MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
(All times Eastern)
Kansas City (11-5-3) at Houston (7-5-7), 8:30 p.m.
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Sporting Kansas City enters Wednesday's match
at BBVA Compass Stadium three points clear at the top of the Eastern
But Sporting figures to get a stern test from the Houston Dynamo, which seems
to be finding its stride in recent games and has proven to be a tough customer
at its new ground.
Sporting is in good form having earned seven points from its past three games,
but Houston will be confident against the East leaders having gone unbeaten in
its last four games, including a 4-0 victory over D.C. United on Sunday.
The Dynamo has yet to taste defeat in eight games this season at BBVA, and the
team also seems to be adjusting nicely to a new 4-3-3 formation.
Sunday's score might be a bit misleading considering that United had play the
majority of the match with 10 men after goalkeeper Bill Hamid was sent off in
the 17th minute.
Yet striker Will Bruin wasn't concerned about the red card, instead focusing
on his team's comfort level in the new system.
"We finished our chances and we're starting to click in this formation and
that's a good thing," said Bruin, who became the first Dynamo player to reach
10 goals this season after scoring in the 37th minute of Sunday's win. "After
not scoring in the last two games, it felt good to put four on the board.
Whether it's against 10 men or not."
Oscar Garcia tallied his first Dynamo goal against United, and Brad Davis has
continued to play like one of the top midfielders in MLS.
After a rough stretch early in the season, Houston now has a chance to close
to within five points of first place in the East with a win on Wednesday.
Sporting doesn't figure to make things easy and will provide a major threat to
Houston's unbeaten home record.
Kansas City has already kept eight clean sheets this season and has yielded 17
goals in 19 games, which figures to test this new Dynamo attack.
A 2-0 win over Columbus on Saturday was a typically strong performance from
Sporting, but was marred a bit by an ankle injury suffered by Jacob Peterson.
Peterson has emerged as the club's hottest forward recently, scoring goals in
three of his last four games, including Saturday's win.
But he left in the first half with an ankle injury, and coach Peter Vermes
isn't likely to risk his scoring threat if he is at less than full strength.
"I know he won't prolong this thing by any means," Vermes said of the injury
to Peterson. "He'll try to get back on the field as soon as possible. We just
have to make sure that he's all the way healthy. We don't want to put him in
After advancing to the U.S. Open Cup final last week and following that up
with a win over Columbus, Sporting is hopeful that it can continue its good
And, at the same time, bring an end to Houston's.
07/17 16:19:29 ET