Match Preview

Preview: SKC hosts Houston on Saturday for annual Sporting Salutes celebration at Children's Mercy Park


Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo FC
2024 MLS Regular Season | Match 12
Saturday, May 11 | 7:30 p.m. CT (7:40 kickoff)
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas

Broadcast Schedule:
Apple TV | MLS Season Pass
English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB
Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM

Sporting Kansas City will host the Houston Dynamo at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday at Children's Mercy Park for the 900th regular season match in team history. Tickets for the Western Conference clash are available online via SeatGeek, including standing-room only tickets and the Sporting U Pass providing $15 Supporters' Stand tickets for college students.

The club will also celebrate Sporting Salutes, an annual theme night sponsored by Dairy Farmers of America, on Saturday to honor the service and sacrifice of military members and their families amidst National Military Appreciation Month. The festivities will include pre-match activations on the Mazuma Plaza, a stadium flyover and an enlistment ceremony at halftime. In addition, Children's Mercy Park concessions will offer 50% off value menu items, as well as Anheuser-Busch and Coca-Cola products, for fans with a military ID on Saturday.

Sporting Kansas City has played Houston the most of any opposition across all competitions with 47 match-ups during the Sporting era (2011-present). The two sides have also faced one another more often in the MLS Cup Playoffs than any other opponent, most recently squaring off in last year's Western Conference Semifinals.

SKC is unbeaten against the Dynamo in the last seven regular season meetings (4-0-3) dating back to 2021 -- including a 2-1 win last September in the most recent match-up at Children's Mercy Park with goals from Willy Agada and Johnny Russell - and Sporting holds a narrow 14-13-16 advantage in the all-time regular season series.

Both teams enter Saturday's showdown on short rest coming off mid-week matches in the U.S. Open Cup. Houston, the reigning tournament champions, were eliminated at home on Tuesday in an 11-round penalty shootout after a 3-3 draw against USL Championship side Detroit City FC. Sporting also endured extra time however advanced to the Round of 16 on Wednesday with a 2-1 win at USL League One foe Union Omaha.

Alan Pulido came off the bench to score the latest goal in club history, striking in the 120th minute of Wednesday's win, and the World Cup veteran has now scored in three of his last four appearances to move into a share of the team lead with four goals this season in all competitions. The Mexican forward has historically found success in match-ups with Houston, scoring six goals - his most against any MLS opponent and the most by any player in the all-time series -- in eight regular season appearances versus the Dynamo.

Sporting Kansas City will be looking to snap a five-match winless skid in league play -- as well as a four-match winless slide at home in which the team conceded three goals in each fixture -- against a Dynamo squad also hoping to turn things around amidst a four-game winless streak across all competitions. The Dynamo have been shut out in the team's last three MLS matches and enter Saturday with nine goals, fewest in the Western Conference, so far this season.

Club captain and MLS All-Star Hector Herrera, who finished second in MLS with 17 assists in 2023, recently returned from injury for the Dynamo, while the team has also added three new players - including former Sporting KC midfielder Latif Blessing -- since the clubs played to a 1-1 draw on February 24 in each club's MLS season opener at Shell Energy Stadium. Erik Thommy opened the scoring with his first of four goals this season before substitute Gabe Segal nodded Houston level eight minutes later.

The Dynamo sit eighth in the 14-team Western Conference and 14 of the team's 15 matches in 2024 across all competitions have been decided by one goal or fewer. Houston is led by Ben Olsen -- now in his 13th season as an MLS head coach, second most among active MLS managers behind Sporting KC's Peter Vermes (16th MLS season) - with support from assistant coach Aurelien Collin, who won the U.S. Open Cup and MLS Cup during a memorable four-year stint with Sporting KC from 2011-2014.