Houston Dynamo FC kick off Soccer Kicks Cancer Weekend against their long-time rivals Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening.
The Dynamo are under new leadership following the departure of head coach Paulo Nagamura on Monday. Houston Dynamo 2 head coach Kenny Bundy will make his MLS debut on Saturday as the interim head coach. The Tulsa, Oklahoma native will lead the Dynamo for the next five regular season games and opens his tenure with a three-game stretch across nine days.
Bundy joins the Dynamo after leading Houston Dynamo 2 to a playoff berth with a 13-4-5 (WLD) record in their inaugural season with key contributions from Dynamo Academy alums like Marcelo Palomino, Juan Castilla and Xavier Valdez. Additionally, Dynamo 2 assistant coach Roy Lassiter and Dynamo Academy Director of High Performance Tony Vigil will join the first team staff. Daniel Roberts was named the Dynamo 2 head coach for the remainder of the season and will support the first team.
Houston returns to PNC Stadium after a 2-1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC at Lumen Field. Houston took the lead in the first half off a second ball that was volleyed into the box by Panamanian international Coco Carrasquilla. Defender Daniel Steres redirected the ball for his second goal of the year. Midfielder Brooklyn Raines earned his MLS debut on Sunday as he entered the game as a substitute in the first half. The 17-year-old finished with one recovery and won two of his three duels against Seattle.
This is the third meeting of the year with Kansas City earning three points in the first meeting at Children’s Mercy Park on March 5 and later eliminating the Dynamo in the Round of 16 of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
The Dynamo close a two-game homestand on Tuesday against Bruce Arena and the New England Revolution. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CDT and Houston will close the week in California for the second and final meeting against Los Angeles Football Club.
Here are three key points ahead of Saturday’s game:
- DYNAMO INTERIM COACHES UNBEATEN IN DEBUT: Kenny Bundy is the third interim head coach in Dynamo history. Wade Barrett was the first interim head coach of the team and he took the role on May 25, 2016 and earned a point on the road in Vancouver in his first match at the helm. Barrett earned six points from his first five games with a 1-1-3 record in that stretch. Davy Arnaud is the second interim head coach in Dynamo history and he led the team to a 2-2 draw with the Colorado Rapids in his debut on Aug. 17, 2019. Arnaud earned four points from his first five games posting a 1-3-1 record.
- DYNAMO LOOK FOR MOMENTUM: The Dynamo will play three games in the next nine days beginning with Saturday’s match against Kansas City. Earlier this week interim head coach Kenny Bundy and team captains Tim Parker and Matias Vera echoed the need to build momentum as the team prepares for the final stretch of the regular season. Two of the next three games are at home and Bundy will look to mirror his success at home with Dynamo 2. Dynamo 2 has the best home record in the Western Conference and won five of six games decided by one goal.
- KANSAS CITY LOOKS FOR SECOND HALF PUSH: Sporting Kansas City closes a two-game road trip in Houston and visit the Bayou City after a 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy on Sept. 4. Kansas City has earned 10 points from their last five games and look to avoid finishing last in the Western Conference. Their recent victories have them one point above the Dynamo in the Western Conference standings.