Kansas City, KS – Sporting Kansas City can take over the top spot in the Eastern Conference on Saturday with a win against the Houston Dynamo at Livestrong Sporting Park.
Sporting enters Saturday's match one point back of leaders D.C. United with a game in hand, while Houston will try to run its unbeaten streak to three games with the club sitting in fifth place in the East.
Kansas City snapped a three-game winless streak last time out with a 3-1 comeback win at Montreal on Wednesday in a game that saw Sporting score twice from the penalty spot in the second half after going down a goal.
"It was one of those ugly games," said Kansas City forward Kei Kamara. "But it's finally about time when we can have an ugly game and then get points from it. So we'll take the points back home and get back to what we've been doing."
One player in particular who has stepped up for Sporting in recent matches is Jacob Peterson, who scored for the second time in his last three games on Wednesday.
"Jacob is continually getting better with understanding how our formation plays, and his role and responsibility," head coach Peter Vermes said. "I'm really happy for him. His work ethic when he came in was tremendous, and that's one thing that really helped us get back in the game. The scoring was just the icing on the cake."
Scoring is something that Houston failed to do in its last match, but improved play in the back allowed the club to still come away with a 0-0 draw against the Chicago Fire.
It had been seven games since the last time that Houston kept a clean sheet, and defender Bobby Boswell felt like his team got back on track defensively after a poor stretch of games.
"We gave up seven goals in two games during a stretch and that's not us," said Boswell. "Tonight was a good night for us in terms of keeping the ball out of the back of the net and limiting their chances. We just have to get ready for Kansas City, another team who can put a lot of goals up on you if you aren't accountable."
Houston has lost in its last two trips to Kansas City, meaning another strong defensive effort will be required to bring an end to that streak.