|Major League Soccer|
· Int'l Soccer
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 Conference.
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 jeopardy."
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 run.
And, at the same time, bring an end to Houston's.
07/17 16:19:29 ET
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