With a few games still left to go this weekend, Sporting KC already knows which two teams they will be potentially facing in the Eastern Conference semifinals. With New York defeating Philadelphia and DC and Chicago drawing 1-1, Sporting KC will meet up against the Chicago Fire or Houston Dynamo. The Eastern Conference rankings are finished, Chicago will finish 4th and host the Houston Dynamo who will finish in 5th no matter how their match up tonight against Colorado ends.
Those two teams will meet up this Wednesday in Chicago in a one off game with the winner hosting Sporting KC on the following weekend. The date of the away leg has not been finalized yet but will be the 3rd or the 4th.
Of the 4 teams that KC could have played in the conference semifinals, there were the two that I really didn't want to face. This year Kansas City is 1-2-3 against Chicago (1-1-1) and Houston (0-1-2). KC has scored 5 goals in those 6 games (3 vs Chicago 2 vs Houston), while the opponents have scored 6 (3 for both). In the last 2 years in the regular season against these two teams, KC is 2-3-5, with a single win against each of those teams. These two teams have been two of the bogey teams for KC the past few years. Chicago historically outside of cup finals has dominated the series against KC. The same is true for Houston against KC, without the cup final success. In fact Houston has twice knocked Kansas City out of the playoffs, including last year in the Eastern Conference finals at Livestrong Sporting Park.
This match up is the one that I didn't want because of KC's history, but KC likely would have had to face one of them eventually. Time to exorcise some demons.