MLS Preview and Prediction: Sporting Kansas City vs Houston Dynamo

Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo

Venue: Sporting Park – Saturday, August 1 – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST)

Match Odds: Sporting Kansas City 4/5 – Draw 13/5 – Houston Dynamo 16/5

Match Preview

Sporting Kansas City will want to continue their impressive home record on Saturday night as they welcome Houston Dynamo to Sporting Park in a Western Conference battle between the two sides moved over from the East last year.

Unbeaten at home this season, SKC have been in sensational form as performance after performance sees them now contenders for a highly coveted Western Conference title.

The form of Benny Feilhaber and star forward Krisztian Nemeth has inspired Kansas City so far and a solid finish to the season could see them in a great position going into the playoffs, with the Supporters’ Shield also a real possibility.

Embed from Getty Images

Sporting Kansas City’s 2015 record in MLS: P19 – W9 – D6 – L4 

Houston Dynamo will want to follow up an impressive 3-0 victory over LA Galaxy last time out with another great result in Kansas City this weekend.

Having struggled to find consistency this year, Houston have impressed in places but progress has been halted with indifferent form along the way.

Embed from Getty Images

Away from home they have been below par and form suggests they may fall short on Saturday in what will be a real test.

Houston Dynamo’s 2015 record in MLS: P21 – W7 – D6 – L8

The reverse fixture back in April ended 4-4 in a crazy game at BBVA Compass Stadium so if this one’s anything like that, you’re not going to want to miss it!

Team News

Sporting Kansas City are still without Ike Opara, while Jalil Anibaba, Seth Sinovic and Bernardo Anor are all doubts. Graham Zusi should return to the starting line-up after being away with the USMNT.

Houston Dynamo will be missing Oscar Boniek Garcia and Jermaine Taylor through injury. Rob Lovejoy is a doubt with a hamstring injury. Erick Torres is now with the team and could start following his appearance last week.

Key Points

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: L/W/W/W/L

Houston Dynamo’s last five: L/D/W/L/W

Key Stat: Sporting Kansas City have won their last six home matches in MLS.

Key Player: Krisztian Nemeth – SKC forward Nemeth has been sensational so far this season and is always a threat on goal. We expect him to be influential on Saturday night.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 2-1 Houston Dynamo – Houston are a better side under Owen Coyle this season, but Sporting Kansas City are becoming harder to beat all the time and should pick up three points here.

Advertisements

MLS Preview and Prediction: Houston Dynamo vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy

Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium – Saturday, July 25 – 21:00 ET (Sunday, July 26 – 02:00 BST)

Match Odds: Houston Dynamo 11/5 – Draw 23/10 – LA Galaxy 5/4

Match Preview

Houston Dynamo host LA Galaxy in a Western Conference clash which should be full of action. Dynamo come into the game after their 2-0 loss away at Real Salt Lake. They are sitting ninth in the Western Conference, level on points with bottom side Colorado Rapids.

Owen Coyle’s side have struggled for form, winning once in their last five outings and this will be stern test for Dynamo.

Houston can take some hope from Galaxy’s poor form on the road but know that will mean nothing when the game kicks off.

This is the third meeting between the sides this season, with Houston taking just one point from the previous two games.

Embed from Getty Images

LA Galaxy come into this one off the back of last weekend’s demolition of San Jose Earthquakes, which saw new signing Steven Gerrard in the thick of the action, netting his first goal for the club.

Bruce Arena will be willing his side on to end their 16 game winless run on the road. Galaxy should be full of confidence, nobody more so than Robbie Keane, who bagged a hat-trick in that 5-2 win.

Galaxy have four wins in their last five games, they are now sitting second in the Western Conference and will want to push on to get to the top of the pile.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Houston Dynamo will be without Rob Lovejoy. Boniek Garcia and Alex are doubtful. Both Kofi Sarkodie and Luis Garrido are suspended while Ricardo Clark, Giles Barnes, Jermaine Taylor and Raul Rodriguez are all one booking away from suspension.

LA Galaxy have three injury concerns. Brian Perk is out while Jose Villarreal and Mika Vayrynen are doubts. Robbie Rogers is suspended and Baggio Husidic is one caution away from a ban.

Key Points

Houston Dynamo last five in MLS: L/L/D/W/L

LA Galaxy’s last five in MLS: W/W/L/W/W

Key Stat: Homesick – LA Galaxy have failed to win in their last 16 regular season games on the road.

Key Player: Steven Gerrard – Galaxy’s latest big name scored in the win last weekend and with his vast qualities we can expect him to be pivotal to his side.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Houston Dynamo 1-2 LA Galaxy – Galaxy to finally put the unwanted winless run to an end and build upon their recent good run of form.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Houston Dynamo vs New York Red Bulls

Competition: Major League Soccer – Houston Dynamo vs New York Red Bulls

Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium – Friday, June 5 – 21:00 ET (02:00 BST – Saturday, June 6)

Match Odds: Houston 7/5 – Draw 23/10 – New York 19/10

Match Preview

Two sides desperate for points meet on Friday night as Houston Dynamo take on the New York Red Bulls at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Both teams are locked on 17 points after 13 weeks of the season, though the Dynamo have played two games more.

Houston will hope a return home will spark a first victory in three after back-to-back road trips to LA Galaxy and New York City saw Owen Coyle’s side pick up just one point.

Embed from Getty Images

They won their last home game 3-1 against the Portland Timbers and have picked up 11 of their 17 points on home soil, so will be confident of picking up a result against the Red Bulls this weekend.

Jesse Marsch will be frustrated with his side’s form in recent weeks as New York have won just once in their last seven outings.

They suffered a late defeat to the Seattle Sounders last Sunday and will need to ensure that loss doesn’t further damage morale ahead of this key clash.

The Red Bulls have only won one away game so far this season and that came in Week 3’s trip to Columbus so they will have to dig deep to win this one.

Recent history is on the visitors’ side though as the Red Bulls have not lost in their last seven league meetings with the Dynamo.

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

The two met three teams in the Eastern Conference last season, with New York winning two and drawing the game in Houston 2-2. This will be the only league meeting this year though, following the Dynamo’s move to the West.

Team News

Owen Coyle’s Dynamo have very few worries heading into the game but Brad Davis is a doubt as he is suffering with a knee injury. Kofi Sarkodie and Ricardo Clark are both one booking away from suspension and need to watch their step.Will Bruin and Giles Barnes will continue in attack, with Bruin looking to score his fifth in five games after a fine run of form. Boniek Garcia and Luis Garrido are away on international duty and will not feature.

The New York Red Bulls will still be without Sal Zizzo, while Ronald Zubar is unlikely to make it as he continue his battle with a knee problem. Damien Perrinelle misses out through suspension after an accumulation of bookings, while Matt Miazga is away with the US U20’s so Marsch is short at the back again.

Key Points

Houston Dynamo’s last five: L/W/W/L/D

New York Red Bulls’ last five: L/W/D/L/L

Key Stat: There have been 22 goals in the last six meetings between the two sides in Houston. An average of 3.6 per game.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – He may not have scored in his last three but BWP is the all-time scoring leader in the head-to-head series, with six regular season and seven total goals against Houston, including five in three games last season.

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

Score Prediction

Houston Dynamo 2-2 New York Red Bulls – This looks too close to call but goals are to be expected in what should be a thriller. With both looking to get points on the board a draw is the most likely result.

MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo 

Venue: StubHub Center – Friday, May 22nd – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 4/6 – Draw 11/4 – Houston Dynamo 4/1

Match Preview

LA Galaxy welcome Houston Dynamo to StubHub Center on Friday night in a game which is a must win for Bruce Arena’s side.

The Galaxy haven’t won in their last five games and have lost their last two on the bounce. Last weekend’s 4-0 defeat to Orlando City was an awful result and they need a positive reaction here.

Arena has an injury crisis with eight players who could miss out. They have a chance to turn their problems around with two home games on the bounce now. Galaxy need to turn their fortunes around as they cannot afford to go into the game against New England Revolution without picking up any points.

Embed from Getty Images

LA are missing Robbie Keane, not just for his goals, but his leadership qualities. His absence is affecting the performances of Gyasi Zardes, who has just two goals this season.

Houston Dynamo have just started to hit form, winning their last two in a row. Owen Coyle will feel his side have a good chance of getting something from this game given Galaxy’s recent form, but the hosts haven’t been beaten in their last 24 games at StubHub.

This is the first of two away games in a row for the Dynamo, who have only lost once on the road this season. The game has added incentive for these two sides as they are separated by just two points in the Western Conference.

Embed from Getty Images

Will Bruin has three goals in his last two games, including two in last weekends 3-1 win over Portland Timbers, and he will want to prove his form is not just a purple patch and he can send out message if he can help his side win this tie against the reigning champions.

Team News

LA Galaxy have eight injury concerns to Brian Perk, Robbie Keane, Edson Buddle, Todd Dunivant, Jose Villarreal, Kenney Walker, Robbie Rogers and Omar Gonzalez, leaving Arena scratching his head at fielding a side. Keane has been a big miss and has played just four games. The sooner he returns the better for Galaxy.

By stark contrast, Houston Dynamo have just one injury to deal with Nathan Sturgis set to miss out for Coyle’s side. Ricardo Clark and Kofi Sarkodie are just one yellow card away from a suspension so will need to be weary of their approach.

Key Points

LA Galaxy’s last five: D/D/D/W/W

Houston Dynamo last five: D/L/L/W/W

Key Stat: Galaxy haven’t beaten Dynamo in their last three attempts and every passing game without a win now for Arena’s side becomes a bigger problem.

Key Player: Giles Barnes – The forward has six goals in 11 appearances so far this season and his partnership with Bruin is what Dynamo have to thank for being in a playoff spot at this stage.

Embed from Getty Images
Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 1-1 Houston Dynamo – A cagey affair in this one is expected with a rusty Galaxy side desperate for a win as they cannot afford to lose. Dynamo need to take points from their upcoming two away games and a point would be respectable here.

Houston Dynamo striker enjoying life under British boss

Houston Dynamo striker Will Bruin is enjoying his football under new boss Owen Coyle after scoring three goals in his last two appearances.

Bruin was instrumental in their 3-1 win against the Portland Timbers last weekend, scoring twice.

Dynamo captain, Brad Davis sympathises with the forward playing as a lone striker, suggesting: “It takes a mentally tough individual to do that, because it’s not always glorious,” Davis said when speaking to MLSsoccer.com.

“You’re usually getting hit from behind, usually up against two or three guys. It’s more about his mental strength than anything. He’s got the physical and athletic ability to handle that; that’s why he is there.”

Embed from Getty Images

The Dynamo have adopted a 4-4-1-1 formation in recents weeks, playing Giles Barnes just behind Bruin, and it’s been so far so good for Coyle’s men.

Will Bruin was also approached about his role and had the following to say: “Under Dominic Kinnear was genuinely my first time ever playing as a lone forward.

“It’s a learning process, and the best way to learn is trial-and-error. Here, I think Owen (Coyle) playing (in the same position) really helps me. He tells you things you have to look for and things that are a little overrated,” said Bruin.

Owen Coyle has finally started to see some success come to his Dynamo side, and he will be hoping that Will Bruin will carry on his form.

Embed from Getty Images

“I obviously know from own playing days how tough a job it is,” Coyle said. “It’s a thankless task for a striker to do the work that the team needs.”

Bruin has been brilliant recently, and he will have to continue this form to keep designated player Erick Torres out of the side once the Mexican arrives in Texas.

How influential has Will Bruin been to the Houston Dynamo and will he keep his place once Erick Torres arrives?

MLS Preview and Prediction: Houston Dynamo vs Portland Timbers

Competition: Major League Soccer – Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers

Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium – Saturday, May 16th – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST – Sunday, May 17th) 

Match Odds: Houston Dynamo 6/4 – Draw 9/4 – Portland Timbers 9/5

Match Preview

Houston Dynamo play host to the Portland Timbers on Saturday night as they look to build on an impressive 2-1 win away at Toronto last weekend.

The Dynamo have looked like a team that is struggling to adapt to the philosophies of a new manager as Owen Coyle has persisted with a 4-4-2 system.

However, the victory at BMO field was more than impressive as defensively, the Dynamo were superb, while offensively, Giles Barnes was wreaking havoc when they had the chance to counter.

Embed from Getty Images

Their home form has been somewhat poor however, losing their last two and conceding ten in total at home, compared to just four away.

Houston Dynamo’s 2015 MLS record: P11 – W3 – D4 – L4

Portland have yet to set MLS alight this season and some may argue they are underperforming because on paper they have one of the strongest squads in the league.

Much of their form is down to the limited attacking options head coach Caleb Porter has available. Diego Valeri has only just returned after an ACL injury and Fanendo Adi hasn’t scored a goal in his last six matches.

Embed from Getty Images

With the Timbers yet to register back-to-back wins, they will be hoping that Saturday night will see that trend change.

Portland Timbers’ 2015 MLS record: P10 – W3 – D4 – L3

The last time these two sides met was in April 2014 when it ended in a 1-1 draw with Will Bruin and Gaston Fernandez on the scoresheet.

Team News

Houston Dynamo’s Nathan Sturgis is out, while Brad Davis is a slight doubt and will fight to be fit enough to start. Giles Barnes and Will Bruin should continue their strike partnership as Owen Coyle continues to play the 4-4-2 system.

Embed from Getty Images

Portland Timbers’ Will Johnson, Ben Zemanski and Michael Nanchoff are all out. Gaston Fernandez is also a doubt, while Diego Valeri is expected to start in midfield.

Key Points

Houston Dynamo’s last five: D/D/L/L/W

Portland Timbers’ last five: L/W/L/D/W

Key Stat: Portland Timbers are yet to win away at Houston Dynamo in three attempts.

Key Player: Diego Valeri – Arguably one of the best players in MLS is back and expect him to be a major threat that the Dynamo will find difficult to contain.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Houston Dynamo 0-2 Portland Timbers – The Timbers to win comfortably and record their first ever victory away to the Dynamo.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Toronto FC vs Houston Dynamo

Competition: Major League Soccer – Toronto FC vs. Houston Dynamo

Venue: BMO Field – Sunday, May 10th – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST)

Match Odds: Toronto FC 5/6 – Draw 5/2 – Houston Dynamo 16/5

Match Preview

Toronto FC host Houston Dynamo at BMO Field on Sunday evening in their first MLS home game this season following a run of seven consecutive games on the road to open their campaign as the stadium has undergone improvements.

It’s been a tough ask for Toronto having to travel such long distances for every game so far and a return of three wins and four defeats has left them fifth in the Eastern Conference, which isn’t too bad and they will be delighted to run out on home soil for the first time.

After a 3-1 opening day victory away at Canadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps, head coach Greg Vanney would’ve been concerned when his side then slumped to a run of four consecutive defeats.

Embed from Getty Images

However, Toronto have since stemmed that flow of losses thanks to two impressive wins, one coming against Orlando City at the end of April, followed by a 2-0 success over Philadelphia Union last time out. Keeping a clean sheet in both of those games will certainly fill them with confidence.

Houston Dynamo have struggled in the early stages of the 2015 season, winning just twice in their opening ten games (D4, L4) and while Owen Coyle always knew it wasn’t going to be easy, he would’ve hoped for a slightly stronger start to the campaign.

The Dynamo suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to San Jose Earthquakes last time out and the pressure is now on if they are to have any aspirations of making the playoffs as they are currently rooted to the bottom of an extremely competitive and tricky Western Conference.

Embed from Getty Images

Houston have won just two of their last 15 away games in MLS, one of which was a 1-0 triumph away at Toronto last season in October 2014, although they can take some confidence from hard-fought 1-1 draws away at LA Galaxy and DC United already this season.

These sides both won one and drew one in the three meetings between the two last season, but with the home advantage and stronger squad than last year, Toronto will be favourites to come out on top.

Team News

Toronto FC defenders Clemont Simonin, Steven Caldwell and Mark Bloom are all expected to miss the game through injury. Goalkeeper Joe Bendik is also a doubt.

Embed from Getty Images

Houston Dynamo will be without the injured Nathan Sturgis, while key midfielder Brad Davis is a doubt because of a hamstring strain.

Key Points

Toronto FC’s last five: L/L/L/W/W

Houston Dynamo’s last five: W/D/D/L/L

Key Stat: Out of the 17 games involving either Toronto or Houston this season, there have been a total of 46 goals, which is an average of 2.7 goals-per-game, so hopefully more of the same will ensue.

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – The Italian has been an instant hit in MLS with four goals and three assists from his first seven games, so we can expect him to make the difference once again.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Toronto FC 2-0 Houston Dynamo – Toronto have won their last two games and will be desperate to impress in front of their own fans for the first time, while Houston are struggling at the moment. The Canadian outfit should secure a comfortable win.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Houston Dynamo vs San Jose Earthquakes

Competition: Major League Soccer – Houston Dynamo vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium – Tuesday, May 5th – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST)

Match Odds: Houston 6/5 – Draw 11/5 – 23/10

Match Preview

Houston Dynamo take on San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday night in the first of this week’s MLS fixtures as Dominic Kinnear returns to Houston for the first time since leaving at the end of last season.

The Quakes head coach spent nine years with the Dynamo and will return to BBVA Compass Stadium looking for victory with his San Jose team.

Both these sides played on Friday night and will hope the four days rest won’t affect their performances in this key Western Conference battle.

Houston and San Jose are two of four teams tied on ten points in the Western and need to start winning more games to climb the table.

Embed from Getty Images

The Dynamo have only won twice this season, both of which were at home, but they come into the game needing to desperately improve from that 4-1 home defeat at the hand of FC Dallas on Friday night.

Owen Coyle has watched his team concede eight times over the past two weeks and will be urging his players to defend better when San Jose arrive on Tuesday.

The Earthquakes drew 1-1 with Real Salt Lake away from home on Friday and Tuesday’s trip to Houston will be the club’s third straight road game.

Kinnear has only seen his side win three times this season and with one victory in five now, things need to start improving quickly.

Embed from Getty Images

San Jose last won in Houston in 2010 but Dominic Kinnear will hope that his knowledge of the Dynamo team can prove decisive as the Quakes look for all three points.

These two sides met early on in preseason as the Dynamo beat San Jose 3-2 in Arizona and we are all hoping for an equally entertaining game this time around.

Team News

Houston Dynamo have only one concern as Oscar Boniek Garcia is struggling with a knee sprain and is doubtful for the game. Giles Barnes will continue in attack after netting his fifth of the season in the defeat to Dallas on Friday.

San Jose Earthquakes will be without four players for the trip to Houston as Mark Sherrod (knee), Steven Lenhart (knee), Shaun Francis (face) and Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (ankle) are all ruled out. Jordan Stewart is in contention to start after making the bench on Friday. Chris Wondolowski could have to play deeper again if Kinnear opts to start Innocent Emeghara as the lone striker once more.

Key Points

Houston Dynamo’s last five: L/W/D/D/L

San Jose Earthquakes’ last five: L/L/W/L/D

Key Stat: San Jose have failed to win in 16 of their last 17 away games in MLS.

Key Player: Giles Barnes – The English forward has five goals this season and seems to be carrying the Dynamo through some poor form. He will expect to add to his tally against a Quakes side that hasn’t kept an away clean sheet so far this campaign.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Houston Dynamo 2-2 San Jose Earthquakes – Goals are expected in this one after Houston’s recent form will leave fans dreading another four-goal defensive failure. Despite both sides’ patchy form, they should be out to win this game, though that could result in a close contest. Score draw.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Houston Dynamo vs Sporting Kansas City

Competition: Major League Soccer – Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City

Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium – Saturday, April 25th – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST)

Match Odds: Houston 7/5 – Draw 23/10 – 19/10

Match Preview

Houston Dynamo face Sporting Kansas City at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday night in a clash that will see the two sides moved to the Western Conference this season face off for the first of their three meetings this year.

These two have faced off in the Eastern Conference Championship game in two of the last four seasons but this year they’re both hoping to be battling in the late stages of the playoffs from the Western Conference.

Owen Coyle‘s Houston Dynamo have only won twice so far this season, but they were both at home, and they will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to three against Sporting this weekend.

Embed from Getty Images

A 1-1 draw at DC United last week keeps the confidence building in Houston, and Ricardo Clark will be in fine spirits after netting in both of the Dynamo’s last two games.

Sporting Kansas City will prove tough opposition though, despite losing at LA Galaxy last week, as they had gone on an unbeaten run of four prior to that.

Houston and Sporting KC are two of five sides stuck on nine points in the Western and so this weekend’s clash gives both the chance to pull clear for now.

Embed from Getty Images

They met twice in the Eastern last year, each winning at their opponents ground, as Sporting won 2-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium and the Dynamo winning 3-1 at Sporting Park.

Houston have not won at home to Sporting Kansas City in their last four attempts and will hope to end that run in front of their own fans this weekend.

Team News

Houston Dynamo coach Owen Coyle has no real injury concerns going into this one, though Oscar Boniek Garcia could miss out with a knee sprain. Giles Barnes and Will Bruin could partner each other in attack as the Dynamo look to continue their goalscoring form.

Sporting Kansas City are set to be without Ike Opara and Chance Myers (both Achilles), while Graham Zusi (hamstring) and Seth Sinovic (groin) remain doubts. Dom Dwyer will continue in attack as he looks to add to his tally of just one goal so far.

Key Points

Houston Dynamo’s last five: D/D/L/W/D

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: D/W/W/D/L

Key Stat: Houston have not scored against Sporting in any of their last four meetings at BBVA Compass Stadium (D2 L2).

Embed from Getty Images

Key Player: Benny Feilhaber – The Sporting KC midfielder leads MLS with five assists so far this season and is at the heart of most of the team’s productivity. If he is given space, he will hurt Houston on Saturday.

Score Prediction

Houston Dynamo 1-1 Sporting Kansas City – Both sides have shown glimpses of quality this season but are unlikely to have enough to win this one. A draw would suit both as they can continue to put points on the board and that is the most likely outcome.