Sporting KC Kicks it at Children's Mercy Park with Houston Dynamo

By Sean McCaffery, March 6, 2020

Saturday,  the first home game of the year is at 7:30 p.m. CT as 2 HC legends of the USMNT go head to head in Peter Vermes & Tab Ramos. Though both are headed by Jersey Boys, they have almost opposite records but very early of course as KC is 1-0 while the Dynamo are 0-0-1. This game has been anticipated by the home faithful for 5 months and there are few tickets left, even in the standing room only area.

It will be carried by FOX KC, FOX Midwest Plus & FOX Sports GO with 3 hours of coverage from 7p.m. CT on Saturday, hear it on WHB 810 in English and Spanish language La Grande 1340 FM as those out of the Fox Sports Midwest area may stream it on ESPN+. Fans are urged to get there early as the first 10,000 will get rally towels from UMB Bank and on the way out schedule magnets will be distibuted. Place an order on for a $20 gift card or at the venue for a $10 one.

All are revved up due to the 3-1 away victory in Vancouver, as a pair of newcomers struck in Alan Pulido & Gadi Kinda. Now primed for their home debuts as another newcomer Roberto Puncec in his first MLS game assisted the capt. Matt Besler in the middle of the park and assisted Pulido with a soft headed ball. 

An attention grabbing opener facing the Whitecaps Pulido got his goal off a well placed header and Kinda who made the MLS Team of the Week. KC lead in extra time, subs Gerso Fernandes and Hurtado linked up to ice it at 3-1 with a trememdous goal to seal the deal as Gerso spun on a defender and laid it off to Hurtado who sent it home off the full volley.

Ramos seeks to keep his unbeaten record in MLS play following the 1-1 tie with the Galaxy in BBVA. The right foot of Cristian Pavon put LA up in the first half, only to have Dynamo Mauro Manotas even it up in the 2nd stanza. Mauro has 7 goals in 8 games v KC and 49 goals over 130 MLS games in 5 years.

Vermes is the longest employed coach with the same team and the sole one to have 12 years with the same side, he is up for game #350, just the 5th to achive this lofty total. He goes head to head with former teammate Tab Tamos who just left the USMNT U-20's from an 8 year tenure and hopes to get his team to the 2nd season for the first time since 2017. Like me, both coaches are 53, they were on the same teams, 4x over, USMNT, NJ Eagles, Figueres in Spain and the MetroStars.

Since 2011 Houston has the highest number of games facing KC, 32 times in 10 years KC is 12-10-10 in these with 3 blank sheets and 3-0-2 of late, the last 2 wins coming in the friendly confines of KC. Last year Johnny Russell was the difference maker with his first half header being the difference. KC is 14-3-7 overall in home openers dropping but 1 over the last 9.

Neither made the playoffs last year a first in 9 years for KC, the 4th longest tear in MLS history, undone by the injury bug last year. The Dynamo were just that early in 2019 as they went 6-1-1 but then finished 6-17-3 and the coach, another with local ties was gone.