Red Bulls awaiting offense, face Dynamo next

League: MLS

Posted on: 02 Mar, 2024 at 04:31 AM

Credit: Mark Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Red Bulls' season opener looked eerily familiar to 2023, with several chances and no goals.

The Red Bulls will likely use the same lineup and hope for better results, including adding star defender John Tolkin to the mix when they visit the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night.

New York (0-0-1, 1 point) was held scoreless 13 times last season when it squeaked into the postseason, and then it opened this season by settling for a 0-0 draw at Nashville on Sunday.

Tolkin missed the match with a groin injury and watched his teammates outshoot Nashville 17-5. The Red Bulls had five shots on goal, five others blocked and missed the net a few times in the debut of midfielder Emil Forsberg.

"I think the only time they were dangerous was when they had corner kicks and stuff like that could put a little bit of pressure, but apart from that, I think we played good," Forsberg said after the Red Bulls held possession for 54.4 percent of the match. "We controlled the rest of the defense we had after our attacks, so that was also good. We had some good chances and a little bit of bad luck."

Tolkin, who had six assists last year, is expected to be a game-time decision and was about 70 percent at Thursday's training session, according to coach Sandro Schwarz.

Houston (0-0-1, 1 point) earned a 1-1 draw in its season opener against Sporting Kansas City last Saturday when Gabe Segal scored in the 69th minute. Segal became the 14th player in team history to score in his first MLS match with the team. It came as Houston had 12 shots and controlled possession for 61.5 percent of the time.

Houston heads into the match after advancing to the Round of 16 in the CONCACAF Champions tournament with a 1-0 win against St. Louis on Wednesday when Erik Sviatchenko scored off a set piece in the 60th minute.

"We have a busy calendar, but this team expects to win at home," Houston coach Ben Olsen said. "At times, that means we must show some resiliency, and that is part of the culture we want to build in Houston. We want Shell Energy Stadium to be a tough place to play, and that's regardless of how much time we have in between games."

--Field Level Media