Thursday 4 July: 2am KO
It’s the fourth of July which is of course a massive day of celebration in the United States of America. There hasn’t been too much celebrating of late for Houston Dynamos with a run of poor form. They are still in the MLS play-off positions though and host the New York Red Bulls who are also hopeful of making it into the play-offs.
There’s a whole host of games taking place on Independence Day as ‘soccer’ plays its part in the celebrations. The MLS season is well underway and both of the teams in this match are in with a chance of making the play-offs.
Houston Dynamo are currently seventh in the Western Conference. That’s the final place that takes teams into the MLS Cup play-off quarter finals. They failed to make it into the play-offs last season but did win the US Open Cup.
This season has seen them become a Jekyll and Hyde team. At home, they have yet to taste defeat with six wins and three draws. In the Western Conference, only Seattle Sounders and Los Angeles FC have earned more points than them.
You’d think they would be challenging for the conference title but their away form is appalling. Seven games have produced one win and six defeats and that’s why they are only seventh in the table. It’s a continual story of having to get home wins to keep in the top seven. You can get odds of 8/13 (1.61) at Ladbrokes on them winning this game.
Houston have lost their last four league and cup games conceding 11 goals. Only one of those was played at home. That was the game against Minnesota United that saw the holders lose the US Open Cup. They led 2-0 in the first half and it was 2-1 with eight minutes to go. Two late Minnesota goals ended their reign.
Only Seattle Sounders have been able to get an away league win at Houston in their last 13 games. New York Red Bulls are 4/1 (5.0) at Betfred to end Houston’s unbeaten home league run this season. They come into this game in fifth place in the Eastern Conference of the MLS.
The Red Bulls are only five points behind leaders Philadelphia Union, but have two games in hand. Qualification for the play-offs is looking good as they are six points ahead of eighth placed Orlando City. New York Red Bulls are 12/1 (13.0) at BetVictor to win the MLS Cup this season.
Their season began with four points from their first two league games. It all went a bit wrong after that though with a run of one point from their next five games. Their topsy-turvy season continued with four wins in a row and only one of the last ten games has ended in defeat.
Seven away league games this season have only produced two wins, both coming in May. Their most recent away game saw them lose 3-2 to Philadelphia Union. A disappointing loss considering they led 2-0 in the first half. If they had held onto that lead, they’d actually have more points than them rather than a five-point deficit.
Houston Dynamo are unbeaten in their last three home games against New York Red Bulls. Seven of the last nine games between these two sides have seen over 2.5 goals scored in them. It’s 1/2 (1.5) at Paddy Power that stat comes up in this fixture.
Bradley Wright-Phillips has a groin strain and only played the last 23 minutes for the Red Bulls in their most recent game. Florian Bird is another injury doubt for them. Houston Dynamo may be without Eric Bird.
Dodgy Dynamo Defending
Houston’s defending is leaving a lot to be desired at present with at least two goals conceded in the last five matches. The odds of New York Red Bulls scoring at least twice in this match are 9/4 (3.25) at SkyBet. The same bookies have Houston at 1/2 (1.5) to get at least two goals past the Red Bulls.
Houston are yet to lose a home league game this season. Their opponents aren’t that great on the road though and a bet on Houston winning with both teams scoring is 19/10 (2.9) at Coral.