Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City

Dynamo look for fifth straight game unbeaten and solidify playoff spot against rival SKC

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City
Wednesday, October 9, 7:30 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX

BROADCAST INFORMATION
CSN Houston - 7:30 p.m. (7:00 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 AM - 7:30 p.m. (7:00 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM - 7:30 p.m. (7:00 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW

The Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City will meet again in a potential playoff preview when the Eastern Conference foes clash on Wednesday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. Both teams come into the game with the opportunity of sealing their berths in the MLS Cup Playoffs with a victory – and they’ve met in the postseason each of the last two years. The Dynamo sit in third in the East after their 1-0 home win vs. Montréal, four points behind Sporting, who are in second after kicking off their road swing with a 1-0 win at Columbus.

REFEREES

REFEREE: Armando Villarreal. AR1 (bench): Adam Garner; AR2 (opposite): Jeff Muschik; 4th: Ismail Elfath MLS Career: 26 games; FC/gm: 23.7; Y/gm: 2.9; R: 10; pens: 7

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: Brian Ownby – Right knee sprain; QUESTIONABLE: Calen Carr – Left knee; Eric Brunner – Right ankle sprain; Andrew Driver – Right calf strain;

SPORTING KANSAS CITY -- OUT: Paulo Nagamura – Left ankle strain; QUESTIONABLE: Claudio Bieler – Left groin strain

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (17 meetings): Dynamo 6 wins, 22 goals … Sporting 4 wins, 19 goals … Ties 7
  • AT HOUSTON (8 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 12 goals … Sporting 2 wins, 8 goals … Ties 3
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Aurélien Collin’s header in the 73rd minute was the only goal of the game as Sporting put an end to the Dynamo’s 30-game league home undefeated streak on May 12 at BBVA Compass Stadium; two weeks later, SKC’s Kei Kamara and Houston’s Brad Davis traded goals to leave the teams in a 1-1 draw at Sporting Park.
  • The Sporting win in the first meeting was the first victory for the road team in the series since 2009, and Sporting’s second win ever in Houston. The last three league meetings at Sporting Park have ended in draws.
  • 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.
  • Coaches record: Peter Vermes vs. HOU: P10 W3 L2 D5 … Dominic Kinnear vs. KC: P23 W8 L6 D9

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo made it three games in a row without loss, coming back for a 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Dynamo are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 44 points from 30 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Houston Dynamo extended their undefeated streak to four games, holding on for a 1-0 win against the Montréal Impact on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in third place in the Eastern Conference with 47 points from 31 matches.
  • The game's only goal came after just six minutes. A good buildup saw Boniek Garcia find Giles Barnes at the top of the box, who then chested a perfect ball into the path of an onrushing Ricardo Clark. He then cut back to create space for a shot that curled away from goalkeeper Troy Perkins and nestled in the back of the net.
  • Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall was called upon to make four saves in keeping the clean sheet.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made no changes to his team for a second consecutive match, maintaining the group that came back for a 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Boniek Garcia, Warren Creavalle, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis (Andrew Driver 86) - Will Bruin (Cam Weaver 79), Giles Barnes (Omar Cummings 88).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo extended their undefeated streak to four games, one game shy of their season-long, set April 14- May 8.
  • “We knew we wanted to get on top of them right away early and put pressure on them,” said Brad Davis. “I think we gave them a little too much respect up there when we were in Montreal. We knew we were going to be tougher.”
  • For the second time in four matches, Ricardo Clark scored the only goal for a 1-0 Dynamo victory. Clark has four goals, the most in a single season in his nine-year MLS career.
  • “He always puts in the work, and you can always count on him to give 100 percent,” said center back Bobby Boswell. “All we needed was one tonight. When you score that early goal, your chances of getting a win are so much better of getting a good result, and you saw it tonight. Credit to Ricardo for that.”
  • Clark has two goals and an assist over the last four matches, all in the starting lineup after being out of the first XI for four consecutive matches.
  • “I think he does a lot of things that maybe a lot of people don’t get or don’t see,” Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “I think the coaching staff understands how valuable he is to the team. I think if you step back, you realize how important he is when he’s not on the field for us.”
  • Boniek Garcia recorded an assist for a second consecutive match. He has been involved with each of the Dynamo’s last four goals, over the last three games (2 goals, 2 assists).
  • Andrew Driver made his first appearance in more than a month in a substitute role, playing the final four minutes. Garcia will miss the Sporting KC match, along with Jermaine Taylor, on international duty.
  • “The positive side out of it was that we came out of it healthy, that’s the most important thing, because you knew Wednesday you were going to be two light with international duty so you want to make sure you got through this game and the reserve game,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear.