Friday, April 24, 2015

Match Day 8: Renewing Another Rivalry

Sporting KC will renew another of their rivalries tomorrow night against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. Since Houston moved to the Eastern Conference in 2011, these two teams have met in the playoffs three of the last four seasons. Including a US Open Cup qualifier back in 2011, tomorrow's meeting will be the 17th meeting between the two teams since that time. Making it one of the most played rivalries of the last five years.

Houston comes into the game with the exact same 2-2-3 record that KC has, the only difference is the goals each team has scored an conceded. While KC has scored seven and conceded eight, the Dynamo have scored six, but given up a league low of four. Their defense has been very good, as Tyler Deric has recorded three shutouts for the Dynamo. In the other seven games, Houston has yet to allow more than a single goal. Not great news for a KC offense that continues to struggle to create chances in the run of play. Offensively though the Dynamo have struggled more than KC has. The Dynamo have six goals, but three of those came in one game against a Montreal Impact side that was focused on the Champions League. So while the defense is playing extremely well, outside of one game, the Dynamo haven't been lighting things up offensively.

That might be exactly what the Kansas City defense needs to get their feet back under them after the loss of Ike Opara. The defense was shaky at the start of last week's game against LA, but settled down and bent but didn't break until second half stoppage time when Omar Gonzalez scored the winner. The defense will still need to account for the likes of Giles Barnes, who has caused KC issues in the past. Offensively though this is going to be another game that I have a feeling will really frustrate the KC offense.

Anibaba - Ellis - Besler - de Jong
Feilhaber - Espinoza
Nemeth - Dyer - Zusi

Number to Remember - 0 - That's the number of goals that Houston has scored the last two years in all competitions at BBVA against KC. In the three games, KC is 2-0-1, winning the two regular season games 1-0 and 2-0, while drawing 0-0 in the 2013 Conference Finals.

Key Match Up - Benny Feilhaber vs Ricardo Clark - The MLS leader in assists will have a difficult match up against the former US international Clark, who has been having himself a very good season for the Dynamo, including scoring two goals to be tied for the team lead. Feilhaber has arguably been KC's best player (easier to argue for it now with Opara out). For KC to be successful tomorrow, Feilhaber is gonna need to win this battle.

PREDICTION - The way both teams are playing right now, this is going to be a low scoring, fairly unattractive game. Neither team has been able to have much success on the offensive side of the ball. And while KC's defense hasn't been playing great, their offense, especially without Oscar Boniek Garcia. If there is any scoring, I expect the game to be decided by just one goal. But I'm not sure we see it.

SKC - 0
HOU - 0


Anonymous said...

Low scoring?


Mike said...

LOL, I think each and every person called this as a low scoring game.