Dynamo beats Red Bulls to first place
Boniek Garcia of the Houston Dynamo and goalkeeper Bill Gaudette of the New York Red Bulls collide
HOUSTON, Texas ● Jermaine Taylor and Calen Carr scored in the first half to lead the Dynamo to a 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls on Friday night, extending Houston’s winning streak to five games.
Houston (11-5-7, 40 points) dominated play throughout in stretching its unbeaten streak to eight games and taking over possession of first place in the Eastern Conference.
Houston coach Dominic Kinnear said the team was playing well, creating opportunities and getting goals from different people.
“When you defend well and attack well, it gives you confidence when you sit back and look at the game,” Kinnear said. “There are still a lot of games to play. The one thing that is good is you are putting pressure on teams behind you. The only thing you can do is give yourself as many points as you can and put pressure on the teams behind you.
“We are happy we are sitting in first place in the conference and now teams will be after us, which happens when you win games. We play these guys again in a week. They will be ready and it’s up to us to try and keep our place in the top of the standings.”
New York (11-6-5, 38 points) lost its second straight and dropped to second in the East.
“It was well-deserved for Houston,” New York coach Hans Backe said. “They controlled the game from the first minute. Of course when you go down like that, it’s a long way back. They’re a strong home team, but we could agree that we were not good enough. It was not acceptable the first half for the way we played.”
Taylor scored his first goal of the season 75 seconds into the game, capping a flurry of shots by Houston in front of the New York goal.
Andre Hainault headed Brad Davis’ free kick to Macoumba Kandji, who had his shot from the upper left box saved by New York goalkeeper Bill Gaudette. The rebound went to Hainault inside the 6-yard box and he tried to bloop a shot inside the far post. Taylor kneed it in from the end line.
Carr extended the lead to 2-0 in the 28th minute, heading a cross from Kandji inside the near post from 7 yards out on the right.
Carr has four goals and an assist in his last four games.
“Once you get one goal it’s always easier to get the next,” he said. “I think that has been part of it. Another thing is just playing with these guys. We have a lot of great players on this team, especially now with (Oscar) Boniek Garcia drawing a lot of attention. Everything is clicking for us right now as a team, which is the most important thing. For me, to play a part in that is just icing on the cake.”
Houston nearly upped its lead in the 45th minute when Kandji faked out Gaudette, but his shot from outside the 6-yard box on the right side was cleared from the open net by Wilman Conde.
Houston controlled play in the first half, holding New York to two shots and one shot on goal, Tim Cahill’s attempt in the 11th minute that was saved by Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall.
New York had a couple chances in the second half, but Sebastien Le Toux had a shot go wide and Cahill had one go high.
Houston, which extended its unbeaten streak at home in MLS play to 19 games, had several opportunities to add to its lead in the second half, with the best coming in second half stoppage time when Brian Ching lobbed a ball into the center box to Garcia, but Gaudette made the save.