No. 8 seed Sporting Kansas City will play No. 4 seed Houston Dynamo FC at 6 p.m. CT on Sunday, November 26 at Shell Energy Stadium in Houston, Texas in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals. The match will be nationally televised on FS1 and FOX Deportes in addition to English and Spanish language streams on Apple TV's MLS Season Pass.
Houston advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals on Saturday, triumphing in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in regulation at home over No. 5 seed Real Salt Lake in Game 3 of their Round One Best-of-3 series.
In the MLS Cup Playoffs for an 11th time since 2011 and 20th postseason overall in club history, Sporting KC will make its fourth conference semifinal appearance since 2018 – tied for most in MLS over the last six seasons.
Sporting Kansas City swept No. 1 seed St. Louis CITY SC in a Round One Best-of-3 series – producing the only upset thus far in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs – after first prevailing in a penalty shootout against the San Jose Earthquakes in the Western Conference Wild Card game.
Sporting will now face Houston Dynamo FC in a single-elimination match – including two 15-minute extra time periods if tied at the end of 90 minutes – with the winner moving on to the Western Conference Final (Dec. 2-3) on the road to MLS Cup presented by Audi (Dec. 9).
Sporting Kansas City has faced Houston more times in the postseason, and more times in all competition (45) during the Sporting era (2011-present), than any other opponent. Houston prevailed in four of the previous five playoff match-ups, including the most recent postseason encounter in 2017, however Sporting Kansas City defeated the Dynamo in the club’s memorable run to the 2013 MLS Cup championship.
HOUvSKC in MLS Cup Playoffs
2007 Conference Final (HOU 2, SKC 0)
2011 Conference Final (HOU 2, SKC 0)
2012 Conference Semifinals (HOU 2, SKC 1)^
2013 Conference Semifinals (SKC 2, HOU 1)^
2017 Knockout Round (HOU 1, SKC 0)
2023 Conference Semifinals
^Aggregate score in home-and-away series
This season, the sides have played three times across all competitions. Houston earned a 1-0 home win on May 10 in the U.S. Open Cup en route to lifting the club’s second Dewar Challenge Trophy. In MLS play, Sporting earned a 2-2 draw in Houston on July 8 behind an Alan Pulido brace and handed Houston their only loss since Leagues Cup with a 2-1 win on September 23 at Children’s Mercy Park.
Both teams own a pair of MLS Cup championships and each has excelled over the past three months with Houston (22 points, 2.00 points per game) and KC (18 points, 2.00 points per game) accumulating the most points and points per game of any teams in the Western Conference since the regular season resumed after Leagues Cup.
In their first season in Houston, head coach Ben Olsen and assistant coach Aurelien Collin have led the Dynamo to their first postseason appearance since 2017. The Houston attack is headlined by club captain and MLS All-Star Hector Herrera, who represented Mexico at three FIFA World Cups and ranked second in MLS with 17 assists in 2023, while the Dynamo defense is anchored by goalkeeper Steve Clark coming off a career-high 12 shutouts in the regular season.
Visit MLSsoccer.com for the official Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs bracket and shop MLSstore.com for officially licensed MLS merchandise, including Sporting KC’s Claim the Cup hoodie and t-shirt. In addition, Sporting KC will open SportingStudio at 1380 Main Street in the Kansas City Power & Light District beginning on November 24 for SportingStyle’s annual Black Friday sale.