When: Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 7:00 PM CT
Where: BBVA Stadium
How to Watch/Stream: Fox Sports Kansas City | Fox Sports Midwest | ESPN+ (out of market) | fuboTV (local)
How to Listen: Sports Radio 810 WHB | La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish)
Here we go again. For the fourth time this season Sporting Kansas City will face the Houston Dynamo. SKC are 1-2-0 with a combined score line of 7-7 in the three previous meetings. Houston just spread their goals out enough to win two games.
Strangely, this game sees Sporting KC still in the playoff hunt (and who isn’t with this freak of a season) currently resting in third place tied with FC Dallas.
Houston, who looked like world beaters against Kansas City have found a slump of their own. After the two most recent meetings of these clubs Houston started holding Alberth Elis out ahead of his transfer to Portugal and it was clear he was a huge part of what they do right. They sit in ninth place, two spots out of a playoff spot. Since they last played KC they are 0-2-3, though four of those five games were on the road.
Kansas City are in as bad, if not worse, shape having won just one of their last seven games (1-4-2). Their 20 points through 13 games leaves them just four points out of first place (Seattle and Portland are tied — though Seattle has a game in hand) and six points out of last place. What a weird freaking season.
Reel off a few wins and all will be right with the world. Particularly if you can do it now to secure a playoff spot and again at the end of the year to get hot heading into the playoffs. Much easier said than done.
- While Sporting KC have lost two straight to Houston, they are 4-2-2 against the Dynamo if you stretch it back to the end 2017 in the regular season.
- SKC midfielder Gadi Kinda has faired well against Houston, scoring twice against them this year. However, he is suspended for this game due to yellow card accumulation since the Colorado game he was supposed to miss never happened.
- Darwin Quintero has been Sporting’s kryptonite this year scoring two goals and adding four assists, all in just the last two meetings.
What’s Changed for Houston Since the Last Meeting?
Alberth Elis is gone and that’s a huge plus for Kansas City! He has absolutely shredded SKC this year. He was transferred to Boavista, the same club Reggie Cannon was sold to in Portugal.
They are rumored to be adding an Elis replacement in forward Mateo Bajamich but he will not be around in time to play Saturday for sure.
Solo falta la oficialización.— Hernán Laurino (@cholito82) September 29, 2020
Mateo Bajamich deja #Instituto y jugará en #HoustonDynamo de la #MLS.
Cuatro años de contrato.
El equipo de Texas mejoró la forma de pago y hubo acuerdo.
Todo listo. pic.twitter.com/DvgR5E3Pky
Other than that, it’s the same as last time. For a more comprehensive look at Houston’s moves, head to our previous preview.
QUESTIONABLE - Richard Sanchez (unknown), Roger Espinoza (world’s worst cramp)
*Updated 10/2/2020 with our own Thad Bell getting the details. I left Richard Sanchez and Espinoza questionable since we don’t know their status yet and they won’t show up on the injury report. (Update 10/3/2020: no changes on the official injury report.)
According to the game report for SKC— Thad (@TheBackpost) October 2, 2020
Not Medically Cleared: Defenders Matt Besler and Luis Martins, Mid Felipe Gutierrez
Suspended: Gadi Kinda (yellow accumulation)
Out Michael Salazar - Right knee
Questionable Wilfried Zahibo - Right thigh#SportingKC
OUT - Michael Salazar (right knee)
QUESTIONABLE - Wilfried Zahibo (right thigh)
Sporting KC - Gadi Kinda (yellow card accumulation)
- Suspended Next Yellow: None
- Suspended with Two More Yellows: Ilie Sanchez
Houston - None
- Suspended Next Yellow: Maynor Figueroa, Boniek Garcia, Matias Vera, Memo Rodriguez
GOALS: Johnny Russell (6), Gadi Kinda, Khiry Shelton (4), Alan Pulido (3), Erik Hurtado (2), Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi, Gerso Fernandes, Gianluca Busio (1)
ASSISTS: Pulido (4), Gerso (3), Luis Martins, Kinda (2), Busio, Roberto Puncec, Johnny Russell, Shelton, Jaylin Lindsey, Felipe Hernandez, Graham Zusi (1)
GOALS: Darwin Quintero (5),
Alberth Elis (4), Memo Rodriguez (3), Christian Ramirez, Maynor Figueroa, Ariel Lassiter, Mauro Manotas (2), Niko Hansen (1)
ASSISTS: Quintero (7),
Elis, Darwin Ceren, Zarek Valentin, Rodriguez (3), two with one (1)
Sporting KC - D / L / W / L / L (4 points)
Houston - D / L / D / L / D (3 points)
Starting XI Predictions
This will come closer to the game. Peter Vermes has a press conference on Friday. Look for a separate story with those predictions.
How can you realistically pick Sporting Kansas City to win with their current form? I personally can’t, even if Houston are in nearly as deep as a slump. Even without Elis, the team is built to kill the gaping holes in Sporting’s defense. Plus these teams are averaging more than two goals a game against each other this season.
Quintero has ripped KC apart this year and he still has targets like Manotas, Ramirez and Lassiter. The problem for Houston is all three of those are center forwards and only one will play at a time. But if Quintero and Memo Rodriguez do what they did against KC earlier this season, they’ll score or they’ll find someone to score.
Sporting has had a bit of rest with the Colorado Rapids game being cancelled and then rescheduled. This year they have done okay off of longer rest, but even that’s been inconsistent. Historically, they play best when they play once a weekend and that’s not the reality for the rest of 2020. They had better win in Houston because it’s a game basically every four days from here out and that’ll be tough to overcome. Especially without Alan Pulido for up to half those games.
Johnny Russell is hot and Houston still doesn’t play very good defense so it could be a shootout. If Pulido is already out of town by game day though, that lowers the goal scoring prowess around the net. Especially with Kinda suspended. I won’t predict a win, but I always keep the faith.
What do you think? Predictions in the comments are welcome. Let’s chat about it.
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