Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City | MLS Match Preview

HOUSTON DYNAMO vs SPORTING KANSAS CITY
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM, Houston, Texas
June 6, 2014 (WEEK 14, MLS Game #127)
7:30 p.m. CT (CSN-Hou+; KMCI-38)

Foes in the MLS Cup Playoffs each of the last three seasons, the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City renew their acquaintances Friday evening when the clubs face off at BBVA Compass Stadium. Both clubs come into the game looking to snap long winless runs. The Dynamo return home off a lost road trip where they were outscored 8-0 in three defeats, last a 3-0 loss at the Colorado Rapids, while Sporting saw their run without a victory extended to five games in a 1-0 reversal at D.C. United.

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REFEREE: Juan Guzman. AR1 (bench): Brian Dunn; AR2 (opposite): Jonathan Johnson; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 42 games; FC/gm: 25.4; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 14; pens: 10

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: HOU: Jermaine Taylor … KC: Benny Feilhaber, Paulo Nagamura, Antonio Dovale
DISABLED LIST: HOU: Mark Sherrod … KC: Peterson Joseph, Ike Opara, Chance Myers
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: HOU: Brad Davis (USA); Boniek Garcia (Honduras) … KC: Graham Zusi, Matt Besler (USA)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (18 meetings): Dynamo 6 wins, 22 goals … Sporting 4 wins, 19 goals … Ties 8
AT HOUSTON (9 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 12 goals … Sporting 2 wins, 8 goals … Ties 4
RETURN MATCH: 8/29: Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo, 7 p.m. CT

LAST YEAR (MLS)
5/26: KC 1, HOU 1 (Kamara 68 – Davis 46+)
10/9: HOU 0, KC 0

  • The teams have met each of the last three years in the MLS Cup Playoffs, with Sporting winning their Eastern Conference Championship matchup a year ago 2-1 on aggregate. The Dynamo had advanced each of the two previous years, including in 2011 at Sporting Park with a trip to MLS Cup on the line.
  • In league play, the last three meetings at Sporting Park have ended in draws. Sporting came away with points on both of their league visits to BBVA Compass Stadium a season ago, a 1-0 win on May 12 followed by a scoreless draw Oct. 9.
  • Coaches record: Peter Vermes vs. HOU: P11 W3 L2 D6 … Dominic Kinnear vs. KC: P20 W8 L2 D10

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo concluded their three-game road swing with a third shutout defeat, falling 3-0 to the Colorado Rapids on Sunday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Dynamo are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 17 points from 15 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Rapids were in the lead after just the fifth minute. Right back Marvell Wynne hit a perfect cross from the right flank finding a streaking Deshorn Brown, who headed in from about at the penalty spot.
  • The lead was doubled on 35 minutes. Dillon Powers made eye contact with Brown and sent a looping pass into space on the right side of the box, where Brown caught up to it before slotting it past goalkeeper Tally Hall inside the far post as the offside flag stayed down.
  • Kamani Hill put the match away six minutes after the second-half restart with a wonderfully inventive goal, soaring into the air to connect on a beautiful back heel from a Powers corner kick.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made no changes to the team that fell 3-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-2-3-1): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, David Horst, Corey Ashe - Servando Carrasco, Warren Creavalle (Alexander Lopez 47+) - Omar Cummings (Jason Johnson 74), Giles Barnes, Andrew Driver (A.J. Cochran 85) - Will Bruin.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo return home following a three-game road swing where they were shut out in three consecutive games, outscored 8-0. It’s the third time in Dynamo club history they’ve been blanked in three games in a row; their 299-minute stretch without hitting the back of the net is the third longest in club annals.
  • The Dynamo have now conceded 27 goals this season, the most in MLS. Their average of 1.80 goals per game is 16th-most in the league, ahead of Montreal, Chicago (both 1.83) and Chivas USA (1.92).
  • “I think it was a combination of them dictating the game, and us not really doing any favors for ourselves,” said Corey Ashe. “We turned the ball over in bad situations, not really staying clued in. We’re giving up soft goals right now, goals that can be prevented. We’ve had a rough patch, but we need to sort it out, that’s for sure.”
  • “When we break it down, we’re not playing bad; we’re just not making teams have to really beat us,” said Will Bruin. “We’re leaving guys open in the box, we’re not taking accountability plays, and we’re not scoring goals. That’s just something we’ve got to get out of.”
  • The Dynamo have allowed five goals in the opening 15 minutes, tied for third-most this season in MLS (Seattle and New York have allowed six). The Dynamo have allowed eight of their 27 goals in the first 15 minutes of each half.
  • “When you give up a goal in the first five minutes, it’s deflating, but we should have guys getting up and saying, ‘Hey, let’s go, it’s just one goal, get it back, get it going forward,’” said Bruin. “We’re putting our heads down, trying to feel sorry for ourselves, and this is what happens.”
  • Said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear: “Losing a goal in the first five minutes of the game is never good. We just didn’t play well. We came out, we gave a free header in the first five minutes. It’s a dangerous game to play, to play from behind.”
  • The Dynamo are also averaging 1.07 goals per game, ranking 17th in MLS, ahead of just Chivas USA (1.00) and Montreal (0.92).

SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Sporting Kansas City saw their winless streak stretched to five games, dropping a 1-0 decision to D.C. United on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. Sporting sit in third place in the Eastern Conference with 19 points from 14 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came in the 28th minute. After a cross skipped through the box, Fabian Espindola collected the ball with his back to goal on the right and from 25 yards out and struck an apparent cross back toward the far post, which Sporting goalkeeper Eric Kronberg misjudged to allow the curling ball to find its way into the upper corner.
  • United goalkeeper Bill Hamid was credited with five saves in recording the clean sheet. United finished the game a man down after Alex Caskey was sent off in stoppage time.
  • Sporting manager Peter Vermes made one change to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls at Sporting Park. Jacob Peterson came in on the flank in place of Sal Zizzo.
  • SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-2-3): Eric Kronberg - Igor Juliao, Kevin Ellis, Aurelien Collin (Erik Palmer-Brown 9), Seth Sinovic - Benny Feilhaber - Alex Martinez (Jimmy Medranda 66), Paulo Nagamura - Antonio Dovale, Dom Dwyer, Jacob Peterson (Soony Saad 77).

TEAM NEWS

  • Sporting KC saw their winless streak extended to five games in the loss at D.C. United. It’s the longest for the club since a club-record 10-game stretch without a win during the 2011 season.
  • “We just need to keep moving guys around to get ourselves through this period. Obviously, we’ve got one more game before the break and we’ll do the best that we can with it at the moment, but I have nothing but praise for team,” said SKC manager Peter Vermes. “... We tried to drive the game and tried to play to high tempo and the second half was at many times at a snail’s pace in regards to the management of the game.”
  • Sporting were also shut out at the attacking end for the first time since April 26, and for a fourth time this season.
  • “Every time we went forward obviously they bunkered in and they tried to counter,” Vermes said. “That was their game, but we had some very good chances in and around the box, a couple unlucky ones, especially in the first half. We had a great ball inside the six-yard box that banged off a couple guys as opposed to getting a clean shot off, but that happens sometimes.”
  • There was an early forced change as Aurelien Collin had to come off after just nine minutes after suffering a hamstring injury.
  • Erik Palmer-Brown – who was sent off after 64 minutes in his MLS debut, the loss in Chicago on May 21 – came into central defense to replace Collin, alongside converted fullback Kevin Ellis.
  • “He played really well,” Vermes said. “The team played very well ñ energy, tactically ñ and again, with as many guys as we miss in our team, and how many guys play out of position, the resemblance of the way we always play is right there. And that's tremendous for those guys.”
  • Said goalkeeper Eric Kronberg: “I think the key to our success defensively is that we have to defend with all 11 guys, and that is kind of our style of play we defend from the top down. Everyone knows their role and everyone knows everyone else’s role. We can bring new guys in and they cannot miss a beat. Obviously we have players that you know we want in there but, I am really happy with the way my defense played and I think that goal was on me.”
  • On Tuesday, Sporting announced the transfer of midfielder Oriol Rosell to Sporting Clube of Portugal.
  • “The perception from the outside might be that the timing is not great, but from the inside we believe that the timing is perfect. It opens the door for Uri and for us,” said Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman. “Uri came from Barcelona B to Sporting Kansas City, won an MLS Cup and furthered his development on the field. This transfer helps enable us to retain our core players while adding pieces to the team.”