Match preview: Upstart Sporting to host rivals Houston indoors on Saturday

Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo FC
2021 MLS Regular Season | Match 8
Saturday May 29, 2021 | 7:30 p.m. CT
Children’s Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas

Release schedule:
English television
| Bally Sports Kansas City
English television | Bally Sports Midwest Plus
Diffusion | and Bally Sports app
English radio | 810 WHB Sports Radio
Spanish radio | La Grande 1340 AM

How to watch | Five things to know | In figures | Match Notes
Sports Blue Friday | | MatchCenter | Media resources

One of the most anticipated MLS regular season games in Children’s Mercy Park history comes on Saturday night when Sporting Kansas City (4-2-1, 13 points) host rival Houston Dynamo FC (3- 2-2, 11 points) in front of the first full-capacity crowd at the stadium since early 2020.

A limited number of tickets for the Shock of the Western Conference are available at While stocks last, Sporting is organizing its sports sustainability match in partnership with Compass Minerals, Missouri Organic Recycling and Nature Conservancy. On this occasion, Sporting will also welcome 1,000 local health professionals who served the Kansas City community during the pandemic.

Saturday’s contest kicks off at 7:30 p.m. CT with three hours of live coverage starting at 7:00 p.m. CT on Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest Plus, and the Bally Sports app. Listeners can follow the action live locally on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish), while the Sporting KC app will provide additional in-game updates and exclusive offers. The Final Whistle post-game show will air immediately thereafter on 810 WHB.

For the first time in nearly 15 months, Children’s Mercy Park will welcome a full house as Sporting grows to 100% capacity this weekend. Houston was coincidentally the opponent of Sporting in the last full-capacity game at Children’s Mercy Park on March 7, 2020, as Alan Pulido and Gadi Kinda scored on their stadium debut to trigger a 4-0 victory. for the hosts. The fierce rivals have faced each other 37 times in all competitions since 2011, including a fierce battle on May 12 that saw Dynamo win 1-0 at home thanks to Maxi Urruti’s strike in the 56th minute.

Winners of three of their last four matches, Sporting have climbed to second place in the West behind influential performances in all areas of the pitch. Last Saturday’s 3-1 road triumph over the San Jose earthquakes saw 21-year-old defenseman Jaylin Lindsey open his pro goal scoring before Pulido and Daniel Salloi continued to score the net with goals in second period. The sport leads MLS with three return wins and nine points after dropping positions in 2021, already eclipsing the eight return points they won in 2019 and 2020.

Pulido (four goals, one assist) and Salloi (three goals, two assists) enter the weekend as a fit attacking duo, having scored in back-to-back games as two of MLS 10 players with five combined goals and assists this season. Pulido has won back-to-back MLS Team of the Week honors for his excellent performances and is set to join the Mexico Men’s National Team following Saturday’s game for the Concacaf Nations League Final on 3 and 6 June.

In defense, Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia is looking for his sixth straight regular-season victory dating back to last October, while Ilie Sanchez – deployed almost exclusively as a midfielder during his five years at Kansas City – could be on the verge of retaining a central defender. role after excelling at the position in Sporting’s previous two games. A big step is also at hand for defender Graham Zusi, who would equal Matt Besler for most competitions in club history (348) if he takes the field against Houston.

Houston sophomore head coach Tab Ramos, who played alongside athletic director Peter Vermes at both club and U.S. international levels in the 1990s, guided Houston to fourth place in the West thanks to to three first home wins at the BBVA stadium. Urruti has scored the decisive goal on every opportunity and leads MLS with three game-winning goals this season. However, the Dynamo have had much less success on their road trips: Houston is 0-2-1 away from home this season and owns a dismal 5-33-9 road record in regular season since 2018.

Sporting and Houston have forged a fierce rivalry over the past decade, competing in four editions of the MLS Cup playoffs and five Lamar Hunt US Open Cups while meeting frequently in the regular season. The teams locked the horns four times in the shortened 2020 regular season, scoring two wins each.

As part of the league-wide Greener Goals initiative, Sporting and Houston will boast of new looks on Saturday when they don the new adidas PRIMEBLUE Parley Ocean plastic jerseys. In the stands, supporters will have the opportunity to purchase the limited edition kit in SportingStyle stores while supplies last. In addition, all fans who order a PRIMEBLUE jersey online at will receive a free reusable tote and be entered to win a pair of adidas PRIMEBLUE shoes.

In partnership with Anheuser-Busch and Parisi Coffee, Sporting will present two new beverage additions this weekend at Children’s Mercy Park. Sporting Argyle Amber Ale, a commemorative craft beer inspired by ‘A Force for Good’ and Sporting’s commitment to serving communities in the region, will be available in concessions and premium areas of the stadium. In addition, a co-branded Parisi espresso blend honoring Vermes called “Il Mentore” can be purchased at any SportingStyle store.

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