After the past couple of seasons, interacting with Houston Dynamo fans is near sacrilegious for Sporting Kansas City fans. Regardless, we snuck behind enemy lines to gain some insight on this year's Houston Dynamo team from Dynamo Theory's manager Ordinary Orange Fan. Make sure to check out some of their great work on this match as well.
1) Sporting fans feel that a rivalry is starting to develop between the two clubs because of the last two playoff series. Is the sentiment the same in Houston?
Without a doubt, I think most fans see a budding rivalry with SKC. I'm not sure it's on the same level as FC Dallas just because of the history of rivalry across all sports between Dallas and Houston, but this matchup is always more competitive. SKC is an exciting team to watch, and I think they bring out the best in the Dynamo.
Shortly before the start of the season, Dynamo Theory took an in depth look from the fan's perspective on the rivalry, talking with many Sporting fans as well as Dynamo fans. Most agree this has the potential to become something big. So naturally, fans are always looking forward to when Sporting comes to town.
2) Houston will be culminating 3 games in 8 days schedule. Will the lineup change due to that?
I definitely think we'll see a mixture of players on Sunday. Not only are the Dynamo playing their third match in eight days, but Houston also has a number of players who are questionable for the match. I expect Dominic Kinnear to use a mix of players to give the Dynamo a boost of energy. Giles Barnes is likely out, so the offense will rest on Will Bruin's shoulders. Houston's depth will surely be tested in the final game of this tough stretch.
3) At this point in the season, how big is this match in terms of how each team will finish at the end of the season?
The season is still extremely early and speaking for Houston, the start to the year has been their best in franchise history, so I don't think the match is a must win or anything like that. Regardless of this weekend's match, I think both of these teams will be Eastern Conference contenders for a third straight year.
Dynamo Theory Prediction: I think the Dynamo may slow due to the heavy travel and injuries, but I still think they manage to keep it level at 1-1.