Red Bulls 2, Dynamo 0

Red Bulls captain Thierry Henry looked at newcomer Tim Cahill’s

two assists, the strong first-half defense, and the attitude change

from a loss last week in Houston and still wasn’t satisfied with a

2-0 victory over the Dynamo on Friday night.

Henry, whose assist off a chip from Cahill in the second of

three minutes of extra time found second-half sub Jan Gunnar Solli

for a tap-in goal, had previously come out publicly about his

team’s lack of fire and sloppy defense in the 2-0 loss in Houston

last Friday night. And Henry didn’t let up just because the Red

Bulls (12-7-5) moved into first place in the East with 41 points, a

point ahead of Houston (11-6-7) and Sporting KC.

”What I’m confused about is that I know we won, I know we

played better,” Henry said after setting up Solli for his third

goal of the season. ”But we gave them four to five clear-cut

chances on top of possession.

”Everybody’s going to be happy and sleep well tonight. We won.

Well.they created chances. I’m always the one to kill the night,

but all I’ll remember is (Brian) Ching missing a header, and

(Corey) Ashe hitting the crossbar, and (Macoumba) Kandji had two

chances.”

Those all came in the final 15 minutes of the match, a period

where the Dynamo fired off four of their 12 total shots. Until

then, the Red Bulls held the advantage thanks to close marking in

the first half and solid midfield play led by Cahill and Dax

McCarty in the first 30 minutes of the second half.

Still, it took an almost fluke goal from defender Markus

Holgersson in the 61st minute to keep the Red Bulls undefeated at

home at 8-0-3 and snap Houston’s five-game winning streak and

eight-game unbeaten streak.

Taking a cross from the left near goalkeeper Tally Hall, Cahill,

who came over July 26 from the English Premier side Everton, headed

it across Hall’s front to a surprised Holgersson. The defender put

it into the open net for his second goal of the season.

”It was a perfect cross,” Holgersson said. ”And then Tim came

in with speed and hit it to me and I was just there. We stayed with

a lot of players and got them under attack, so it was an easy goal

for me.”

Cahill also assisted on the second goal, feeding Henry with a

short chip, which Henry then pushed over to Solli after luring Hall

to his side.

Cahill played all 90 minutes, earning coach Hans Backe’s praise

for his stamina. But the midfielder, signed July 26 from the

English Premier League side Everton and still working himself into

shape, said he felt good despite the workload. He played both

midfield and forward.

”For me, it’s another 90 minutes,” Cahill said. ”I grew into

the game. I was creating opportunities, trying to find consistency.

There’s a lot of eyes on me and they need to see what I can bring

collectively.”

The loss was the Dynamo’s ninth in nine appearances in New

York.

”I knew it was going to be a battle coming in, especially the

way they played last week,” said Hall, who stopped Henry three

times in the first half, twice on clean break-ins and once when the

keeper mishandled a ball near Henry but scrambled hard enough to

block the forward’s falling attempt. ”We knew they were going to

come out flying, and they did.”

None of that appeased Henry, however. The Red Bulls, he said,

might be ahead in the standings, but compared to Houston they are

behind as a team.

”It’s a concern for me,” the captain said. ”I’m a pain in the

neck at times, but did we control the game? Not yet. If not for

that second goal, that’s a 1-0 game.

”We had to rectify the attitude, and we did. Now we have to

rectify how we play. We haven’t played a game yet where (the fans)

can just sit back and eat their popcorn. But we were in their face

tonight.”