Sporting Kansas City will travel to BBVA Compass Stadium for the Eastern Conference Semifinals first leg against the Houston Dynamo. What will be the keys for Sporting to get a draw or win? Below are some keys to the match.
Brad Davis/Oscar Boniek Garcia
The most dangerous attacking players for Houston are Brad Davis and Oscar Boniek Garcia. Davis is always a threat on set pieces and Garcia has been one of the best mid-season acquisitions in MLS. Both players make up a very formidable midfield which are the key to Houston's attack. If KC can limit their chances and ability to provide service to other players, then Houston should struggle to score goals.
Sporting won't be at full strength in the midfield with he absence of Paulo Nagamura but that should be offset a bit by the return of Roger Espinoza. KC will need good performances from their midfield to hold possession and provide service for CJ Sapong and Kei Kamara. These players don't often score goals but they are crucial to the outcome of matches.
First 20 minutes
It's always tough to play on the road in MLS and the first 20 minutes will be crucial. The Dynamo should come out wih a lot of energy and look to take advantage at home. If KC can weather the storm and keep it tied early, they should have a great chance to get a result. Houston have been a strong team at home but the longer the match is tied or scoreless, the more it favors KC. A draw or win for KC sets up perfectly for the second leg at LSP.