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Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo, Eastern Conference Championship 2nd Leg: Open Thread

TWIM+Playoffs+11 22+USA5 Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo, Eastern Conference Championship 2nd Leg: Open Thread

After a scoreless first match, this MLS Conference Final is delicately poised ahead of the return leg in Kansas. The first game was uninspiring to say the least, with neither of these emerging rivals able to impose themselves within a frantic atmosphere.

Programming note: For viewers in the United States, Sporting Kansas City versus Houston Dynamo is being shown exclusively on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and NBC Sports Live Extra beginning at 7:30pm ET

In truth, both sides looked a little jaded having to dealt with some pretty packed schedules. So hopefully the international break will see both Sporting and the Dynamo refreshed and readied for this one. It should certainly be a much more attacking affair, and both sides will be confident of securing the win needed to qualify for the December showpiece.

Houston could welcome back key players Ricardo Clark and Will Bruin ahead of this one. With those two coming back into the side, and Houston’s recent hold over Sporting in playoff contests, Dominic Kinnear’s side might feel as though they have the edge over their conference final opponents. They’ve been there and done it recently too; the Dynamo will take their place in a third consecutive MLS Final with a win here.

On the flipside, Sporting will be desperate to get one over Houston and as the home side, they have to take the initiative and go at their opponents. A win here will see Kansas take their place in their first final since 2000; falling in the post-season again, especially to Houston would be heartbreaking.

With no away goals rule in the MLS playoffs, Saturday’s clash will be a set to be a straight shoot-out between two of the best teams in the MLS this season. Drama guaranteed.

Before, during or after today’s matches, join the conversation with fellow soccer fans in the comments section below.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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