Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting KC | 2016 US Open Cup Match Preview
HOUSTON DYNAMO VS. SPORTING KANSAS CITY
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM, Houston, Texas
U.S. Open Cup, Round of 16
June 29, 7 pm ET (HoustonDynamo.com)
Two Western Conference teams with a tense history meet again on Wednesday evening in Houston as they battle for a berth in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals. Both teams’ have failed to live up to expectations so far this season, sitting outside of playoff spots in the Western Conference heading into July. And while Sporting are still very much in the race, the Open Cup could well be Houston’s last chance at silverware in 2016, not to mention a huge feather in the cap for interim head coach Wade Barrett.
Tactically, Sporting’s three-man midfield had a field day on Saturday against Montreal’s 4-4-2 set-up but even if they do line up in similar fashion on Wednesday, they are unlikely to have as easy of a time against a Dynamo team that will match their three men in midfield and has proven difficult to break down since Barrett took over as interim coach. Expect a tough, physical battle come Wednesday evening.
Lineup-wise, Sporting – who have a strong record of serious participation in the Open Cup, featured a number of key players with some reserves sprinkled in when they topped Minnesota United, 2-1, in the previous round, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the likes of Benny Feilhaber and Dom Dwyer take the field on Wednesday, especially considering they don’t play again until Sunday. The Dynamo leaned a little more on their reserves in their 4-0 win over San Antonio two weeks ago, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Barrett test some of his lesser-used players against MLS opposition this time around, either.