Sporting KC at Houston Dynamo: Five Talking Points

Scott Halleran

Sporting Kansas City came away with a big win Sunday night against Houston Dynamo, which means talking points are aplenty.

Sporting Kansas City rebounded from their heartbreaking loss to Seattle Wednesday night to knock off Houston 1-0, the first home loss for the Dynamo since June of 2011.

Suddenly Sporting is right back in the thick of things at the top of the Eastern Conference. That means there's plenty to talk about going forward.

1) Sporting has beaten the top three teams in the East

Sporting is now in a three-way tie for second place in the Eastern Conference with Houston and Montreal, and are only one point back of New York Red Bulls. The good news for Sporting KC is that they have the head-to-head advantage on all three of those teams. Sporting KC beat New York at Red Bull Arena 1-0, they beat Montreal at Sporting Park 2-0 and yesterday they beat Houston in Houston 1-0. This head-to-head advantage gives Sporting points where they really need it and, most importantly, it keeps points away from their biggest competition.

2) The rivalry with Houston thickens

Sporting KC fans have hated the Dynamo for the past two seasons after they've knocked Sporting out of the playoffs two years in a row. Yesterday, Sporting gave Houston a reason to hate them by ending the home unbeaten streak of 38 matches and giving them their first loss at BBVA stadium. While this is a rivalry that is fueled by respect and immense competition at the top of the East, adding a little gasoline to the fire, as Sporting did last night, will not hurt this rivalry.

3) Collin and Rosell suspended

While Aurelien Collin was the hero in the game last night, heading in the eventual game-winning goal, his actions in the first half will hurt Sporting later this week. His yellow card earned in the 24th minute was his fifth of the season, which means he will be suspended for the match against DC United this coming Sunday. Ori Rosell also earned his fifth yellow of the season, which means he is also suspended for the DC United match. While DC is floundering in a quickly sinking season, losing a very good starting centerback and their best holding midfielder will not bode well for Sporting.

4) Where the heck is Matt Besler?

Matt Besler has missed the past three matches due to injury and it really couldn't have come at a worse time for Sporting. If he is out this Sunday against DC United, Sporting will be without both of its starting centerbacks and will only have two on the roster: Lawrence Olum and Ike Opara. There's been talk of recalling Yann Songo'o from Orlando City simply for centerback depth which, in the case of Matt Besler not playing, would not be a bad idea, raw as he may be.

5) Nagamura is both a hero and a villain

Paulo Nagamura has drawn a lot of ire from Sporting fans this season. In my opinion a lot of the criticism is unwarranted, but I digress. Yesterday Nagamura was a hero for Sporting as he was placed perfectly to clear the ball off the line in the 80th minute when the Dynamo almost tied it off of Johnson's header. Other than that he played a fine game defensively, but was only pedestrian bringing the ball up the field. If Sporting fans could look at his contributions defensively as opposed to his shortcomings offensively, I have a feeling they would like him a lot more.

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