Houston Dynamo FC host Sporting Kansas City at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday, May 10 at Shell Energy Stadium to play for a spot in the Round of 16 of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Wednesday’s match is the 11th meeting in an elimination match or series between both sides since 2011. Both teams enter with five victories each in that stretch and the last meeting came in the Round of 16 of the Open Cup in 2022. Houston took the lead minutes before the end of the first half courtesy of a goal by forward Corey Baird. Johnny Russell scored a brace to eliminate the Dynamo and give Kansas City their first victory in an elimination game over the Dynamo since the 2017 edition of the Open Cup. The Dynamo has eliminated Kansas City three times in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs since 2011, most recently in 2017 when Houston reached the Western Conference final.
Houston has shutout five consecutive opponents at Shell Energy Stadium this season posting a 4-0-1 (WLD) record in that stretch. The Dynamo split points with Real Salt Lake on Saturday following a scoreless draw. Goalkeeper Steve Clark finished with five saves and earned Man of the Match honors. The goalkeeper was also named to the MLSSoccer.com Team of the Matchday on Monday. Houston earned their sixth clean sheet of the year in all competitions on Saturday. This was their first shutout without defender Teenage Hadebe, who was placed on the league injury list over the weekend. The defender will miss at least six games in league play.
The Dynamo and Sporting KC played to a 0-0 draw in their last meeting in downtown Houston on Sept. 10, 2022. Clark tallied his sixth clean sheet of the season in that match and his 50th shutout in league play. The Dynamo shot stopper has five clean sheets this year and needs three more to match his career high set in 2016 and 2014 with the Colombus Crew.
Kansas City earned their first three points of the season on Sunday in a 2-1 victory over Seattle Sounders FC at Lumen Field. Erik Thommy gave Kansas City an early lead with a goal in the opening minutes of the game and Alan Pulido scored in the first half to give the visitors a lead going into the locker room at halftime. The victory marked the end of a four-game losing streak and that was the first match SKC scored two or more goals this season.
Kansas City advanced to the Round of 32 with a 3-0 victory over Tulsa Athletic on April 26 at home. John Pulskamp tallied a clean sheet in the victory, the fourth for Kansas City in all competitions this year. The shot stopper earned his third shutout and fourth victory in the competition with the victory over Tulsa. Daniel Salloi, Alan Pulido and Marinos Tzionis scored for SKC in the match to secure a spot in Wednesday’s encounter at Shell Energy Stadium.
The Dynamo return to league play on May 13 when they host Seattle at Shell Energy Stadium. Saturday’s match marks the third home game in eight days for the Dynamo, who navigate up to eight matches this month between league play and the Open Cup.