The road has been unfriendly for the Houston Dynamo in recent years and the first trip away from Houston in 2020 proved to be no different. Sporting Kansas City put the Dynamo to the sword early en route to a 4-0 win, handing Houston it’s first loss of the season.
The Dynamo started well in the first 10 minutes but things quickly took a turn for the worse. Kansas City’s big offseason acquisition, Mexican striker Alan Pulido, fired the hosts in front just 16 minutes in. Pulido had his back to goal and seemed to be in no place to get a shot off but he quickly turned and in one motion beat Marko Maric at the back post.
PULIDO! Two goals in two games.#SportingKC jump in front. #SKCvHOU pic.twitter.com/mErrm6MGpx— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 8, 2020
Just 10 minutes later, Sporting were on the board again, with Pulido involved once more. The home side won a set piece and Pulido’s header found a wide open Roger Espinoza at the back post. The verteran Honduran midfielder couldn’t miss from that range and Sporting took a 2-0 lead.
Two for @SportingKC! Roger Espinoza tucks it away. #SKCvHOU pic.twitter.com/SwA2ZLfLuh— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 8, 2020
Luckily, the first half came to and end with that scoreline. Maric went for a bit of a stroll, leaving his net wide open and Johnny Russell nearly scored from 40 yards out. Kiki Struna, Maynor Figueroa, Matias Vera, and Adam Lundkvist all got yellow cards. It was that kind of half.
The Dynamo started the second half with some urgency. Memo Rodriguez made a run down the left side on 49 minutes and SKC goalkeeper Tim Melia did well to push Rodriguez’s shot around the back post.
Houston came close again 54 minutes in when Mauro Manotas played Tommy McNamara in on the left side. Unfortunately for the Dynamo, McNamara couldn’t get his shot on target, instead sending it 15 rows up in to the seats.
Sporting Kansas City found the death knell in the 66th minute when Johnny Russell found Pulido down the right side. The Mexican DP charged in to the box and squared a ball for another offseason signing, Gadi Kinda. Kinda slotted past Maric easily and the Dynamo were cooked. That’s two goals in two games for two of Kansas City’s offseason signings...must be nice.
#SportingKC are cruising!— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 8, 2020
Alan Pulido ➡️ Gadi Kinda for 3-0 (catch that Pulido skill at the start too). #SKCvHOU pic.twitter.com/aDEZcyDJVI
Sporting capped off the route with Khiry Shelton scoring off a corner from six yards out. Because, of course.
FOUR for @SportingKC!— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 8, 2020
It's @KhiryShelton's turn to find the net. #SKCvHOU pic.twitter.com/7bEhUgtji6
A lot of Dynamo fans were looking forward to seeing how this team would do on the road under new leadership. It’s just one game, but things look to be as they have been for the last few years. Tab Ramos certainly has his work cut out for him.
In the end, the Dynamo were run off the field by a team who finished 11th in the conference last season. A team, who after finishing in 11th place, went out and signed a premier Mexican striker and a midfield piece to complement their wingers. That’s a thing that can be done. And it seems to be working out for SKC quite well so far.