Sporting Kansas City got their little piece of revenge on Houston two weeks ago when they ended the Dynamo's BBVA Stadium undefeated streak. Now both teams have a chip on their shoulder with crucial Eastern Conference placing hanging in the balance as the two teams clash at Sporting Park tonight.
About the Teams
Sporting Kansas City
Sporting KC just came off of a 1-1 draw at DC United that left a lot of Sporting fans angry with questionable (Ok, not questionable at all) offsides calls. Sporting is now 1-3-1 against Eastern Conference teams that are in the bottom five of the table. However they are 4-0-0 against the top four teams in the conference with three of their wins coming on the road.
If that's any indication of how the match is going to go, Sporting will have a very good time this afternoon.
Houston has been on a two game losing streak that started with Sporting's 1-0 win in Houston two weeks ago. Houston then went on to lose 2-0 to the New England Revolution at home. Houston will be looking to snap out of their funk and try and gain some points as they sit one point behind Sporting in the Eastern Conference.
Players to Watch
Sporting KC- Chance Myers
Chance Myers has been missing some match time due to injury but will finally be back today. After missing three out of the past four matches due to a strained hamstring Sporting will be happy to have their starting fullback back in action. It'll be interesting to see how Myers returns from injury and if he will be playing at full strength. His quotes earlier in the week indicate that he will, but time will tell.
Houston Dynamo- Tally Hall
Tally Hall has been a dynamite keeper for Houston for the past couple of years and has been rewarded with a national team callup. Hall will be riding a big confidence wave and will do everything humanely possible to keep Sporting out of the net. If he is at the top of his game, Sporting will have a tough time getting in the back of the net.
How they will win
Sporting Kansas City
After Bobby Boswell saw red in the match against New England, Houston's back line is a vulnerable point. Sporting will have to keep their intense pressure up top and force the Houston back line to make a mistake that will allow Sporting to bury a goal.
Houston will set back and pressure Sporting into losing the ball in the attacking half. Sporting has not done well against teams who have stayed back and played on the defensive in matches, which is the strategy a lot of the teams Sporting has lost or drawn with have employed. Houston will have to wait for a moment to strike and then use a counterattack to sneak one past Kansas City.
Sporting KC 2-1 Houston Dynamo
While Houston is always a tough team to play the state of their back line plus the atmosphere of Sporting Park should propel Sporting to a victory if they can capitalize on Houston's defense.