Major League Soccer

Dynamo-Sporting Kansas City Preview

Focused on proving last season's disappointing form was a fluke, Sporting Kansas City looks to build on a solid 2020 opening performance. The Houston Dynamo, meanwhile, hope to show they plan to be a better team on the road than was the case in 2019.

Taking the pitch in their home opener, Sporting look to continue their recent success over the Dynamo on Saturday night.

With a 3-1 victory at Vancouver last weekend, Kansas City's redemption tour from a 10-16-8 2019 campaign officially kicked off. Newcomer Alan Pulido opened the scoring in the 17th minute, Gadi Kinda scored the go-ahead goal in the 39th and Erik Hurtado added some stoppage-time insurance as SKC opened with a victory for the first time since 2016.

"It's a good game to build on," Hurtado told Sporting Kansas City's official website.

"It's a fresh start for everybody, it's a new season … We did a lot of work in the preseason with the team, and it feels good to see that it's paying off."

Kansas City has won 14 of its 24 MLS home openers, and is amid a 3-0-1 overall stretch against Houston. It's also amid a 2-0-3 home overall run against the Dynamo, who had all sorts of trouble while going 2-15-0 on the road in 2019.

In fact, Houston will try to snap a seven-game road losing streak in this contest. That slide included a 1-0 loss at SKC from August, thanks to a 12th-minute goal by Johnny Russell.

"It will definitely be a difficult matchup," first-year Dynamo coach Tab Ramos told his club's official website.

"We're just going to focus on our game. I'm not going to think we're going to be any different playing on the road than we would at home. We want to be a team that has the ball. We want to go for a win, just like we would at home.

"Obviously, it's more difficult on the road, as you know, in MLS. Road results are how hard to come by, good results. But, we'll try our best. We're definitely going in with confidence."

That's probably because the Dynamo were able to rally for a 1-1 draw with the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy last weekend. Mauro Manotas scored the equalizer in the 54th minute to help the hosts earn a point in their opener.

Manotas had a team-leading 13 goals last season for Houston. He also has a goal in three straight matches versus Sporting Kansas City, and five over six career contests in the series.

Updated March 5, 2020

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