New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo: Complete Preview for MLS Playoff Matchup

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVNovember 6, 2013

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - MAY 26:  Sadio Mane of FC Salzburg in action during the Austrian Bundesliga match between FC Salzburg and FK Austria Wien held on May 26, 2013 at the Red Bull Arena in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by Samuel Kubani/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
EuroFootball/Getty Images

The New York Red Bulls are in the midst of an important Eastern Conference Semifinal showdown in the 2013 MLS Playoffs with the Houston Dynamo, and it's all coming down to a second-leg match on Wednesday night.

The two sides finished Saturday's opening leg with a 2-2 draw in Houston, where goals by Tim Cahill and Eric Alexander helped the Red Bulls cancel out a red card and come back to Red Bull Arena playing for an appearance in the MLS semifinals.

Here's everything you need to know for the upcoming match. 

Date: Wednesday, November 6

Start Time: 8 p.m. ET

TV: Univision Deportes

Live Stream: MLS Live

Red Bulls Player to Watch: Thierry Henry

Oct 27, 2013; Harrison, NJ, USA; New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry (14) celebrates a goal by New York Red Bulls midfielder Jonny Steele (not pictured) against the Chicago Fire during the second half of a game at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Br
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The international star was quiet in the first leg on Saturday, but don't expect that to be the case at home in this crucial match.

Henry finished the season with 10 goals, second on the club behind Tim Cahill—who scored in Houston Saturday. His last appearance of the regular season produced a goal in a 5-2 rout over Chicago.

The Dynamo kept New York's offensive attack to just two shots on goal, both of which were scores. But that won't be the case on Wednesday with everything on the line, as Henry will show why he was one of the world's best in his prime and come up big in the clutch. 

Henry came to the MLS to win championships, and he hasn't done so just yet. There's no doubting that he's hungry to stake his claim this season, after winning the Supporters' Shield for the league's best regular season record. 

The Red Bulls are on a mission this season, and it's being led by experienced veterans Cahill and Henry. Look for the Frenchman to make his presence felt in this showdown. 

Dynamo Player to Watch: Will Bruin

Oct 27, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Dynamo forward Will Bruin (12) moves the ball between DC United defender James Riley (2) and DC United defender Daniel Woolard (21) during the first half at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mill
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

After taking care of business against Montreal, the Dynamo face quite a bit tougher of a test against New York and they found that out on Saturday. It took a 90th-minute goal to secure a draw against the Red Bulls, who were playing with just 10 men. 

Despite the comeback, usual star Will Bruin was not one of the scorers even though he took three shots on the contest—none of which were on goal.

Bruin was scorching in the regular season, posting 10 goals, and the Dynamo will need more of the same if they want any chance at advancing to the conference finals and keeping their MLS Cup bid alive. 

The 24-year-old continues to dazzle and evolve into a MLS star, and he has his biggest chance yet at building his legend on Wednesday. 


Even in a draw to open the playoffs, the MLS' best team in 2013 still found a way to look good on Saturday by drawing on the road with 10 men.

Returning home, it's hard to see the Red Bulls' offensive attack do anything other than improve. You can't count on Henry not impacting the game in two straight appearances.

Red Bulls 3, Dynamo 1


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