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Sporting KC vs. Houston Dynamo Preview: A Familiar Face Comes To Houston

Brad Davis makes his first return to BBVA Compass Stadium with Sporting KC.

Brad looks better in orange.
Brad looks better in orange.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Amidst the turmoil of the first part of the 2016 season has been a number of concerns over the right personnel the Dynamo should be fielding. Solid and reliable contributors have been fewer than the team and fans would have liked. One of those type of Dynamo players is returning this weekend. Brad Davis, the fan favorite and much beloved midfield of the Dynamo of old will be wearing blue as he travels with his new club Sporting Kansas City. The long time Houston midfielder was traded in the offseason after over a decade with the club. He is missed by many and not just for his on field play but for his representation of Houston and the Dynamo and his charitable work with the club. When he takes the field, let him know we still have love. The man is doing good work in KC though. Check this one out. It’s a thing of beauty.

Point, points, points. The Dynamo need them. Home game. Time for the orange and black to start treating their own turf as a sacred place. SKC is no doubt a solid team and in the mix in a tight western conference race, but they have been struggling of late. Winless in their last 5 and with only two points in that span they may be the only club struggling as much as the Dynamo are right now. Coinciding with the winless streak has been the absence of Soni Mustivar. The DM has made significant contributions to SKC’s prowess since his debut in the starting line up last year, and the team has struggled greatly when he’s not been available. Check this article on the Reporting KC blog for more details. SKC still has tremendous talent on the field. Graham Zusi, Matt Besler and Dom Dwyer lead the team and newcomer Nuno Coelho of Portugal has been a solid presence on the defensive side. Despite their struggles SKC still maintains a high TOP and are very accurate with their passes. Shots, on the other hand, have been less accurate.

The Dynamo have shown some rough progress over the course of the last two matches since Owen Coyle made significant changes to the lineup and formation. The defense has played better and become a more solid foundation for the team to work from. The insertion of Agus at center back has made an improvement as the defense as a whole is noticeably more disciplined. Sheanon Williams in at right back has also been a small improvement. The defense is still making a few key mistakes at times and is still susceptible to quick and smart playmakers so a little more tinkering is possible, especially with David Horst currently coming off the bench. The midfield on the other hand has not made much progress. Shots are way down. Coyle brought in defensive midfield Collen Warner and slid Boniek Garcia into the role of Giles Barnes while Barnes has started at forward. To begin the season the midfield was a strength but it has faltered since week 3. Perhaps not a coincidence was multiple players going down with injuries during that time frame. Is it possible Barnes and Cristian Maidana have still been hampered since returning? The attack is capable of creating great chances but needs strong play from attacking midfielders to create shot chances. The midfield is certainly capable of it, but will it play out on Saturday?

Home field defense is going to be a challenge for the club right now but it’s the first step in recovering into a team that can make it to playoffs. Sporting, it seems, might be the team to start that trend with in light of their recent struggles. 3 points is going to go a long way for the Dynamo and will inch them closer to 6th place in the East. At this point it’s what we need to get out of the western cellar and it will certainly be celebrated.