Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City | MLS Match Preview

HOUSTON DYNAMO vs SPORTING KANSAS CITY
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM, Houston, Texas
May 12, 2013 (WEEK 11, MLS Game #102)
7 p.m. CT (CSN-Hou; KSMO)

 

Having met in each of the last two seasons in the MLS Cup Playoffs, the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City once again renew acquaintances on Sunday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo return home off a two- game winning road swing, without shutouts in both, after a midweek 4-0 win at D.C. United. Sporting hit the road following a second loss in a three-game homestand, a late 1-0 defeat by Seattle Sounders FC. The Dynamo have knocked higher-seeded Sporting out of the postseason in each of the last two seasons.

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REFEREE: Chris Penso. AR1 (bench): Kermit Quisenberry; AR2 (opposite): Mark Cahen; 4th: Daniel Fitzgerald
MLS Career: 36 games; FC/gm: 23.1; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 8; pens: 13

DISABLED LIST: KC - Teal Bunbury
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: KC - Aurelien Collin, Oriol Rosell
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: KC - Seth Sinovic
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (15 meetings): Dynamo 6 wins, 21 goals ... Sporting 3 wins, 17 goals ... Ties 6
AT HOUSTON (7 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 12 goals ... Sporting 1 wins, 7 goals ... Ties 3
FUTURE MATCH: 10/9: Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. CT

LAST YEAR (MLS)
7/7: KC 0, HOU 0
7/18: HOU 2, KC 1 (Carr 25', 79' -- Kamara 42')
9/14: KC 1, HOU 1 (Sapong 93+' -- Davis 58')

  • The teams met in the MLS Cup Playoffs for a second consecutive season last year, the Dynamo winning their semifinal series 2-1 on aggregate. In 2011, the Dynamo won 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Championship at Sporting Park.
  • A year ago, both league meetings at Sporting Park ended in draws, while the Dynamo won the first-ever meetings at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • Kansas City’s only win in Houston came in the first meeting ever between the clubs, a 2-1 win April 8, 2006 at Robertson Stadium. In the all-time league series, the road team has not won since 2009, when the Dynamo took a victory at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. KC: P21 W8 L5 D8 ... Peter Vermes vs. HOU: P8 W2 L2 D4

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo completed their two-game road trip with a second victory, rolling to a 4-0 triumph against D.C. United on Wednesday evening at RFK Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with 20 points from 10 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Dynamo opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Will Bruin settled a ball from Boniek Garcia, beat United defender Dejan Jakovic and then chipped it neatly over United goalkeeper Bill Hamid from the heart of the penalty area.
  • Twelve minutes later Houston struck again, taking advantage of a United giveaway. Pressured in their own end, Jakovic passed the ball to Hamid in a tight space and United’s goalkeeper cleared it directly to Bruin, who tapped it to a wide-open Giles Barnes for an uncontested finish.
  • Bruin scored his second of the match in the 78th minute when Brian Ching headed a Brad Davis free kick across the six for Bruin to hit first-time through Hamid’s legs.
  • The visitors completed the rout two minutes from time when Bruin played provider for a second time on the night, laying the ball off for Andrew Driver to thump home from inside the box.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made two changes to the team that claimed a 1-0 victory against the LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center. Brad Davis came back from suspension into the midfield in place of Ricardo Clark.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-3-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Adam Moffat - Boniek Garcia, Brad Davis (Luiz Camargo 90), Andrew Driver - Giles Barnes (Brian Ching 37), Will Bruin (Jason Johnson 90).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo have now gone 225 minutes without conceding a goal, sneaking into the 10th-longest run without allowing a goal this year in MLS. The league best thus far is 546 minutes, by Sporting KC from March 9 - April 20.
  • “We’re working hard to get where we are right now. We have a tough game on Sunday against [Sporting] Kansas City,” said Dynamo boss Dominic Kinnear. “There’s still 24 games left in the season, there’s still a long ways to go, [but] we’ve put ourselves in a good position. We’ve worked hard to get there and you have to work harder to stay.”
  • Will Bruin hit for multiple goals for the fourth time in his young MLS career, in 66 league appearances. But it was the first time he recorded two assists in the same game.
  • “I think I’ve matured so much since that hat trick game my first year,” Bruin said. “As a forward you want to be greedy, but you have to know when to be greedy and when to lay it off. Other times I would’ve tried to be greedy and score those myself. If there’s an open net I’ll lay it off every time.”
  • Bruin also became the first player to be involved in two or more goals and two or more assists in the same game since Jeff Cunningham did it for FC Dallas against the LA Galaxy on Sept. 12, 2009.
  • “I think the bear might have come out of hibernation tonight. Every forward needs, wants a game like this, to be totally honest. Two goals and two assists, that’s a pretty decent game. I think anybody would be happy with that, so [I’m] happy for him,”said Brad Davis. “Guy works hard week in and week out. When you do that, goals are going to end up coming – he got two great ones to come and there are many more to come.”
  • Of Bruin’s 21 career league goals, eight have come against D.C. United, including his first career hat trick scored April 29, 2011 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • “I scored my first goals against D.C. in my professional career. I guess [it’s] just a confidence thing. I should be playing like that against every team, but it is what it is,” Bruin said. Said defender Bobby Boswell: “I think he’s just hungry. He wants to improve,” said. “We call him angry sometimes because he really does get angry out there and wants to impose his games on other guys. He’s a guy that I don’t think you want to play against.”
  • With Davis back in the lineup after missing the Galaxy match through suspension, Ricardo Clark missed his first league game of the season, not included in the 18-man gameday roster.
  • “[Clark has] a little bit of a groin problem, so [we] didn’t want to risk it, so that’s the reason why he didn’t dress today. All of these guys have had two games in the space of four days with a lot of travel. They put in a great effort. Obviously, confidence makes injuries don’t seem so bad as they are and hopefully that’s the case when we play on Sunday.”
  • Andrew Driver and Boniek Garcia maintained their wide midfield roles, meaning Davis slotted into the center of the park along with Adam Moffat.
  • “It’s not my normal position playing in the center midfield, so [I’m] just trying to get in there to do my best to try and connect with guys and disrupt things and work hard in whatever aspect that might be to help the team win,” said Davis. “Like I said, we did a great job. Everyone did their roles properly and we got some great goals.”

SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Sporting Kansas City went down to a third defeat in four matches in stunning fashion, conceding the game’s only goal very late in a loss to Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday evening at Sporting Park. Sporting are in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with 17 points from 11 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The game-winning goal came four minutes into second-half stoppage time. From a throw-in deep in Sporting's end, SKC center back Aurélien Collin missed his clearance attempt on Brad Evans' pass into the middle of the box, and Djimi Traoré was right there to take advantage, firing past goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen from short range.
  • Sporting manager Peter Vermes made four changes to the team that rolled to a 4-0 win against Chivas USA at Sporting Park. Chance Myers and Josh Gardner came in at fullback for Mechack Jerome and Seth Sinovic, Benny Feilhaber started in the midfield for Paulo Nagamura, and C.J. Sapong replaced Claudio Bieler up top.
  • SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-2-3): Jimmy Nielsen - Chance Myers, Ike Opara, Aurelien Collin, Josh Gardner (Seth Sinovic 75) - Oriol Rosell - Benny Feilhaber (Claudio Bieler 66), Peterson Joseph - Graham Zusi, C.J. Sapong, Jacob Peterson (Kei Kamara 73).

TEAM NEWS

  • Sporting concluded their three-game homestand with a pair of losses, sandwiched around a dominant win against Chivas USA.
  • “I thought the first half we created a lot of good chances in and around the box, and I thought we dictated, play,” SKC manager Peter Vermes said. “But look, they scored a late goal on us and it was just one mistake after another and just completely unacceptable.”
  • SKC allowed a goal in the final 15-plus minutes for the first time this season. Only Vancouver Whitecaps FC has yet to allow a goal after the 76th minute in MLS this year.
  • “That's not good enough to give up a goal in whatever minute. It's very, very disappointing. We have to be more focused in that situation. That's too sloppy,” said goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen. “ ... We have to bounce back from this here. It's something that we have to take with us. The last few minutes we have to be better to finish the game like this, if we don't win, at least get a point. That was too easy.”
  • It was also the second shutout loss in the last four games for Sporting. They had been shut out twice previously this season, but come away with points on both occasions, in scoreless draws vs. Chicago and New England.
  • “As well as we played in the first half, that's how badly we played in the second half,” said Graham Zusi. “That was a horrible second half. It's not anything that they did. They didn't have many good looks at our goal. I don't know what to tell you. The passing was off. The touches were off. It was just a poor second half.”
  • Kei Kamara made his 2013 MLS debut after returning from his loan to Norwich City FC of the English Premier League, coming on for the final 17 minutes.
  • “I knew it was going to be one where he was going to be a little bit disconnected at times being the fact that he played a lot in a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1 and playing in the middle. Now he's coming to the wide channel again which is what he plays for us,” said Vermes. “It was a good return for him, to get him out on the field for us, but he needs a little time with us for sure to get back to his form with us.”
  • Chance Myers was able to return to right back, but Ike Opara started a second consecutive game in central defense in place of Matt Besler.
  • Josh Gardner made his first start in a Sporting KC uniform, as Seth Sinovic saw his consecutive minutes streak from the start of the season come to an end.
  • “Again having to change the lineup based on a short turn around given that we played Sunday and they played Saturday, I thought we did a good job and we had good run of play,” said Vermes. “I thought the second half we got a little tired in the middle of the park it was hard to make subs based on what we needed.”