Sporting Kansas City will face D.C. United for the second time this season as the two teams meet on Sunday afternoon at RFK Stadium. What matchups and players will be crucial for each team to get a result from Sunday's match? Check out the video below to find out featuring MLSSoccer.com's Greg Lalas and Matt Doyle.
Ever wonder what it would be like to hang out with your favorite team or kick around with your favorite player? One young Sporting KC fan doesn’t have to wonder anymore thanks to EA SPORTS Game Time.
EA SPORTS Game Time gives youth reporters an all-access pass to their favorite professional athletes. These reporters take the cameras on the field and into the locker room as they get to play with the pros. Game Time is a weekly sports/education television program on a mission to inspire the next generation of professional athletes. So who better to host Game Time then the future pros themselves?
Oliver Bihuniak,14, was the lucky youth reporter selected for the shoot. EA SPORTS’ cameras focused in as Oliver talked and trained with Sporting KC players Soony Saad, Uri Rosell, Chance Myers, C.J. Sapong, Ike Opara, Mikey Lopez, Matt Besler, and Jimmy Nielsen. With his knowledge and familiarity of his hometown team, Oliver knew how to talk to the players as he interviewed several of the guys. Oliver’s soccer skills didn’t let him down in training either, as he was able to keep up with the pros as best as any 14-year-old could.
Training wrapped up with a huddle led by Besler, who then took Oliver into the locker room where he was presented with his own official #9 team jersey and shown what his locker would look like at Sporting Park.
Several times throughout the shoot, Oliver was asked how it felt and the only answer the youth reporter had for the day, “This is awesome.”
As the 14-year-old played with the pros at Sporting Park, he showed why he very well could be leading the charge of the next generation of professional athletes, impressing the coaching staff. “This kid’s good” was echoed by a couple of coaches on the day.
So if you ever wonder what it would be like to hang out with Sporting KC or kick around with your favorite Sporting player - take it from Oliver, it's awesome. Oliver's episode will air later this month.
The Sporting KC Show will air on Sports Radio 810 WHB from 7-8 p.m. CT on Tuesday, live from Em Chamas Brazilian Grill (6101 NW 63rd Terrace, Kansas City, MO). Hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards will be joined by Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber to catch up listeners on all the latest discussion around Sporting Kansas City and Major League Soccer, including analysis from the team's 1-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo last night and thoughts on their next match at D.C. United on Sunday.
Earlier today, Callum was a guest on The Program with Soren Petro, while Andy Edwards joined Between the Lines with Kevin Kietzman later in the afternoon. Click the links for their full interviews and follow both hosts on Twitter at @AndyEdSKC and @CalWilliamsSKC. They'll take your questions on Tuesday night via Twitter or through the phone at 913-3-810-810.
Sunday's showdown between Sporting KC and the Houston Dynamo was the latest in a rivalry that continues to blossom and like any good grudge game, the contest came with no shortage of tough tackles. Referee Chris Penso whistled Sporting Kansas City for 25 fouls in the match, most by a team in MLS this season and second most in club history, but might there have been a method to the madness?
Mapping out each of the 25 fouls committed by Manager Peter Vermes' squad shows no set pieces were conceded closer than 35 yards from Jimmy Nielsen's net. The closest (shown below) came in the 25th minute when Brad Davis' left-footed free kick was saved by Nielsen at the near post.
In fact, Houston managed only two shots on goal through the game's first 90 minutes and both came from free kick opportunities. The Dynamo - historically a dangerous team on dead ball situations with Davis serving pin-point deliveries -- were stifled in the run of play and Sporting KC did well to limit the effectiveness of their restarts in large part by pushing the proximity of those free kicks further up the field.
Ironically, the foul-friendly approach is a tactic often used to stymie Sporting KC who lead all MLS teams in fouls suffered this season. Either way, the rivalry will write its next chapter in two weeks' time when Sporting Park hosts the rematch on May 26 live on national TV.
"When we play each other, it is always a battle," Vermes said. "These two teams are always battling each other. It’s every roll of the ball."
Go in-depth for Sporting Kansas City's 1-0 win the Houston Dynamo on Sunday night at BBVA Compass Stadium with this match's Fast Facts.
- With the win, Sporting Kansas City moves into a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference with the Houston Dynamo and the Montreal Impact.
- Sporting KC is now 6-4-2 in 2013 and 3-2-1 on the road. The team’s three away wins are tied for the most in MLS this season and the team’s .583 winninge percentage on the road is second best in MLS in 2013.
- Sporting Kansas City is 218-210-111 all-time and 74-133-63 all-time away from home.
- Sporting Kansas City's record against the Houston Dynamo moves to 4-6-6 all-time and 2-3-3 on the road in the series.
- Sporting Kansas City beat the Houston Dynamo in Houston for the first time since April 8, 2006. Since then, Sporting KC was 0-5-3 at Houston in MLS competition (including playoffs) entering Sunday’s match.
- The win hands the Houston Dynamo the club’s first loss at BBVA Compass Stadium since it’s opening a year ago today.
- The win also snapped a 36-game undefeated streak at home for the Dynamo in all competition, with 26 victories and 10 draws over that span.
- Houston’s 30-game home unbeaten streak in MLS regular season competition is the longest in MLS history.
- Sporting KC started the same starting lineup from their 4-0 victory over Chivas USA, making four changes to the lineup they started in their midweek loss against the Seattle Sounders. Claudio Bieler replaced C.J. Sapong, Paulo Nagamura replaced Benny Feilhaber, Seth Sinovic was in for Josh Gardner and Mechack Jerome was on for Chance Myers.
- The Houston Dynamo made one change to their starting lineup from their midweek victory over D.C. United, replacing Giles Barnes with Ricardo Clark.
- Ricardo Clark’s six fouls suffered on Sunday was a season high for a Houston player and most by a Houston player all-time in the series.
- Aurelien Collin notched the game-winning goal for Sporting Kansas City, heading in a long throw-in from Seth Sinovic.
- The goal was Sporting KC’s fourth scored by a header this season. All 14 of the team’s goals in 2013 have come from shots inside the penalty area.
- The goal is Collin’s second of the season and ninth of his career. Of Collin’s nine career MLS goals, six have been game-winners.
- Sporting KC is 8-0-1 when Collin scores.
- Seth Sinovic earned his first point of the year with the assist. The assist was the third of his career and first since May 19, 2012.
- The Sporting KC goal came on the team’s only shot on goal of the second half.
- Sporting Kansas City is 5-0-0 when leading in the 75th minute.
- Sporting Kansas City is 4-0-2 when allowing 0 goals and 3-1-0 when scoring one goal.
- Sporting KC is 5-2-1 when wearing Sporting Blue and 5-1-2 versus the Eastern Conference in 2013.
- In 35 minutes of action, Kei Kamara led all players in the match with eight aerial duels won. Kamara and Collin won a combined 15 of 15 aerial duels on Sunday.
- Kamara made his 100th regular season appearance in a KC uniform on Sunday. Kamara played for the Dynamo in 2008 and 2009.
- Jimmy Nielsen earned the 39th shutout of his career, most in club history, and seventh in 2013, most among all MLS goalkeepers this year.
- Nielsen’s six victories this year are tied for most in MLS.
- Nielsen’s 0.99 career goals against average is the best in MLS history among goalkeepers with a minimum of 4,000 minutes played.
- Sporting Kansas City’s 0.75 goals against average is the best in MLS in 2013.
- Tally Hall’s shutout streak ended on Sunday at 298 minutes, the third longest streak by a goalkeeper in MLS this season.
- Sunday's temperature was 82 degrees at kickoff, the hottest temperature for a Sporting KC game in 2013.
- Aurelien Collin and Oriol Rosell will miss the next Sunday’s match against D.C. United at RFK Stadium due to yellow card accumulation.
- Jimmy Nielsen has appeared in 73 straight MLS matches, including postseason, for Sporting Kansas City, dating back to June 12, 2011. The streak covers a span of 6,570 straight minutes of MLS action.
- Oriol Rosell committed four fouls on Sunday, a single-game career high for the midfielder.
- Sporting Kansas City has handed MLS opponents their first loss at a new stadium at six different stadiums: BBVA Compass Stadium, BMO Field, Qwest Field, Rio Tinto Stadium, Robertson Stadium and Spartan Stadium.
- Ike Opara logged 13 clearances on Sunday, leading all players in the category.
- Mechack Jerome led all players on Sunay with 12 duels won.
- Peterson Joseph was credited with three key passes on Sunday, most among all players on the field.
- Peterson Joseph’s five fouls committed on Wednesday were a single-game career high.
- Sporting Kansas City was whistled for 25 fouls on Sunday, a single-game high for the club this season and most by a team in MLS this season.
- Sporting Kansas City leads MLS in fouls suffered this season, but suffered a season-low 10 fouls on Sunday.
- The team’s 15 fouls in the second half were the most by an MLS team in a half this season.
- Sporting Kansas City outshot the Houston Dynamo 11-10. Sporting KC is 5-3-2 when outshooting an opponent this season.
- Sporting KC leads MLS all-time in shots with 7,360 and ranks second in MLS this season with 168 shots.
- Sporting Kansas City has allowed the second fewest shots among all MLS teams this year with 102 shots against.
- Matt Besler missed Sunday’s match due to injury.
- Sporting Kansas City faces the Houston Dynamo again on May 26 at Sporting Park.
Sporting Kansas City snapped the Houston Dynamo's 36 match home unbeaten streak with a 1-0 victory at BBVA Compass Stadium. It was a physical match between two sides that are expected to be battling it out in the Eastern Conference playoffs next fall.
Man of the Match
Aurelien Collin had a solid match offensively (game-winning goal) and defensively (clean sheet). The Frenchmen scored his second goal of the season and continues to be a threat on set pieces. Defensively, Collin made a very important tackle late in the match that prevented the Dynamo from having a breakaway on goal. Collin and the rest of the Sporting KC backline were tested by a tough Houston side throughout the 90 minutes and responded with a clean sheet.
Collin's header in the 73rd minute was clearly the crucial part of the match. It was a long throw-in by Seth Sinovic that Collin headed back towards goal and past the goalkeeper. The goal came at the perfect moment as Houston was beginning to gain momentum and get consistent scoring chances. It allowed Sporting KC to play a bit more cautious and put the emphasis on Houston to take chances.
A few stats
- Ike Opara led all players in clearances with 13
- Both of Collin's goals this season have come in 1-0 victories on the road (at NY & at HOU)
- In his last two matches against Houston, Seth Sinovic has a goal (second leg of 2012 playoffs) and an assist (tonight's match)
Graham Zusi joined Glenn Davis on Dynamo All-Access ahead of Sporting KC's trip to Houston for tonight's showdown between the Eastern Conference contenders. Hit play below to hear from the reigning MLS Player of the Week for his thoughts on renewing the rivalry...
Speaking of Zusi and the radio, MLSSoccer.com talked musical tastes and compiled a Spotify playlist with some of the National Teamer's favorites.
Need more noise? Jake Yadrich, color commentator for the Sporting KC Television Network, joined T.J. Carpenter on Sports Radio 810 WHB for a SportsNight segment on Thursday. Listen to the full interview online at 810whb.com.
Sports Radio 810 WHB will simulcast tonight's match with The Final Whistle: Sporting KC Postgame Show immediately afterward. Call 913-3-810-810 to join the discussion with hosts Dave Borchardt and Andy Edwards.
What has been the main reasons for the increased rivalry between the two sides?
"Success. Two managers that have an intense desire to win and compete. Familiarity now and past history. All of these things come into play. Of course they've competed in conference championships and playoffs. I clearly believe that this is the Dynamo's number one rivalry."
What sort of match do you expect to see on Sunday?
"That's the thing I like about Sporting Kansas City on the road. They go after teams and quite frankly most of the teams that have come into BBVA Compass Stadium have tried to open up and play against the Dynamo. Vancouver did, Colorado did to a degree, San Jose did to their detriment. I think people realize that you can't come into BBVA Compass Stadium and think you're going to sit back for an entire course of a game and let them come at you and pressure you and get out with a result. That's going to be a rare, rare luxury if it ever happens even at all this year."
"I think it's going to be an open and entertaining game."
"I think fatigue could play a part in this match. It seemed to be a highly emotional game for Sporting Kansas City against Seattle. You have to wonder if that maybe slows the pace down on a game that might have normally been a lot faster and give people a little bit more time on the ball."
What match-ups will be important for Sunday's match?
"I think there's great match-ups all over the place. It's kind of like take your pick because of quality of the players and the way the two teams play. For me, how do the Dynamo adjust to the Sporting Kansas City midfield. Who controls the middle third of the field. There's a lot of strength there with the players. And of course you got a lot of energy out wide on both teams as well."
"This could be an incredible midfield match-up here on Sunday. I think two of the best midfields in MLS are going head to head on Sunday."
What's been the key to the Dynamo's long home unbeaten streak?
"I really think it down to a few factors. One, I think they just have a lot of confidence there (at BBVA Compass Stadium). There's something to be said about having momentum and having a thought process that you're not going to lose in a certain place."
"Weather here plays a very big factor for teams who are coming from the North, even the Midwest in Kansas City. The humidity, even in those months when it's not 'hot', is still something after 60-70 minutes. It's very very tough to deal with and there's no coincidence that the Dynamo get a lot of their results (at home) with goals after the 70th minute. They're conditiioned to deal with heat. They're conditioned to deal with the humidity."
What are the expectations for the Dynamo this season?
"Supporters Shield talk doesn't really come up here much. They really do focus on the MLS Cup. Honestly, I think its weird because they've been to MLS Cup the last two years but there is a sense that this is probably their best team (in the last three seasons). Of the three years, on paper, this is the best team they've had. I really do think that for Dominic Kinnear and that group, the goal really is to win MLS Cup."
What do you expect to see from Sunday's match?
"I expect to see what we've seen the last six or seven times between these two sides, an all-out battle."
"I think personally it's going to be a game that a lot of soccer fans want to watch. It's two teams that go hard. They don't lay on the ground. They don't dive. It is really two honest teams going at it."
"I think this is going to be Houston's biggest challenge. I think Sporting Kansas City are Houston's biggest threat to end the streak (home unbeaten streak). I really do because the style of play and the condensed schedule this week. I expect to see a battle and an honest to goodness fight this weekend."
Sporting Kansas City will travel to play Eastern Conference rivals Houston on Sunday evening. It's a match-up featuring two of the top teams in MLS and both are favorites to finish near the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
Houston will be playing their third match in eight days (same as Sporting KC) so they are unlikely to be at full strength. Calen Carr and Omar Cummings are both unavailable due to injuries whlie several others are listed as questionable. The most notable are Giles Barnes, one of Houston's most dangerous attacking players, and Ricardo Clark, a strong defensive presence in midfield.
Formation & Style of Play
The Dynamo line up in a 4-4-2. Houston, especially at home, will look for their outside backs to make overlapping runs to stretch the defense and create space in the 18 yard box. Houston are a team that will look to punish teams with a combination of skill, physicality, and set pieces. Brad Davis provides consistent service on free kicks and corners while Boniek Garcia and Andrew Driver are dangerous on the flanks.
Up top, Will Bruin is a target forward and Giles Barnes is a skillful finisher with some pace. Another player to watch is Adam Moffat, who fans will remember for his long-range goal in the first leg of the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals. Overall, Houston are a team that aren't afraid to be physical (have committed more fouls than suffered this season) and can score a variety of ways. They are a team that will frequently win matches despite losing the possession battle (had 48% and 40% in last two victories).
Brad Davis - An experienced midfielder who arguably has the best left foot in MLS.
Boniek Garcia - The Honduran signed with the team last summer and has strengthened one of the league's best midfields.
Will Bruin - A talented and physical forward who is coming off a two goal and two assist performance against D.C. United
|at LA Galaxy (May 5th)||at D.C. United (May 8th)|
Sporting Kansas City will face the Houston Dynamo for the 16th time in MLS (regular season) on Sunday evening. This is the first of three regular season meetings between the two sides in 2013.
All-Time Head To Head
Home Matches: 2-3-3 (10 goals scored, 9 goals conceded)
Away Matches: 1-3-3 (7 goals scored, 12 goals conceded)
|Sporting KC||Stat||Seattle Sounders|
|Claudio Bieler 6||GOALS||Barnes/Bruin 4|
|Graham Zusi 4||ASSISTS||Davis/Bruin/Sarkodie 3|
|Claudio Bieler 29||SHOTS||Giles Barnes 29|
|Aurelien Collin 23||FOULS||Bobby Boswell 13|
|Jimmy Nielsen 19||SAVES||Tally Hall 23|
|Jimmy Nielsen 0.82||GAA||Tally Hally 0.90|
|Sporting KC||Houston Dynamo|
|Shots (on goal)||157 (46)||123 (45)|
|Fouls Committed (Suffered)||161 (162)||114 (96)|
|Duels Won (Avg)||51.2%||50.0%|
|Completed Passes (Avg)||438||386|
|Passing Accuracy (Avg)||77.4%||73.5%|
Last 10 MLS Regular Season Meetings
|07/18/2012||2-1||L||BBVA Compass Stadium|