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.