Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo | US Open Cup Match Preview
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the fourth time in five years since rebranding and moving into Sporting Park in 2011, Sporting Kansas City will host the Houston Dynamo in a knockout setting. This time, though, it will be in the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup, and not the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Still, the history between the two old rivals – both of whom moved to the Western Conference this year with the addition of two teams to the East – means Tuesday's match (8:30 pm ET, YouTube) won't lack for an extra level of intensity.
“It's always fun playing Houston,” right back Chance Myers told MLSsoccer.com on Monday. “They always bring out the best in us, and I think we do the same with them. So it's always a good match-up.”
The Dynamo knocked Sporting out in the East finals in 2011 and the semifinals in 2012, but Kansas City took down Houston in the 2013 conference final on the way to winning their first MLS Cup title since 2000.
“I want a win against them,” said midfielder Roger Espinoza, who spent 2013 and 2014 with England's Wigan Athletic before returning for his second stint with Sporting. “I didn't get that in 2012 and 2011. Hopefully, we can get that tomorrow night.”
For the first time since 2009, the Houston Dynamo are in the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup. But they’ll have to get past long-time rival Sporting Kansas City if they want to keep going.
Coming off a lackluster 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake in league play, the Dynamo are looking to keep their tournament run going and also hoping to pick up some semblance of momentum in order to try and push for a playoff spot in MLS play.
One player who could help the club is Erick “Cubo” Torres. The Dynamo's marquee signing and talented forward is officially with the club after a lengthy visa process and is available for Tuesday’s game. Torres has trained since the end of the Liga MX season, but it remains to be seen if four days is enough for him to contribute to Houston's cause.
While they will have Torres in the mix, the Dynamo are missing key players such as Giles Barnes and DaMarcus Beasley to international duty and Jermaine Taylor, Boniek Garcia and Rob Lovejoy to injury. Houston has relied on its depth until now in the tournament, but look for head coach Owen Coyle to mix in more starters on Tuesday at Sporting Park.