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Dynamo face critical test in Kansas City

Houston's top scorer Will Bruin leads the team in a critical Eastern Conference match.
Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The Houston Dynamo (7-13-4) face another monumental task on Friday night when they travel to Kansas City for a critical MLS match with Eastern Conference foe Sporting KC (12-7-6).
The Dynamo sit six points out of the 2014 playoffs and look to snap a seven game road winless streak. SKC is battling DC United for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Fortunately for the Dynamo, head coach Dominic Kinnear’s squad is nearly at full strength with the only real question being DaMarcus Beasley’s left hamstring which kept him out of last week’s 3-0 loss in Columbus.
Unfortunately for the Dynamo their road woes are in direct comparison to their lack of scoring. With a road goal differential of minus 22, Houston is 1-10-1 on the road and have scored first In just one match.12 road matches, the Dynamo have scored first just once and y are 1-12-0 in games in which they have allowed the first goal while Kansas City is 11-0-5 in games in which they score first. In 12 road matches, the Dynamo have scored first just once and recorded seven goals against 29 allowed. They have been shutout in six of their last seven road games.
To make matters worse, Sporting KC is 5-2-6 on their home pitch with a plus seven goal differential and have one loss in their last seven home games. If there is a bright spot, it might well be that SKC has allowed four goals in the final fifteen minutes plus of play including three in stoppage time on their home turf.
On the defensive side of the ball, Houston has allowed the first goal five times in the opening 20 minutes of play and ten times in the opening 45 minutes their 12 road matches. They have allowed a first goal just twice after the halftime whistle.
Kansas City, on the other hand, has put its opponents away early scoring the opening goal four times in the first 20 minutes and six times over the first 45 minutes of play at home. After the 60th minute, SKC has found scoring difficult netting just one goal in 13 matches.
Of the five first half goals allowed by Kansas City at home, three came in their last match on August 26, 2014 against DC United. If SKC has a weakness, it may well be that the defense gives up a plethora of late goals having allowed eight second half goals in 13 games with six of those after the 70th minute and four of those in the final ten minutes.
The teams have met nine times in Kansas City with Houston recording a 3-2-4 record and a minus one goal differential. All time the teams are just as evenly matched with Houston holding a 6-5-8 edge and a goal differential of plus one.
Two months ago to the day, SKC defeated Houston 2-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium in the only other meeting between the two clubs in 2014.
The final regular season meeting between these two teams in 2014 will kick off at 7 p.m. CDT and can be seen live on the NBC Sports Network and heard on ESPN 97.5 FM and 850 AM (Spanish).

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