Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sporting KC concludes road trip at Houston Dynamo on Wednesday

Sporting Kansas City will play the final match of a three-game road trip when they visit the Houston Dynamo at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday at the new BBVA Compass Stadium.

The match will air live on KSMO-TV (Kansas City), KMTW (Wichita) and WIBW (Topeka), with radio coverage also available for Spanish listeners on La Gran D 1340 AM.

Sporting Kansas City have won three straight games on the road against MLS competition, including the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal at Philadelphia last Wednesday, for their second three-game winning streak away from home this season.

The team's five regular season away victories in 2012 are one shy of the single-season club record for road wins in regulation set in 1997. Sporting Kansas City could also match an all-time club record with a fourth straight away win in all competition on Wednesday, equaling the team's four-game run in August 2005.

The two teams will meet just 11 days after playing to a scoreless draw at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on July 7. Houston returned home for a convincing 4-0 win over D.C. United on Sunday, while Sporting KC took to the road for a pair of 2-0 victories at Philadelphia last Wednesday and at Columbus on Saturday.

Sporting Kansas City sits atop the Eastern Conference standings with 36 points and will play the team's 10th game in a 33-day stretch. The club has gone 5-2-2 thus far amidst the rigorous schedule and is 3-0-1 in all competition this month.

Manager Peter Vermes will be without midfielder Roger Espinoza, who has joined Honduras at the London 2012 Olympic Games, but could have forward Bobby Convey back from injury for the first time since May.

Sporting Kansas City's defense has allowed an MLS-low 17 goals in 19 games this season and enters Wednesday's match with a 310-minute scoreless streak through the last four games in all competition. Two-time MLS All-Star Jimmy Nielsen leads the League in 2012 with 11 victories and eight shutouts, while his 1.09 goals against average in his MLS career is second best all-time among MLS goalkeepers with 4,000 minutes played.

Houston are one of only two teams in MLS this season without a loss at home, going 5-0-3 since the opening of BBVA Compass Stadium in May and extending their home unbeaten streak to 16 games dating back to last season.

The Dynamo are led by second-year striker Will Bruin, whose 10 goals are third most in MLS, and 2011 MLS MVP runner-up Brad Davis, who has five assists after leading the League with 16 last year. The Houston attack added Honduran Designated Player Boniek Garcia earlier last month, while goalkeeper Tally Hall and the Dynamo defense have not allowed a goal in the last 316 minutes of MLS play.

Houston leads the all-time series 5-3-5 since entering MLS in 2006 and are 2-1-3 at home against Sporting Kansas City. The two teams finished two points apart in the Eastern Conference standings a year ago, with Sporting KC taking the spot in the regular season but Houston advancing to the 2012 MLS Cup with a 2-0 win in the Eastern Conference Championship.

Sporting Kansas City supporters can also follow the game online via @SKCGameday on Twitter and the MatchCenter, or on mobile devices with Sporting Explore and MLS MatchDay apps.