Sporting Kansas City at Houston Dynamo
2020 MLS Regular Season | Match 10 of 23
Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020 | 7 p.m. CT
BBVA Stadium | Houston, Texas

Broadcast Schedule:
English TV | FOX Sports Kansas City Plus
English TV | FOX Sports Midwest Plus
Streaming | FOX Sports GO or ESPN Plus
English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB

How to Watch | Five Things to Know | By The Numbers
MatchCenter | Match Notes | Media Guide | Media Assets

The third head-to-head meeting this season between rivals Sporting Kansas City (5-2-2, 17 points) and the Houston Dynamo (2-2-4, 10 points) will take place Saturday at BBVA Stadium in Houston, pitting the Western Conference leaders against one of the league’s most in-form teams.

Saturday’s showdown will kick off at 7 p.m. CT with live broadcasts on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus, FOX Sports Midwest Plus and FOX Sports GO, including 30-minutes of pregame and postgame coverage. Sports Radio 810 WHB will carry the contest locally with The Final Whistle postgame show immediately afterwards, while U.S. viewers outside of the FOX Sports Midwest footprint can stream the action on ESPN Plus. The Sporting KC app will also provide in-game updates and exclusive offers to users courtesy of Price Chopper.

Sporting and Houston have stirred up a compelling rivalry over the last decade, having met in four editions of the MLS Cup Playoffs and five Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournaments since 2011, and will face quick turnarounds when they take the field Saturday for the newest installment of the series. Led by 12th-year manager Peter Vermes, the longest-tenured head coach in MLS, Sporting came from behind to secure a 1-1 home draw on Wednesday against FC Dallas as forward Khiry Shelton moved into a tie for the team lead with his fourth goal of the campaign. On the same evening, Houston strolled to a 3-0 home victory over Minnesota United FC behind Darwin Quintero’s early strike and a second-half brace from substitute Ariel Lassiter, the son of former MLS great Roy Lassiter.

Occupying first place in the Western Conference table—two points clear of second-place Seattle Sounders FC and three points shy of Columbus Crew SC in the Supporters’ Shield race—Sporting has erased deficits to claim 1-1 ties in consecutive matches, previously splitting the points at Colorado last Saturday. Vermes has leaned heavily on a crop of young Sporting KC Academy products, and the club notably started four Homegrown Players on Wednesday for the second time in team history. An all-Homegrown midfield of 18-year-old Gianluca Busio, 19-year-old Cam Duke and 22-year-old Felipe Hernandez was joined by 20-year-old right back Jaylin Lindsey in the starting XI, while forward Daniel Salloi was the fifth Academy representative to see the field as a second-half substitute.

While Sporting’s youth movement is in full motion, a host of Sporting veterans could be set for increased roles this weekend. Defenders Matt Besler and Graham Zusi came off the bench against Dallas, while center back Winston Reid and forward Alan Pulido were rested. Midfielder Gadi Kinda, level with Shelton on four goals, is also available after serving a one-game red card suspension.

Under the guidance of first-year MLS head coach Tab Ramos—a longtime teammate of Vermes at the club and U.S. international level—Houston was the last team in the league to record a win this season, doing so at Sporting’s expense on Aug. 25 at Children’s Mercy Park. They began the campaign 0-2-4 and failed to emerge from the MLS is Back Tournament group stage in Walt Disney World, but have outscored Sporting and Minnesota 8-2 in their last two outings to move back into the thick of the Western Conference playoff picture.

A dynamic Houston attack is spearheaded by Darwin Quintero and Alberth Elis, both of whom enter Saturday in scintillating form. Quintero exploded for two goals and two assists in the Dynamo’s 5-2 defeat of Sporting last month, while Elis has contributed two goals and three assists of his own during the club’s winning streak. The duo are two of five MLS players—alongside Sporting winger Johnny Russell—with 20 goals and 20 assists in the regular season since the start of 2018.

The first two battles between Sporting and Houston this season took place in Kansas City and resulted in lopsided scorelines. Vermes’ men throttled the Dynamo in their 2020 home opener on March 7—receiving goals from Shelton, Kinda, Pulido and Roger Espinoza—before Houston returned the favor with a three-goal triumph over a week ago. Sporting are 2-0-1 in true road matches this year and have taken four points from their last two visits to BBVA Stadium, a 1-0 win in August 2018 and a 1-1 stalemate in June 2019.

Saturday marks the continuation of a busy match schedule through the end of the regular season, as clubs will play up to two times per week through Decision Day on Nov. 8 to conclude the abbreviated and condensed 23-game campaign. The Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, featuring an expanded field of 18 teams, are slated to begin on Nov. 20 and culminate with the 25th MLS Cup on Dec. 12.