Glenn Davis: What to watch in conference final

Dynamo broadcaster offers his thoughts on Sporting Kansas City

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Jamie Squire / Getty Images

Dynamo television play-by-play announcer Glenn Davis weighs in with his thoughts on the Houston-Kansas City matchup in the Eastern Conference final:

You can always look at significant moments over the course of an MLS season. Specific games can be considered platforms or days where change began to be initiated. When the Dynamo got beat by Sporting Kansas City 3-0 on September 10, changes were then made by Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear, and they have not lost since. The team is, in the words of goalkeper Tally Hall, a “new team." The Dynamo will face Sporting KC and a unique set-up under their manager Peter Vermes this Sunday at 4:30 p.m. on FOX Soccer in the Eastern Conference final. A few thoughts on Sporting:

 
The 4-3-3
This set up puts pressure on an opponent's back line and occupies defenders. Kansas City is a rare team in the league to stick with this formation game in and game out, so that makes them a bit of a novelty. It will be highly important for the Dynamo back four to remain in their current form against the strength, power, movement, and danger of strikers Teal Bunbury (11 goals), Kei Kamara (9 goals), and C.J. Sapong (6 goals). DP Omar Bravo has groin struggles but could factor in here also.
This will be power vs. power at the back at times, but when the Dynamo win the ball, they will need to play away from pressure wisely and quickly and must have a strong night of timely possession. If so, the Dynamo can and will find space by putting these players behind the ball via the pass. The Dynamo backs and midfield will need be sharp to second balls in and around their penalty area.
 
Graham Zusi
This player is the idea man and Sporting's version of Brad Davis. Zusi will take set pieces and delivers a good ball. I do believe a strong night in midfield for the Dynamo could unbalance Sporting and force them to make choices and force them to defend a bit more at home. Still, there is no doubt the Dynamo will have to defend strongly for extended periods of time, but they are in an excellent place to do this at the moment. They also have a legitimate target behind the Sporting defense in Calen Carr, who will have to be honored.
 
Set pieces
Both teams are dangerous here, with Zusi and Davis obviously both good at delivering a ball that gives teammates a chance in the penalty area. Sapong and Kamara are targets for Zusi. Sitting in the press area during the Philly game, I was reminded how dangerous the Dynamo are on set pieces consistently. Teams fear this area of their game.