Houston hopes to pull away from KC

With Sporting breathing down their necks, Dynamo looking for second straight win

HOU_20110521_Vasser_04_Hainault

Photo Credit: 
Anthony Vasser/Houston Dynamo

The Houston Dynamo get another chance to put some distance between themselves and an Eastern Conference foe this weekend. On Saturday, Houston hosts red-hot Sporting Kansas City (7:30 p.m., buy tickets now), which sits just one point behind the Dynamo in the standings.

“It’s an important game for sure," head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “We
won the first of three out of four at home against Toronto, and now
Kansas City is right behind us, and we can open a gap between us and
them with a win.”

After starting the season slow with their first 10 MLS matches on the
road, Kansas City has found its stride, posting a 10-match unbeaten
streak fueled by one of the best collections of forwards in MLS. With the likes of former Mexican international Omar Bravo, former
Dynamo forward Kei Kamara, U.S. international Teal Bunbury, and rookie C.J.
Sapong at forward, combined with standout play from Graham Zusi in
midfield, the KC attack is one of the most dynamic and dangerous in the
league.

“They’re a team that can attack you from a bunch of different angles
and give a number of looks with their forwards,” Kinnear said. “They
present everything a forward line can have, which is speed, power,
strength, and guile, which makes them tough to handle.”

Houston are well aware of what Sporting bring to the table, but
players are confident they can match their opponent’s recent form.

“When things go well for them, they can be dangerous,” said defender
Andre Hainault. “But they can get frustrated by us as well, and if we
play well like we have with solid defense and work to keep the ball,
we’ll do OK.”

Kansas City has a game in hand on the Dynamo — and with one point
separating the teams in the standings, Houston is looking to continue its push up the table.

“This game’s huge, because they’re a point behind us,” Hainault said.
“We can show whether we’re a team that pushes for the playoffs or a team
that’s left to make excuses at the end of the season. We have to take
our opportunity now to pull ahead.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.