Dynamo-Red Bulls Preview

The injury-plagued New York Red Bulls are getting two players

back while the Houston Dynamo are welcoming back one of their

starters.

The Red Bulls should have Rafa Marquez and Roy Miller in their

lineup Wednesday night when they try to continue their home mastery

of a well-rested Dynamo team that should be boosted by the return

of Colin Clark.

Marquez is eligible to return from a three-match ban and Miller

is healthy after missing that same span with a knee injury. New

York (5-3-1) is without star forward Thierry Henry, midfielder

Teemu Tainio and defenders Wilman Conde and Stephen Keel due to

injuries.

Henry, out with a strained right hamstring, remains second in

MLS with nine goals.

The Red Bulls conceded 14 goals through seven matches before

rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara led them to 1-0 victories in the last

two. Their first game without Henry was successful as they employed

a defensive approach Saturday at Los Angeles.

“I think we can survive three, four games like this,” coach Hans

Backe said. “We just have to focus on the defending game.”

Clark is eligible to come back for Houston (2-2-2) after serving

his three-game ban for directing a gay slur toward a ball boy

during a 2-0 loss at Seattle on March 23. The midfielder, who

started the first three matches, also was ordered to attend

diversity and sensitivity training.

The Dynamo have played only three matches since that contest and

last took the field in a 3-2 road defeat to D.C. United on April

28. That means Clark has been out of game action for 48 days.

“It’s gone now, but it’s been tough to take,” Clark told the

Dynamo’s official website. “Three games is a pretty good

suspension, and any suspension, you want to get done as soon as

possible, but this one took a while. Now it’s over and I can focus

on New York.”

Focusing on New York could be a challenge since a rematch with

D.C. looms Saturday in Houston’s first home game at the new BBVA

Compass Stadium. Wednesday’s contest ends a season-opening stretch

of seven road games.

“Sometimes you have a tendency to look past the game because

it’s the home opener but then we get a reality check and realize

that we have to get three points there,” forward Will Bruin said.

“It would be a lot of momentum if we could go to New York and get a

win for the home opener.”

Houston is 0-3-4 all-time at New York, which is on a 3-0-6 run

in the series overall.

Bruin has scored four of Houston’s seven goals. Defense has been

a bigger issue during the Dynamo’s 0-2-2 stretch as they have

conceded eight goals.

Backe, meanwhile, has indicated that he may make lineup changes

in addition to the returns of Marquez and Miller. The Red Bulls are

playing the middle game of three in nine days, with a trip to

Philadelphia set for Sunday.

“(LA) was a tough, tough game for them,” Backe told the Red

Bulls’ official website. “They run a lot, they’ve done it in two

games now. The flight to LA is also a killer.”