Dynamo's left-back Corey Ashe. The Red Bulls forward deflected the ball into the back of the net as goalkeeper Tally Hall cleared the line.
New York played a watertight defense, even with their makeshift back line. The young defenders were able to clear the ball time and time again against dangerous set pieces taken by Dynamo.
Houston's Brad Davis rallied the team in the final ten minutes, but it amounted to nothing. He should have been able to score two goals, but his concentration seemed lacking.
With this loss, Houston has not posted a win in five straight games. Their form currently stands at: L-L-D-D-L, placing them in seventh in the Eastern Conference of the MLS.
This is the third consecutive game that New York goalkeeper Ryan Meara was able to record a clean sheet.
Four yellow cards were shown throughout the match—three for the Red Bulls: Kenny Cooper for a rash challenge in the 45th minute, Connor Lade for a challenge in the 55th minute and Dax McCarthy for arguing with the referee in the 59th minute. Houston's Calen Carr was shown the yellow in the 12th minute of the game for a rash challenge.
The Red Bulls play against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, whereas the Dynamo play against third-placed DC United. A win by both New York and Houston ensure the Red Bulls holding on to second at the end of the week.