Kansas City, KS – Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo will square for the second time in two weeks when the two Eastern Conference rivals meet at Sporting Park on Sunday.
Houston will be out to exact some revenge after Sporting put an end to the Dynamo's MLS-record home unbeaten streak on May 12.
Aurelien Collin scored the lone goal of the match, helping Sporting to 1-0 victory to become the first side to win in Houston since June 18, 2011.
The Dynamo looked so strong at home for so long, but they were humbled last week in a 2-0 loss to the New England Revolution at BBVA Compass Stadium.
A road match against a big rival in a pulsating atmosphere may be just what Houston needs to break out of its current funk and get back to winning ways.
"I always say I love these games because this is the growth of Major League Soccer," Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear told the club's official website. "You don't want to go somewhere and there's no one there, you want to go to places where there's atmosphere, where the fans are into it, because it feels proper.
"I think the guys do enjoy going to these places. Don't get me wrong, it's not easy going there, but I think from a professional experience I think you'd prefer to go there than go to somewhere where it's not as fun to play."
While the Dynamo are certain to be amped up for the rematch, captain Brad Davis remained defiant in the importance of staying on an even keel.
"Sometimes the adrenalin gets going and you just want to go a thousand miles an hour but you have to have that happy medium, I guess, of being mean, being gritty but being smart in a good professional way, calming the game down when you need calming down," Davis told the club's official website. "We have guys that have the ability to differentiate those two things."
Houston will face a Sporting side that has struggled to maintain any sort of consistency of late. The club is 3-3-1 over its last seven matches and has lost two of its last three home contests.
Kansas City earned a 1-1 draw at D.C. United last weekend, a result that defender Matt Besler welcomed despite the disparity between the two clubs.
"You know, any time on the road, a point is good," Besler said. "And this wasn't an easy game. We knew that going in. We knew that they needed a result and they were really going to push for that. I think the way we came out and played, I think everyone can be happy with that. I think if you look at the last 10 minutes of the game we were pressing forward and trying to get three points. And I think that's a good sign."
And as if there was not already enough on the line, Sporting and Houston are separated by just one point in the Eastern Conference table as Kansas City comes into the weekend in second place on 21 points, followed closely by the Dynamo.