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November 6, 2013 8:00 PM EST
Red Bull Arena — Harrison, New Jersey
Referee:‬ S. Petrescu‎
Attendance:‬ 22264‎

MLS Playoff Preview: New York Red Bulls - Houston Dynamo

The Red Bulls and Dynamo head to Red Bull Arena tied at 2-2, but New York must survive the absence of its most important defender.

By Seth Vertelney

After 32 minutes of the first leg of the Eastern Conference semifinal, the New York Red Bulls were cruising towards the conference final.

Up 2-0 after Tim Cahill and Eric Alexander goals, the visitors were on their way to another big win at BBVA Compass Stadium, after they had already defeated the Houston Dynamo there in September and October by a combined score of 7-1.

However, Houston's playoff resiliency, and a completely unnecessary and potentially series-changing red card from Jamison Olave shifted the momentum entirely.

Ricardo Clark scored in the 51st minute, which was followed by Olave being sent off for a tackle from behind in the 65th minute. Houston would eventually grab a late equalizer to send the series back to Red Bull Arena at a 2-2 aggregate score.

With Olave suspended for the second leg, Markus Holgersson will slide over from right back to partner Ibrahim Sekagya at center back, and will likely be replaced by Brandon Barklage or Kosuke Kimura. However, the Red Bulls will have to reverse some troubling stats: The team is 0-3-2 in games Olave has missed this year, and has allowed 0.94 goals per game with Olave in the lineup, and 1.8 goals per game without him.

Combined with Houston's recent playoff success, Olave's absence means Wednesday's final leg will be a big challenge for the Red Bulls, despite the team posting a perfect 3-0-0 record against the Dynamo in the regular season.

Houston will be looking for its first win at Red Bull Arena, as Dominic Kinnear's side is 0-4-1 all-time at the stadium, and has not scored a goal there since 2011.

Field Report
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Head to Head
USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Nov 6, 2013 New York Red Bulls 1 - Houston Dynamo 2
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USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Nov 3, 2013 Houston Dynamo 2 - New York Red Bulls 2
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USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Oct 20, 2013 Houston Dynamo 0 - New York Red Bulls 3
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USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Sep 8, 2013 Houston Dynamo 1 - New York Red Bulls 4
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USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Jun 30, 2013 New York Red Bulls 2 - Houston Dynamo 0
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
32L. RoblesGoalkeeper
32Ibrahim SekagyaDefender
-Marcus HolgerssonDefender
12David CarneyDefender
17Tim CahillMidfielder
22Jonathan SteeleMidfielder
26Brandon BarklageMidfielder
10Lloyd SamMidfielder
11Dax McCartyMidfielder
99Bradley Wright-PhillipsStriker
14Thierry HenryStriker
18Ryan MearaGoalkeeper
7R. MillerDefender
20Matthew MiazgaDefender
27Kosuke KimuraDefender
12Eric AlexanderMidfielder
9Fabian EspindolaStriker
8Péguy LuyindulaStriker
1Tally HallGoalkeeper
2Eric BrunnerDefender
5Warren CreavalleMidfielder
8Kofi SarkodieDefender
26Corey AsheDefender
32Bobby BoswellDefender
27B. GarcíaMidfielder
11Brad DavisMidfielder
13Ricardo ClarkMidfielder
23Giles BarnesMidfielder
12Will BruinStriker
24Tyler DericGoalkeeper
-Mike ChabalaDefender
10A. LópezMidfielder
17Luiz CamargoMidfielder
20Andrew DriverMidfielder
17Servando CarrascoMidfielder
7Omar CummingsStriker
23Cam WeaverStriker
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