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Match Preview: Can Sporting KC Continue Winning Ways Against the Houston Dynamo?

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DESTROYED
DESTROYED

Sporting KC are hoping to receive their second win in as many games tonight when they face the Houston Dynamo, who are in 5th place in the Eastern Conference, 3 spots below KC. Both team's form has been up and down as of late and will look to reignite a Midwestern rivalry apparent in 2011 and 2010. However, with a US Open Cup semi-final away at the Philadelphia Union in the background, Sporting Kansas City will tone down their starting 11 as to have as many rested starters as possible for the huge cup tie against Philly. But still, with a win, KC could attain first place in the East.

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The Basics:

Time: 7:00 pm CT on KCTV 5

Where: LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kansas.

Who: Sporting KC vs. Houston Dynamo

What: MLS Round 18, Game 163 of 2012 season

Key Matchup: Brad Davis vs. Paulo Nagamura

With Paulo expected to start for the second time in a row, he will have to match up against Houston's midfield maestro Brad Davis, and that lethal left foot of his. Nags gave possession away one too many times against the Montreal Impact on Wednesday but Montreal's midfield were unable to punish the Brazilian for his mistake. Davis on the other hand will be less forgiving and if he can pick up any of Paulo's loose passes you can bet he will capitalize on the mistake.

Houston Dynamo Player To Watch Out For: Will Bruin

Will Bruin has recorded 9 goals for the Dynamo this season and has been absolutely prolific for the Texas-based team. Since Houston play in a similar formation as Sporting KC, most of the goal scoring responsibility falls on Bruin's shoulders as the lone striker and he has pulled through for them so far. He can put away chances and with a starting defensive lineup that has had very few minutes together, he could take advantage of the tasty situation before him.

Predicted Lineup: GK: Jimmy Nielsen RB: Michael Harrington CB"s: Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin LB:Seth Sinovic CM's: Paulo Nagamura, Roger Espinoza, Peterson Joseph RW: Jacob Peterson ST: Teal Bunbury LW:Soony Saad

I expect a mix of first team-ers and reserve players to start for Sporting KC tomorrow. They will want to rest the "bigger name" players for the Philly game on the 11th.

Predicted Score: Sporting KC 0 - Houston Dynamo 2

This game could be a tight-knit affair. But with the Dynamo needing to pick up points in the last half of the season to secure a playoff position, the Houston players will have very little to lose and will go all out to secure a win. And with Sporting KC expected to start a good number of reserve players, this game could turn out to be an "acceptable" loss for KC, especially if they win against the Union later on next week.