Friday, November 08, 2013

Haven't I Seen You Before?

If tomorrow's opponent looks failure, it's because they are. This is the third straight year that Sporting KC will face off against the Houston Dynamo in the playoffs, and the second time the two will meet in the conference finals. It's also the fourth time they'll meet in the playoffs. The Dynamo have won each of the previous playoff match ups though.

Houston should come into this game with some tired legs. Like KC, they played 120 minutes on Wednesday in New York. They also had one less day of rest having played last Sunday while KC played on Saturday. With the play in game against Montreal, this is already Houston's fourth game of the playoffs. So heading into this game there may be a few tired legs that KC can take advantage of. The Dynamo will be without Corey Ashe who is suspended due to yellow card accumulation.

Speaking of tired legs, KC should also have some after 120 minutes vs the Revolution on Wednesday. Graham Zusi ran 14 kilometers over the course of the game according to a Robb Heineman Tweet. So KC may have some heavy legs as well. In the series against New England, KC showed off more of their depth as they were able to make some key changes in the second leg that gave them some fresh legs. Some of that depth has taken a hit though. Peterson Joseph and Lawrence Olum both missed the New England game and appear to be done for the season. I'd expect KC to play the Houston game similar to the first leg of the New England series, a little bit more reserved, but they'll still look to come home with the lead.

Myers - Collin - Besler - Sinovic
Rosell - Nagamura 
Sapong - Dwyer - Zusi

Number to Remember - 0 - That's the number of wins that Houston has against KC this year. That'd be important, but I'd also point out that the Dynamo also had zero wins against New York heading into the playoffs and they just got past them. It's also the number of goals the Dynamo have scored at home this season against KC (1-0 KC win and 0-0 draw).

Key Match Up - Seth Sinovic vs Oscar Boniek Garcia - Sinovic put in a man of the match performance against New England on Wednesday but will now face a bigger challenge on his wing. Garcia has been taking over more of the playmaking duties for the Dynamo this season giving them a two pronged attack with Brad Davis. Sinovic will need to try to keep the Honduran in check.

PREDICTION - The Dynamo are always a different team in the playoffs. Dominic Kinnear has proven that over the past few years. He's out coached Vermes each of the last two years and did it again to Mike Petke in the conference semifinals this year. KC cannot afford a game like they had last year down in Houston, the Dynamo aren't going to let KC dominate the game in KC like they did last year where they were lucky to only lose 1-0. This game will be a great opportunity to see how far Vermes has come as a coach. But with the big break between this game and the second leg, KC needs to try to get something out of the game tomorrow.

SKC - 0
HOU - 0

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