NEED TO KNOW:
Dynamo meet Kansas City for the third and final time this season
Houston won the first meeting with Kansas City at BBVA Stadium on May 12
Dynamo return to BBVA Stadium on Oct. 16 to host Seattle Sounders FC
HOUSTON – Houston Dynamo FC travel to Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday to face Sporting Kansas City for their final meeting of the regular season. Both teams have split the two previous meetings with the local side earning three points in each encounter.
Houston looks for three points prior to the next international break after a 0-0 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday. Dynamo goalkeeper Michael Nelson earned his second clean sheet of the season on Wednesday and finished with a limited workload against Vancouver, finishing with only one save.
Dynamo defender Teenage Hadebe played a large role in limiting Vancouver. The Zimbabwe international led the team with five clearances and 10 recoveries. Hadebe also finished with three key passes and one block on Wednesday. The 26-year-old earned MLSSoccer.com Team of the Week honors for his performance at BBVA Stadium on Wednesday.
The Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City have split the two previous meetings this season. Maxi Urruti led Houston to a 1-0 victory over Kansas City at BBVA Stadium on May 12. Urruti and Matias Vera scored for Houston in the second meeting on May 29, but the Dynamo fell 3-2 to Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park.
Kansas City enters Sunday’s game with the second-best record in the Western Conference. Sporting has won three out of their last four games after defeating FC Dallas 3-1 on Wednesday. Daniel Salloi scored a brace against Dallas and currently leads the team 15 goals and six assists. Forward Johnny Russel also scored for Kansas City on Wednesday and recently signed a contract extension with the club.
The Dynamo will return to league play on Saturday, Oct. 16 to host Seattle Sounders FC at 7:30 p.m. at BBVA Stadium.
Here are three key points ahead of Sunday’s game:
TEENAGE EARNS LEAGUE HONORS: Defender Teenage Hadebe earned MLSSoccer.com Team of the Week honors after leading Houston to a clean sheet against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday. Hadebe has helped Houston to three clean sheets since making his debut with the club in a 0-0 draw with the Whitecaps on July 20. The Zimbabwe international leads the team with 64 clearances since making his MLS debut and also leads the Dynamo with 85 recoveries. Hadebe adds 26 interceptions since making his debut and has the second highest tally on the backline.
DYNAMO NAVIGATE NEXT INTERNATIONAL WINDOW: The Dynamo expect up to four players to depart for national team duty early next week. This is the final international window during the regular season and features call ups for Teenage Hadebe with Zimbabwe, Darwin Ceren will join El Salvador and Honduras named Maynor Figueroa and Boniek Garcia to their roster for World Cup qualifiers. Honduras will face Costa Rica, Mexico and Jamaica in the October round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Ceren and El Salvador will face Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico in the next round of Concacaf play. Hadebe will join Zimbabwe for a pair of AFCON World Cup qualification matches against Ghana on Oct. 9 and Oct. 12.
KANSAS CITY ENTER KEY STRETCH: Kansas City enters Sunday’s game two points shy of the Seattle Sounders at the top of the Western Conference. Sporting will look to make up ground prior to a two-game road trip that ends at Lumen Field against the Sounders on Sept. 23. Sporting’s offense ranks among the best in MLS with 47 goals scored this season, the most in the Western Conference and third most in MLS. The bulk of the offense has come from the trio of Daniel Salloi, Johnny Russell and Alan Pulido who combine for 31 goals and 16 assists.