Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo FC
2021 MLS Regular Season | Match 8
Saturday, May 29, 2021 | 7:30 p.m. CT
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas
English TV | Bally Sports Kansas City
English TV | Bally Sports Midwest Plus
Streaming | BallySports.com and Bally Sports app
English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB
Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM
One of the most anticipated MLS regular season matches in Children's Mercy Park history will take place Saturday night when Sporting Kansas City (4-2-1, 13 points) hosts rivals Houston Dynamo FC (3-2-2, 11 points) in front of the first full-capacity crowd at the stadium since early 2020.
A limited number of tickets for the Western Conference clash are available at SeatGeek.com while supplies last as Sporting hosts its Sporting Sustainability match in partnership with Compass Minerals, Missouri Organic Recycling and the Nature Conservancy. The occasion will also see Sporting welcome 1,000 local medical professionals who have served the Kansas City community during the pandemic.
Saturday's contest will kick off at 7:30 p.m. CT with three hours of live coverage beginning at 7 p.m. CT on Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest Plus, BallySports.com and the Bally Sports app. Listeners can follow the action live locally on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish), while the Sporting KC app will provide additional in-game updates and exclusive offers. The Final Whistle postgame show will air immediately afterward on 810 WHB.
For the first time in almost 15 months, Children's Mercy Park will welcome a full house as Sporting transitions to 100% capacity this weekend. Houston coincidentally served as Sporting's opponent in the most recent full-capacity match at Children's Mercy Park on March 7, 2020, as Alan Pulido and Gadi Kinda scored on their stadium debuts to spark a 4-0 victory for the hosts. The fierce rivals have met 37 times in all competitions since 2011, including a hard-fought battle on May 12 that saw the Dynamo prevail 1-0 at home thanks to Maxi Urruti's 56th-minute strike.
Winners in three of their last four matches, Sporting have jumped to second place in the West behind influential performances across all areas of the field. Last Saturday’s 3-1 road triumph over the San Jose Earthquakes saw 21-year-old defender Jaylin Lindsey open his professional scoring account before Pulido and Daniel Salloi continued to scorch the nets with second-half goals. Sporting leads MLS with three comeback wins and nine points from losing positions in 2021, already eclipsing the eight come-from-behind points they claimed in both 2019 and 2020.
Pulido (four goals, one assist) and Salloi (three goals, two assists) enter the weekend as an in-form attacking duo, having scored in back-to-back matches as two of 10 MLS players with five combined goals and assists this season. Pulido has earned consecutive MLS Team of the Week honors for his excellent displays and is set to join the Mexico Men’s National Team following Saturday's game for the Concacaf Nations League Finals on June 3 and 6.
In defense, Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia is seeking his sixth straight regular season win dating back to last October, while Ilie Sanchez—deployed almost exclusively as a holding midfielder during his five-year tenure in Kansas City—could be poised to retain a center back role after excelling at the position in Sporting’s previous two matches. A major milestone is also within touching distance for defender Graham Zusi, who would tie Matt Besler for most competitive appearances in club history (348) if he takes the field against Houston.
Second-year Houston head coach Tab Ramos—who played alongside Sporting Manager Peter Vermes at the club and U.S. international level in the 1990s—has guided Houston to fourth place in the West thanks to three early home victories at BBVA Stadium. Urruti has scored the decisive goal on each occasion and leads MLS with three game-winning strikes this season. However, the Dynamo have been far less successful on their road travels: Houston is 0-2-1 away from home this season and owns a dreary 5-33-9 regular season road record since 2018.
Sporting and Houston have forged a fierce rivalry over the last decade, squaring off in four editions of the MLS Cup Playoffs and five Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups while also meeting frequently in the regular season. The sides locked horns four times during the shortened 2020 regular season, taking two wins apiece.
As part of the league-wide Greener Goals initiative, Sporting and Houston will boast fresh looks on Saturday as they don the new adidas PRIMEBLUE jerseys made from Parley Ocean plastic. In the stands, supporters will have the opportunity to purchase the limited-edition kit at SportingStyle locations while supplies last. Furthermore, all fans who order a PRIMEBLUE jersey online at SportingStyle.com will receive a free reusable tote and be entered to win a pair of PRIMEBLUE adidas shoes.
In partnership with Anheuser-Busch and Parisi Coffee, Sporting will introduce two new beverage additions this weekend at Children's Mercy Park. Sporting Argyle Amber Ale, a commemorative craft beer inspired by “A Force for Good” and Sporting's commitment to serve communities across the region, will be available at concessions and premium spaces throughout the stadium. In addition, a co-branded Parisi espresso blend honoring Vermes called "Il Mentore" can be purchased at all SportingStyle locations.