SPORTING KC (12-7-6) vs Houston Dynamo (7-13-4)
Kick-off: 7:00 PM CT
TV Channel: NBC Sports Network
Radio: 810 WHB (online stream), La Gran D 1340 AM (Spanish broadcast)
Sporting KC takes on the Houston Dynamo tonight in a nationally broadcasted game on NBC Sports Network. Sporting looks to recover from a dreadful showing last week, when they were trounced by DC United 3-0 and lost hold of the Eastern Conference lead. A win tonight will put Sporting back into the drivers’ seat with a two point cushion.
That shouldn’t be a hard thing for the team to do. Houston is 1-10-1 with a -22 goal differential on the road this season. They also own the League’s second worst goal scoring record with a paltry 25 goals. Only Chivas USA has scored less (21) this season. Compounding with their offensive struggles is that they’re equally inefficient on defense. They’ve allowed an uncharacteristic 45 goals this season, which is tied for the most in the League.
Sporting KC is also celebrating its 50th straight MLS sellout, which means The Cauldron will be rocking tonight. Only two other teams have topped this mark: the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers. Already walking into the hardest venue to play at in MLS, with the kindling of one of the League’s most fierce rivalries of recent memory, the Dynamo have their work cut out.
Both teams are coming off 3-0 losses, as Houston lost to the Columbus Crew 3-0 last weekend. The difference being that DC United is second in the Supporters’ Shield race while Columbus is a borderline playoff team.
As we discussed in the preview, this match looks a lot different than it did on June 6, when these two teams first met in 2014. Neither team will be missing World Cup participants (Matt Besler, Graham Zusi; Brad Davis). Houston has also bolstered its defence with the signing of USMNT starting left back DaMarcus Beasley and Honduras starting defensive midfielder Luis Garrido. Beasley is questionable for tonight. I’m not sure that’ll change much on the scoreline, regardless.
A 10-man Sporting KC squad dominated the Dynamo defensively, leaning on youngsters Kevin Ellis and Erik Palmer-Brown to handle Will Bruin and Co. Houston was only allowed three shots on goal despite racking up nearly 70 percent possession in the match. Now Besler and Aurelien Collin are back into their starting spots as they seek to avenge their poor performance last week.
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Welcome to Blue Hell, Houston Dynamo.