DL_092315_SKC

Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City
Wednesday, September 23, 7:30 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas

BROADCAST INFORMATION
ROOT SPORTS - 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)
Sirius XM FC (channel 85) - 7:30 p.m. (7:00 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM / 101.7 FM - 7:30 p.m. (7:00 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW
A key match in the Western Conference playoff hunt is ahead at midweek when the Houston Dynamo play host to Sporting Kansas City at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo return home off a second consecutive defeat, falling 2-0 at Philadelphia Union last weekend, leaving them six points below the red line and the final playoff positions in the division. Sporting put an end to a five-game winless run of their own with a 3-1 home win against FC Dallas last Friday, sitting three points above the red line in fifth place in the West.

REFEREE: Sorin Stoica. AR1 (bench): Sean Hurd; AR2 (opposite): Jeremy Hanson; 4th: Armando Villarreal
MLS Career: 41 games; FC/gm: 28.9; Y/gm: 4.1; R: 19; pens: 20

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST (as of Tuesday, September 22)

HOUSTON DYNAMO – OUT: Jermaine Taylor – Right quad tear; QUESTIONABLE: Alex – Right hamstring strain; PROBABLE: DaMarcus Beasley – Left calf strain; Kofi Sarkodie – Right knee bone bruise; SUSPENDED: Luis Garrido (yellow card accumulation)

SPORTING KANSAS CITY – OUT: Roger Espinoza – tibial sesamoid fracture; Ike Opara – ruptured Achilles; QUESTIONABLE: Tim Melia – hamstring strain; Amobi Okugo – knee sprain

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (22 meetings): Dynamo 7 wins, 30 goals … Sporting 5 wins, 27 goals … Ties 10
  • AT HOUSTON (11 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 16 goals … Sporting 3 wins, 14 goals … Ties 5
  • 2015 (MLS): 4/25: HOU 4, KC 4 (Barnes 11, 46; Bruin 46+; R. Rodriguez 83 – Nemeth 2; Dwyer 74; Feilhaber 80, 95+); 8/1: KC 1, HOU 1 (Dwyer 6 – Clark 78)
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season, the first two ending in draws. Benny Feilhaber scored two goals for Sporting KC, the second deep into second-half added time, to leave the teams in a wild 4-4 draw April 25 at BBVA Compass Stadium. KC’s Dom Dwyer scored early and the Dynamo’s Ricardo Clark scored late as the teams ended in a 1-1 draw Aug. 1 at Sporting Park.
  • The home team has not won in the series in the last six meetings. Each team won at the other’s home ground in the two matchups a season ago. Sporting won 2-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium on June 6, then the Dynamo returned the favor with a 3-1 victory Aug. 29 at Sporting Park.
  • The teams met three consecutive seasons in the MLS Cup Playoffs from 2011-13, the Dynamo advancing in the first two meetings before SKC triumphed in the last. The 2011 and 2013 meetings were for the Eastern Conference Championship; both clubs find themselves in the Western Conference beginning this season.
  • Coaches record: Peter Vermes vs. HOU: P15 W4 L3 D8 … Owen Coyle vs. KC: P2 W0 L0 D2

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo fell to their second consecutive loss, dropping a 2-0 decision to Philadelphia Union on Sunday afternoon at PPL Park. The Dynamo are in ninth place in the Western Conference with 35 points from 29 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Union opener came in just the third minute.Cristian Maidana played a ball down the right touchline to Sebastien Le Toux, who slid a cross over to Tranquillo Barnetta, and he beat Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric from point-blank range.
  • The home side doubled their lead in the 63rd minute. Fabinho got free to put in a cross after an effective onetwo with Barnetta near the left corner, and C.J. Sapong banged it home from inside the goal area.
  • Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle made three changes to the team that suffered a 3-1 loss to Real Salt Lake at BBVA Compass Stadium. Kofi Sarkodie, Leonel Miranda and Boniek Garcia came into the team in place of Raul Rodriguez, Nathan Sturgis and Erick Torres.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-1-1): Tyler Deric - Kofi Sarkodie (Luis Garrido 46), David Horst, A.J. Cochran, Sheanon Williams - Leonel Miranda, Ricardo Clark, Boniek Garcia, Brad Davis (Erick Torres 70) - Giles Barnes (Mauro Manotas 81) - Will Bruin.

TEAM NEWS

  • It was a second consecutive defeat for the Dynamo, their third in the last four games. The Dynamo have not won back-to-back games since May 10-16; the loss also extended their road winless stretch to six games.
  • “For those first 15 minutes of the second half we were terrific. We had them on the back heel. Of course that second goal gives them a little breather or cushion if you want,” Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle said. “All in all, when all’s said and done, you can’t play for a 15 minute period and think that’s ever going to be enough. This is an elite level. That’s the harsh thing.”
  • The Dynamo were also blanked at the attacking end for a 10th time this season. Each of their last five attacking shutouts have ended in 2-0 defeats.
  • “I don’t understand why we can’t start the game like that,” said striker Will Bruin. “I don’t understand why we have to wait until we’re down one-nothing to realize ‘oh [darn] we’ve got to keep the ball and play. It’s frustrating obviously because results aren’t happening. We’ve got five games left and at this rate it’s going to be the offseason for us.”
  • With fullback DaMarcus Beasley (calf injury) and center back Raúl Rodríguez (yellow card accumulation) both unavailable, Sheanon Williams moved to his less-favored left back spot.
  • “When we have players missing at the back and concede soft goals as we’ve done again then we’re going to have to take chances at the other end and we’ve not done that. … We have to cut out individual errors,” Coyle said. “The boys that step in still need to be ready to man up and get clean sheets to give you a chance to win games.”
  • Kofi Sarkodie came in at right back, his first start in five matches, since Aug. 21, but he was removed at the halftime break in favor of Luis Garrido.
  • Striker Erick Torres missed the match after being called into the Mexico U-23 national team which started preparations for CONCACAF Olympic qualifying.
  • Leonel Miranda made his first start since Aug. 8, coming in on the right of midfield and playing the full 90 minutes. Boniek Garcia made his first start in four games.