FT: Houston 3, New York City 1. It’s a deserved win for the Dynamo.
New York City took an early lead in the sixth minute, on David Villa’s eighth goal of the year. However, the Pigeons lost midfielder Yangel Herrera to injury, courtesy of a nasty tackle by Houston’s Alejandro Fuenmayor, in the 14th minute. Herrera’s in the hospital for observation.
From that point on, New York City were vulnerable on defense. Missing Herrera’s bite in the midfield, they lost control of the game. Vieira failed to make the proper adjustments at the half.
The result was that Houston, not New York City, came out firing in the second half. The Dynamo had plenty of scoring chances, and finally, they capitalized.
Next up for the Pigeons: Orlando City, who’ll visit the Bronx. That game is Saturday, June 2, at 7:30 pm.
90’: There’s four minutes of stoppage time.
85’: This game is petering out to its conclusion. New York City are bereft of ideas, and exhausted. The temperature conditions in Houston — a suffocating humidity — make for a formidable home advantage.
79’: Goal, Alberth Ellis. Houston 3, New York City 1. That should kill off the game. Martinez with a lovely cross to Ellis. Johnson did well to save the first header, but could do nothing about the rebound.
71’: Substitutions — Jesus Medina on for Anton Tinnerholm; Ismael Tajouri-Shradi on for Ronald Matarrita.
That’s it for subs. Vieira is trying to spark his team to life here.
68’: Goal, Tony Martinez. Houston 2, New York City 1. It was a matter of when, not if. All of the scoring chances since the second half began have been Houston’s. They finally capitalized. Ofori gave the ball away just outside the box, and Houston took full advantage of the error.
65’: It’s all New York City can do to hang on in this game. Houston’s been in control throughout this second half. The Pigeons could do with just simply maintaining possession for a spell.
60’: Houston’s been bossing things since the half began. Meanwhile, all of New York City’s subs are warming up right now. The Pigeons have two subs left.
56’: We’re hearing that Herrera is in the hospital. He’s been taken there, and his right leg is immobilized. None of this sounds good.
53’: Patrick Vieira is deep in thought on the bench. So are we. Houston’s setting up for a free kick, as a result of an Ibeagha foul. It gets dealt with smartly.
46’: We’re off in the second half. Houston gets things rolling. Also: Fuenmayor received a yellow for his tackle on Herrera.
HT: New York City 1, Houston 1. The game is as even as the scoreline. It hasn’t been a pretty game to watch, though. Referee Allen Chapman’s letting a lot slide, and it’s resulted in a very choppy game, full of fouls and herky-jerky stoppages. The loss of Herrera to injury means that the Pigeons have been pretty vulnerable on defense. McNamara’s trying his best to fill in, but he’s not a defensive/holding midfielder.
Expect Vieira to make changes — even if they’re tactical — at the halftime break.
45’: There’s four minutes of injury time. That’s due to the injury on Herrera. New York City’s managed to claw back a measure of control. There’s some fluidity back in the game.
This isn’t something Vieira will like. Alexander Ring is down on the field after suffering a knock on his knee thanks to an onrushing Alberth Elis, I believe.
39’: New York City’s struggling to find a rhythm of any kind. Then again, so’s Houston. Neither coach can be really happy with what they’re seeing on the field.
28’: This game has gotten even more disjointed since the Houston goal. Neither team can get settled into a rhythm.
20’: Goal, Alejandro Fuenmayor. New York City 1, Houston 1. The free kick from Houston’s Quioto gets delivered neatly onto Fuenmayor’s head, and he scores on the snap-down header. That’s what zonal marking gets you.
18’: So far, New York City are in control. It’s a little bit of a choppy game, but the Pigeons are dictating the pace of the game. But as I write that, Houston gets off two good looks at goal; the second just barely gets palmed over by Johnson.
Meanwhile, Herrera is seated on a wheelchair while NYC’s medical staff takes a look at his ankle.
14’: New York City substitution — Tommy McNamara in for Yangel Herrera. The cult favorite is on for his longest appearance of the year, assuming he finishes out the game. That’s the first sub for the Pigeons, and it’s not one that Vieira wanted to make. Herrera may commit the most fouls on the squad, but he’s also the most fouled player on the squad.
12’: Looks like Yangel Herrera’s day is done, after just 10 minutes or so. Herrera collapsed in a heap, after getting his ankle absolutely crushed by a Houston player. After a protracted examination by the New York City medical staff, he’s getting carried off the field.
6’: GOOOOOOALLLLL DAVID VILLA!!! NEW YORK CITY 1, HOUSTON 0!!! Tinnerholm sets up the scoring sequence with a pass to Maxi Moralez. Moralez then crosses the ball. A Houston defender gets a head onto the cross, only to direct it perfectly to the feet of David Villa. Villa pounces on the ball, and volleys the ball home.
It’s his eighth goal of the season.
2’: OFF THE POST! Alberth Elis nearly notches a goal! New York City will count themselves very lucky there. Elis heads the ball off the right post, then the ball skitters across the face of goal. Only a desperate lunge by Sean Johnson denies Houston the rebound goal to go ahead.
1’: We’re off. Houston’s wearing their trademark orange. New York City is in their road steel greys.
The teams are taking the field right now. Kickoff approaches. As for tonight’s lineup, this looks like another experimental approach from Vieira. It’s probably a 3-4-3 of some kind; maybe a 3-4-1-2? Hard to say.
Alternatively, it could be a 5-3-2.
New York City Starting XI: Johnson, Callens, Ring, Ibeagha, Matarrita, Ofori, Moralez, Herrera, Tinnerholm, Villa (c), Berget
Bench: Stuver, Hountondji, Sweat, Tajouri-Shradi, McNamara, Wallace, Medina
- Suspended: None
- Suspended after next caution: MF Alexander Ring, MF Yangel Herrera
- Injury: OUT: D - Maxime Chanot (undisclosed injury)
Houston Dynamo Starting XI: Willis, Beasley (c), Fuenmayor, Machado, Wenger, Garcia, Alexander, Martinez, Quioto, Manotas, Elis
Bench: Seitz, Cabezas, Rodriguez, Alvarez, Gil, Lundkvist, Leonardo
- Suspended: None
- Suspended after next caution: F Dominique Badji
- Injury: OUT: OUT: D - A.J. DeLaGarza (torn left ACL), MF - Juan David Cabezas (left quad injury), D - Philippe Senderos (right hamstring injury), D - George Malki (concussion), D - Dylan Remick (concussion), D - Kevin Garcia (left hamstring injury), D - Jared Watts (right hamstring injury); QUESTIONABLE: MF - Darwin Ceren (leg injury)
Referees: Allen Chapman (referee); Andrew Bigelow, Chris Wattam (assistant referees); Daniel Radford (4th official); Jorge Gonzalez (VAR)
How To Watch
Match date & time: May 25, 2018, 8:55 p.m. EST
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX
Online streaming: Twitter
Local radio: WNYE 91.5 FM — English (Crooks, Kolker, Masur, Lawrence); WADO 1280 AM — Spanish (Abramowitz, Judas).
All-time series: Let’s start by noting that Houston has never beaten New York City. They’ve met three times, and two of those times, the meeting ended in draws. But on their last trip to the Gulf Coast, New York City came away with a win. That was a 2-0 encounter on September 30 of 2016. David Villa scored both of the goals that time. Their last encounter, in fact, didn’t even occur in either New York City or Houston; it was the notorious Connecticut “home” game in which the Pigeons played at Rentschler Field, in Hartford, CT.
New York City’s lineup is far more potent these days, and we saw that potency on display last week against Colorado, as they obliterated a game Rapids squad. Unlike 2016, though, this Dynamo squad is much improved. They’re unbeaten in their last three games, and are coming off a spirited 3-2 comeback win on the road against Chicago.
After a week full of speculation on his coaching future, manager Patrick Vieira will try to put all that behind him and see if he can keep New York City’s sparkling road record going. At one point, reports confidently stated that Vieira wouldn’t even make the trip to Houston, and instead he’d be flying back to France to take over OGC Nice in Ligue 1. That, obviously, didn’t occur, and Vieira was emphatic in denying those reports.
For now, kick back, and let’s see if the Pigeons can bring home at least a share of the spoils back with them.
This post will update with highlights and information as we receive it.