Preview: Can Sporting KC overturn 2-0 aggregate deficit in leg 2 vs. Dynamo?

SPORTING KANSAS CITY v HOUSTON DYNAMO
Wed., Nov. 7, Livestrong Sporting Park (9 pm ET/8 pm CT; MLSsoccer.com | KSMO; FS-SW)

 

REFEREE: Allen Chapman.
SAR (bench): Corey Rockwell; JAR (opposite): Corey Parker;
4th: Baldomero Toledo

INJURY REPORT: SPORTING KANSAS CITY -- OUT: FW Teal Bunbury (L knee ACL tear); DF Cyprian Hedrick (L fibula fracture); MF Paulo Nagamura (L ankle sprain); PROBABLE: MF Julio Cesar (R quad strain); MF Roger Espinoza (R ankle sprain) ... HOUSTON DYNAMO -- NONE REPORTED

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS (suspended next yellow card): KC: Kei Kamara ... HOU: Calen Carr, Brad Davis, Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie

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LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD:
KC 3 wins, 17 GF ... HOU 6 wins, 21 GF ... Ties 6
2012 HEAD-TO-HEAD: HOU 1 win, 3 GF ... KC 0 wins, 2 GF ... 2 ties

AT LIVESTRONG SPORTING PARK:
7/4: KC 0, HOU 0
9/14: KC 1, HOU 1 (Sapong 93+ -- Davis 58)

MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: HOU 3 wins, 6 GF ... KC 0 wins, 0 GF ... 0 ties


LEG 1 HIGHLIGHTS: Houston 2, Sporting KC 0 


SPORTING KANSAS CITY

  • For a third consecutive match in the MLS Cup Playoffs, Sporting KC lost to the Dynamo. One year ago, it was a 2-0 Houston win at Livestrong Sporting Park in the Eastern Conference Championship that propelled the club to a third MLS Cup appearance.
  • "It would be better if it was 0-0 or 2-0 our way, right? I wouldnít use [disastrous]," SKC manager Peter Vermes said. "There have been many teams that have come back from this situation in the league. ... Like I said, itís halftime, so weíre getting ready for our home game."
  • Sporting were held to just a single shot on goal in the first leg, which matched their regular season-low set in their next-to-last league game, a scoreless draw at New York on Oct. 20.
  • "I thought they did a very good job in the first half, every time we won the ball, of just basically getting numbers around us, and either they won the ball or they fouled us," Vermes said. "They broke the rhythm of the game quickly, and that way they always got 11 players behind the ball, slowed the game down for them every time we won it."
  • Sporting will need to use their homefield advantage -- and score three goals, something they did just three times, last on July 4 at Montreal.
  • "When you have a final here, like we did last year for the Eastern Conference championship, we weren't ready yet. Players, staff -- we just werenít ready yet to undertake that game. We did it in the Open Cup here at home, and I think that experience is going to lend us throughout the playoffs," said Vermes.
  • With Roger Espinoza back in the lineup, Vermes had nearly his entire first-choice team available. He brought on Peterson Joseph and Dom Dwyer for two substitutions; both making their MLS Cup Playoffs debuts, Joseph played 263 minutes in the regular season while Dwyer played just four. Bobby Convey also came on; he played just two minutes over the final 11 league matches.

HOUSTON DYNAMO

  • The first leg result came as the Dynamo opened a two-game series in the MLS Cup Playoffs at home for the first time. Each one of the first five conference semifinal series were started on the road; the Dynamo advanced in four.
  • "We knew Kansas City was going to come out and make it difficult for us and I donít think that will change come Wednesday," said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. "As the clichÈ goes, it is halftime and thatís the complete truth. For all of our efforts, in return we get to go to a difficult place to play against the team we played today."
  • Will Bruin scored his third goal in two MLS Cup Playoffs games for the Dynamo, matching the clubís single-season mark for goals in a single postseason, when Brian Ching scored three times in the Dynamoís 2006 championship season.
  • "Give Will Bruin a ton of credit. It was a heads-up play to keep the play alive and knock it to Adam [Moffat] and obviously it was a fantastic strike by Adam," Kinnear said. "Then the second goal was just a great play by Calen Carr to wiggle himself free and Will's finish is a good finish. It's not an easy one. You need that second goal and it did give us a little cushion."
  • Bruin has 15 goals in all competitions for Houston this season, a new club record.
  • Adam Moffat also came through with his first career playoff goal, in his sixth game in the MLS postseason, to send Dynamo on their way.
  • "Anytime you get a goal it gives you a lift, but the way he scored it made us feel like it was going to be a good day for us and put the pressure on them," forward Calen Carr said. "From there we responded well, and continued to attack Ö and we were rewarded with a second goal."
  • The Dynamo extended their home undefeated streak to 29 games across all competitions with the win against Sporting, and have not yet lost a competitive match in their new BBVA Compass Stadium home.
  • ï ìItís a weird feeling when it is two legs. Usually, when you win a game, you have your award right there. Nothing is done. ... I know they are feeling they are still in the game," said Moffat.