When: Sunday, October 3, 2021 at 3:00 PM CT (Kickoff 3:00 apparently)
Where: Children’s Mercy Park
How to Watch/Stream: Bally Sports KC Plus (regionally) | Bally Sports Midwest Plus (regionally) | Bally Sports App | UniMas | TUDN | English Stream on Twitter TUDN USA
How to Listen: ESPN 94.5 FM | La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish)
Sporting Kansas City effectively bounced back after a rough weekend by heading to Dallas and knocking in three goals en route to an easy 3-1 victory. SKC also got the return of Alan Pulido from injury (though Nicolas Isimat-Mirin was suddenly nowhere to be seen). Despite the speed bump against Seattle, that brings Kansas City up to three wins in their last four.
On Sunday, they’ll look to make it four out of five as 12th place Houston travel to Kansas City fresh off a home draw against the Whitecaps. Sporting’s victory leaves them in second place, two points behind first place Seattle Sounders who still have a game in hand. The Colorado Rapids are also just a point behind KC in the standings with a game in hand of their own. Every point will be vital down the stretch as homefield advantage in the playoffs is on the line (and maybe just as importantly, not having to travel).
Sunday will mark the third meeting of the season between Houston and Kansas City. Both teams have won at home so far in the series. Houston eeked out a 1-0 win in Ilie’s first game at center back. And SKC won 3-2 at home, giving up an ugly late goal (sound familiar) making it appear a bit closer than it was. Both of those games were back in May when SKC hadn’t found their stride and Houston... well they were about the same except they still had hope.
Houston’s Recent Form
The Dynamo are actually on one of their best runs of the season. Even though that’s only two wins in their last five (though just one loss), they only have five wins on the whole season. After their win against the Vancouver Whitecaps on May 22nd, they didn’t win again until the game below on September 11th against Austin. Yikes!
- September 11th vs Austin FC - 3-0 Win
- September 15th @ LA Galaxy - 1-1 Draw
- September 18th vs FC Dallas - 3-2 Win
- September 25th @ Minnesota United - 0-2 Loss
- September 29th vs Vancouver Whitecaps - 0-0 Draw
Of course KC would get them when they are actually playing decent. Then again, they lost to the best team they faced and the Galaxy are in a bit of a slump. Plus, they got their two wins from the two worst teams in the West not named Houston.
What’s changed for Houston since these teams last met?
Since it’s been a bit since their last meetings, a few moves have been made by the Dynamo (head back to our earlier preview for their heavier moves).
IN: The biggest addition was the trade for Corey Baird from LAFC. The Dynamo spent heavily to get the MLS veteran, just as LA had spent a little less heavily getting him from Real Salt Lake earlier in the year. The team also acquired Adalberto Carrasquilla on loan from FC Cartagena (Spanish second division). The midfielder has five appearances, four starts for 329 minutes since joining in August. He also has a goal to his name.
Houston also added defender Griffin Dorsey from Toronto FC.
OUT: Houston transferred veteran striker Christian Ramirez to Aberdeen FC (Scotland) back in June. They also loaned defender Jose Bizama down to the Charlotte Independence in the USL Championship.
OUT - Felipe Hernandez (personal reasons), Jaylin Lindsey (hamstring), John Pulskamp (facial injury)
QUESTIONABLE - Unknown
*This will be updated by the official injury report.
Vermes on Felipe Hernandez coming back this season: "The answer is truly that I don't know.... What I can tell you is that I try to maintain a line of communication and see where things are. I would say to you that I am hoping to find something out sooner than later." #SportingKC— Shaun Goodwin (@ShaunGoodwinKC) October 1, 2021
OUT - Nico Lemoine (right groin), Adam Lundkvist (lower body)
QUESTIONABLE - Adalberto Carrasquilla (lower body), Marko Maric (left leg), Tyler Pasher (lower body)
GOALS: Daniel Salloi (15), Alan Pulido, Johnny Russell (), (7), Gadi Kinda (4),
Gianluca Busio, Jaylin Lindsey, Khiry Shelton, Cam Duke (2), Ilie Sanchez, Felipe Hernandez, Luis Martins, Jose Mauri (1)
ASSISTS: Johnny Russell (7), Daniel Salloi, Khiry Shelton (6), Graham Zusi (4),
Gianluca Busio, Gadi Kinda, Alan Pulido (3), Luis Martins, Felipe Hernandez (2), Andreu Fontas, Jaylin Lindsey, Remi Walter, Roger Espinoza, Jose Mauri (1)
GOALS: Fafa Picault (10), Maxi Urruti (7), Tyler Pasher (4), Matias Vera (3), Griffin Dorsey, Memo Rodriguez (2), three with one (1)
ASSISTS: Picault (4), Pasher, Urruti (3), Darwin Ceren, Joe Corona, Adam Lundqvist, Rodriguez (2), nine with one (1)
Starting XI Predictions
This will have it’s own story, as always.
Houston aren’t a high scoring team and they give up lots of goals. That’s probably a big part of the reason they are doing so poorly. You would think Kansas City would run over a team like that. However, the Dynamo are a bit of a rival from all those tough playoff games from years gone by. And Houston hold the advantage in the all-time series (13-11-13).
Second place versus 12th should be more clear, but if Houston have learned anything they should come to Kansas City and bunker and try to hit on the counter with players like the speedy Fafa Picault or Maxi Urruti, who is a tireless worker (I believe I saw him, possibly in our comments, called the poor mans Alan Pulido).
However, Kansas City must find a way to score first, and pull Houston out of that bunker. If they can break them down, and Houston basically have nothing to play for, then the game could break wide open. Kansas City is the better team. They are fighting for playoff positioning. They need to win their home games and Sunday is the last chance to do that until the end of October (there is a two week FIFA break in there too). SKC get it done!
3-1 Sporting KC Win
What do you think? Predictions in the comments are welcome. Let’s chat about it.
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