Franchises looking to regain the winning thread will go head-to-head on Saturday (8.30pm ET), as the Houston Dynamo welcome Sporting Kansas City to PNC Stadium. Will either team get the desired result? Read on and this MLS game preview will try to answer that question and offer up some Houston vs SKC betting predictions and picks as well.
It’s been a difficult period for the Houston Dynamo, who come into this fixture off the back of tasting defeat at the hands of the Seattle Sounders last time out, their second defeat in three games. That disappointing result came after what was perhaps their best result of the season, as they beat LAFC. One win against a big team doesn’t make up a series of poor performances, form that has landed the Dynamo at the foot of the Western Conference.
Saturday’s hosts have won just one of their last eight MLS fixtures, six of which they’ve lost.
SKC aren’t exactly in a great position either, as they sit just a single point above the Dynamo. There have been improvements going on at Children’s Mercy Park, where Saturday’s visitors recently picked up two much needed victories, while they arrive here off the back of a pleasing tie away at the Los Angeles Galaxy last time out. Peter Vermes’ men have now won three of their last five and have lost just once during that time, so there’s every chance that they’ll go to PNC Stadium feeling confident.
PNC not a fortress
Nine times out of ten, Major League Soccer success is built on strong home form, and that’s where the Houston Dynamo have ultimately gone wrong this term. The team formerly lead by Paulo Nagamura, who was fired just a few days ago, currently have the worst home record in the Western Conference. They have won just five of their 14 games in front of a home crowd, and the fact that they’ve won just one of their last five at PNC Stadium was possibly the deciding factor in the dismissal of their Brazilian head coach.
If this preview scratches beneath the surface, we can see that the biggest problem on home soil is a lack of defensive solidity. Scoring goals often comes easy to the men in Orange, who have netted at least once in all but two of their 14 home games this term, scoring a respectable 20 times, notching two or more in three of their last four. Unfortunately, in recent times, they’ve offered very little resistance, conceding two or more in four of their last five, conceding worrying xG figures of 2.3, 1.9, 1.3 2.3 and 2.9.
On the up
SKC have really turned things around of late, and it is almost impossible to think that their upturn in fortunes isn’t something to do with two new additions. The arrivals of both Erik Thommy and William Agada have sparked sizable improvements. The former has added a real dynamism in a variety of attacking areas, while in the latter, they’ve found the missing ingredient, which for a long time was goals. In less than two months, Thommy and Agada have racked up seven goals and two assists.
More importantly, with Agada and Thommy in their line-up, SKC have put points on the board, and in a hurry too. They are creating more, scoring more and generally overpowering teams in a way that they were not prior to the arrival of the duo.
SKC on top in recent times
Recent renewals of this fixture have rarely gone the way of the Houston Dynamo, who’ve not beaten Sporting Kansas City since 2021, which doesn’t sound like a long time ago. Realistically, it’s not, but since that win, they’ve lost four on the bounce against Saturday’s visitors, losing twice this campaign already. First, they came up short on the road, losing by a goal to nil, while their second trip to Children’s Mercy Park also ended in defeat. They lost by two goals to one. Interestingly, SKC have scored two or more in three of their last four against Houston.
Take a chance on the visitors
Both teams look capable offensively, but one team has done a far better job of overpowering their opponents in recent weeks, and that’s Sporting Kansas City, who come into this game with plenty of momentum.
While the hosts have won just one of their last eight, conceding 17 goals and scoring only nine in the process, SKC arrive here unbeaten in three, having won three out of five. During that spell, they have scored a pleasing 14 goals, conceding nine in the process. Sure, they’re not the best team defensively, but they have newfound offensive potency, and know to create more than they concede.
In their last five, SKC boast an average expected goal difference of +0.48. During the same spell, the Dynamo have an average expected goal difference of -1.20. That’s a big difference, one that for my money, points towards the away win being more likely than the early betting suggests.
Agada to take aim again
William Agada has been a revelation, and there’s no reason why the Nigerian can’t have a big say here. The hosts have conceded plenty of goals lately, and are anything but secure at the back, which should have the man leading the SKC line licking his lips. After all, the forward has scored five goals in seven appearances since joining forces with Peter Vermes’ men, averaging 0.85 goals per game, as well as a hugely impressive 0.80 expected goals. If you are looking for a likely scorer ahead of this weekend, there are far better options.
So these are our two Houston Dynamo vs SKC betting picks and predictions for this MLS matchup preview: