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Sporting KC battles to 1-1 draw in Houston

SKC on the third game of a brutal stretch and still short of players due to injury goes to Houston and gets a result.

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Houston Dynamo Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret, Sporting Kansas City was in a tough stretch of matches with this being the third game in Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday string against tough opponents. Add in all the injuries forcing several players to play all three games and Sporting KC should not have had a chance in Houston.

Then their was the heat and the humidity making it even harder on SKC’s tired legs.

With all of that stacked against the visitors, it’s no wonder the Houston Dynamo started on the front foot while the SKC adjusted to the conditions. It did not take long for Sporting KC to start to build some possession but could not find the final pass in the Houston end to make their patient work pay off.

The Dynamo, with a dangerous and rested attacking core were almost as equally frustrated by an organized SKC defense. Seth Sinovic battled Alberth Elis all night, liniting him to few chances.

The best chance in the first half came in the 31st minute when Tim Melia blocked a shot that was quickly put back on a goal. Graham Smith, filling in at centerback for Matt Besler was the man on the spot, clearing the shot away from the line.

The second half was similar early on, Sporting KC controlling the larger share of possession with Houston having the slightly more threatening chances.

That all changed in the 62nd minute when Ilie Sanchez tried a similar pass to one that had been just a little long earlier. With the long through ball falling just a little short, Dynamo defender Adam Lundkvist was surprised when Yohan Croizet flew in, stealing the ball away and barreling towards goal.

Dynamo keeper Joe Willis came out to intercept Croizet but the Frenchman easily chipped him for a goal and the lead. It was Croizet’s first goal of the 2019 MLS season.

Unfortunately for SKC, the lead did not last long. Maynor Figueroa launched a long floating cross to A.J. DeLaGarza, just over the head of Daniel Salloi. DeLaGarza headed the ball towards the center of the box where Elis volleyed past Melia to level the score.

The rest of the half found both teams looking for opportunities but unable to find net in either case.


Sporting KC again did not even fill out a full 18 game day roster. Both Matt Besler and Johnny Russell were expected to be available and traveled but were ultimately scratched from the 18.

Russell picked up a knock in the last match, a knee to the leg. Besler was feeling uncomfortable at the end of Friday’s training. When they tested him on game day there was still an some issue so they rested both veterans as a precaution.