|Houston's defense will have its hands full with Kenny Cooper|
(Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Friday's home match vs. NY (7pm, NBC Sports) is most important game in HOU since Texans-Bengals playoff. 1st place on the line. Sold out.
— Chris Canetti (@ChrisCanetti) July 30, 2012
The stage is set for the New York Red Bulls to come into BBVA Compass Stadium and try to do what no other team has been able to do in 2012 - win. They'll bring their MLS leading payroll to our heat and play in front of a sold out stadium, something they don't have the luxury of doing often.
The Dynamo are the hottest team in MLS right now, currently riding a seven game unbeaten streak, including four straight wins. New York currently have a one point hold on first place in the Eastern Conference. With a win, Houston would take over the top spot in the East.
Not only is this game a battle of first and second place, it will showcase three of the top five goal scorers in MLS. New York boasts a dangerous frontline with Kenny Cooper (13) and Thierry Henry (11), while Houston has Will Bruin (10) leading the attack.
While Houston currently has an 18 game unbeaten streak at home, they haven't won against New York since 2008. All seven matches between these two clubs since 2009 have been decided by less than a goal. Earlier this year, Houston finished their seven game road trip to start the season with a 1-0 loss in New York.
The Dynamo defense is at one of the strongest points we've ever seen, giving up only two goals in the last seven games. Tally Hall now has nine shutouts on the season, which is tied with Kansas City's Jimmy Nielson for best in MLS. The backline will have their hands full with Cooper and Henry all night.
Tonight's match up is sold out. It's a classic #1 versus #2 battle. It's two of the best clubs in MLS. It's a Friday night. Somewhere mixed in there is a canon being fired off. The stage is set for this to be the biggest game of the year.
If you're going to this game, show up ready to make this the best fan experience this year. Last game, BBVA Compass Stadium had its best atmosphere ever - we need to build on that tonight. Most fans were chanting and clapping along with the Supporter's Groups, while every "Let's Go Dynamo" chant was heard through every section. Fans need to build on that tonight.
In case you weren't aware, we have a group of chants for the entire stadium designed by Walker End. But every fan is needed to make this the most spectacular game of the year. Click on the link and print this prior to coming to the game. At the referenced minute, get ready to sing loud and proud.
If you're not going to be at BBVACS, make sure you're tuned into NBC Sports to ensure this is the highest watched game of the MLS season.
Where ever you're watching it, make sure you're in your seat at 7. The show will start as soon as the whistle blows.
Follow me on Twitter @OrangeFanBlog