If you're looking for a little more soccer leading up to tonight's Sounders game, Kansas City and Houston will be on Fox Soccer Channel at 5:30.
Here's a preview from the Wizards:
The Kansas City Wizards head south this weekend to take on the Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium at 7:30 p.m. CT Saturday night. The match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel, the first of three Wizards games in row to garner national television coverage.
Though the Wizards and Dynamo are currently even on points with seven, the teams have earned differing results on the field thus far. While the Wizards performed well in a 0-0 draw with the league-leading Los Angeles Galaxy last week, the Dynamo slumped to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Fire in a match that saw midfielder Danny Cruz ejected in the closing stages. The Dynamo also suffered a setback early in the year when forward Brian Ching went down with a hamstring injury in Houston’s opening game. Midfielder Brad Davis has stepped up to pick up the slack, leading the team in goals (2) and assists (2) through the team’s opening five games. Kansas City has been able to put forth a series of consistent performances thus far this season, albeit with varying results. The team has allowed only one goal in MLS play thus far, tied for the best defensive record in the League with the Los Angeles Galaxy. However, after a strong start with two wins over D.C. United and the Colorado Rapids, the team has slumped to a narrow 1-0 loss at Seattle and a 0-0 draw with the Los Angeles galaxy in their last two games. The Wizards have historically struggled against Houston, amassing a 1-4-3 regular season record against the team since their inception in 2006. However, the Wizards’ one victory in the series came away from home in the first ever meeting between the teams in 2006. In that game, goals from Jose Burciaga, Jr. and current Wizards television color commentator Sasha Victorine carried the team to a 2-1 victory. Since then, the Wizards have earned two draws with one loss in their trips to Houston.Fast Facts:
- The Wizards have not defeated the Houston Dynamo since the first ever meeting between the sides in 2006.- That single 2-1 win was at Houston’s Robertson Stadium. - The Wizards hold a better record away from home against the Dynamo (1-1-2, 5 pts) than they do at home (0-3-1, 1pt).- Kansas City has out-shot each of their four opponents so far this year. - Robertson Stadium was the venue for the Wizards’ last appearance in the MLS Cup semifinals. In that game, Nate Jaqua and Dwayne De Rosario scored to earn the eventual champion Dynamo a berth in MLS Cup 2007. - Despite the large amount of roster turnover the Wizards experienced in the 2010 offseason, nine of the 11 players that started against Houston the last time the teams played are still with Kansas City. Houston returns the same number of starters.Game Notes:
WHEN LAST THEY MET... | The Wizards’ last visit to Robertson stadium ended in a 1-1 draw in which forward Luis Angel Landin scored the opener, with Zoltan Hercegfalvi leveling the score in the second half. Kansas City didn’t perform as well earlier in the season at home, as Kei Kamara (then with the Dynamo) scored the only goal in Houston’s 1-0 victory. Perhaps more memorable than the goal itself was Kamara’s celebration, however. After scoring, the Sierra Leone forward ran to the pitcher’s mound at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, fished out a white glove he had stored in his shorts and performed one of Michael Jackson’s signature dance moves, in honor of the legendary pop star who had died just over a week earlier. KANSAS CITY CONNECTION | Kansas City forward Kei Kamara played for the Houston Dynamo for portions of the 2008 and 2009 campaigns before being traded to the Kansas City Wizards near the end of last season. HOT SHOTS | After holding a 12-11 shots advantage over the Los Angeles Galaxy last week, the Wizards have now out-shot each of their four MLS opponents so far this year. Currently the Wizards rank 11th in the League in total shots with 47. Houston is right next to the Wizards in 10th place, with 48 shots. WIZARDS WARRIOR | With an appearance on Saturday, Houston Defender Richard Mulrooney will enter into the all-time top five in appearances against the Kansas City Wizards with 32. Cobi Jones leads the list with 37 all-time appearances against Kansas City, with Steve Ralston, Chris Henderson, Robin Fraser and Jason Kreis following him. Mulrooney is the only active player within the top 10. DIOP DEBUT | Kansas City Wizards midfielder Birahim Diop made his Wizards debut in April 24th’s 0-0 draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy. It was the Senegalese’s first MLS appearance since 2002, when he played for the MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls) under current Wizards Assistant Coach Octavio Zambrano. The seven years and 294 days in between Diop’s last two MLS games is the second longest gap between appearances in the history of the League. Only Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Eddie Lewis (eight years, 329 days from 1999 to 2008) has a longer gap between appearances. NIELSEN TOPS IN SAVES PERCENTAGE | Wizards goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen has enjoyed a stellar start to his MLS career, earning three shutouts in his first four games including a 270 minute shutout streak to start the season. The Danish goalkeeper has saved 92.3% of the shots directed at him thus far this season, good for first in the league ahead of Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who trails with a saves percentage of 91.7%.