The Houston Dynamo will open the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs on Thursday against Sporting Kansas City at 8:30 p.m. CDT at BBVA Compass Stadium, Major League Soccer announced today. The Knockout Round match will be presented by BBVA Compass.
This will be the fifth time the Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City have faced one another in the postseason, and Houston holds a 3-1 edge in the previous four series. The last time they faced each other was in the 2013 MLS Eastern Conference Final, which Sporting Kansas City won 2-1 on aggregate. Houston previously eliminated Sporting in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011 and 2012.
Tickets for Thursday’s match are on sale now at HoustonDynamo.com/Playoffs, with prices starting at $28. Fans can also call 713-276-GOAL to purchase tickets from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, or purchase tickets at the BBVA Compass Stadium box office from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
The Dynamo closed the regular season with a record of 13-10-11and 50 points, good for fourth in the Western Conference table. That record puts the Dynamo back in the postseason for the eighth time in 12 seasons and first since 2013.
The Dynamo won the MLS Cup in 2006 and 2007, becoming the second team in league history to repeat as champions; and their four MLS Cup Final appearances are tied for the most in the league since 2006. The club’s 62.5 winning percentage in postseason play is the fourth-highest in league history among teams with at least 10 playoff games played.
The Dynamo have been one of the league’s toughest teams at home this season, with a record of 12-1-4 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The 12 home wins this year are the most in club history, surpassing the previous high of 11 wins posted in 2012, the club’s first year in the new stadium. Houston has been particularly prolific in front of goal at home this season, scoring 43 goals while only conceding 17, giving them the best home goal differential in the Western Conference this year.
Houston’s attack this season has been led by forwards Erick Torres, Alberth Elis and Mauro Manotas, who each netted 10 or more goals, marking the first time in club history that three players scored in double digits in the same season.
Torres scored 14 goals, including a hat trick against the New York Red Bulls on April 1 and a brace at FC Dallas on August 23, to break former Dynamo FW Brian Ching’s single-season scoring record of 13 set in 2008. Elis has bagged 10 goals, including a brace against the LA Galaxy on September 27, and the team is 6-0-3 when he finds the net. Manotas picked up his 10th goal to cap off today’s 3-0 win over Chicago.
Midfielder Alex was pivotal for the Dynamo’s offense this year as he tallied 10 assists, becoming just the second player in Dynamo history to complete 10 or more assists in one season.