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Preview: Sporting KC at Houston Dynamo

Can Pulido keep up the scoring



Houston wrestling Russell to the ground | Credit: Thad Bell

NWSL Matchday 23

Who:  Sporting Kansas City (6-10-6, 24 pts) at Houston Dynamo FC (8-9-3, 27 pts)

When: Saturday, July 8th, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. CT (7:39 kickoff)

Where: Shell Energy Stadium | Houston, Texas

Watch:  Apple TV

English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB

Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM

Sporting Kansas City travel south to face Western Conference rival Houston Dynamo FC Saturday evening. Sporting KC (6-10-6, 24 pts) is just out of the playoffs in tenth place and need to earn points to climb the standings and remain in the mix.

Houston (8-9-3, 27 pts) is in seventh place and will be looking to get a result at home after dropping their last two matches on the road. Ben Olsen’s squad was shut out 1-0 in Seattle in their last match and 3-0 down the road at Austin before that.

The Dynamo have not played well on the road (1-8-2) but have been strong at home (7-1-1), their only loss at home was against Seattle on May 14th and their only draw on May 7th. Houston’s top scorer is Amine Bassi, the French born midfielder has notched eight goals and three assists in seventeen matches.

Bassi is matched on Sporting KC’s squad by Alan Pulido who also has eight goals and three assists in seventeen MLS matches. Pulido has been in form lately, seven of those goals came in his last six appearances.

Houston has a goal differential of -2 and have allowed 26 goals in league play, but only 3 have been scored on them at home. Sporting KC will have to be sharp to find the net in Houston.

New/Old face

Sporting KC added Felipe Gutierrez this week as a replacement when they moved Kortne Ford to the season-ending injury list. Gutierrez played for Sporting KC in 2018 and 2019 before missing the 202o season with a knee injury.

Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said it would be unlikely he would bring Gutierrez to Houston but he should be available and will likely make the bench the following match.

In and out of form

After starting the season winless in their first ten matches, Sporting KC has been on a mostly strong run with a 6-3-3 record. The run of good play has mostly coincided with Pulido scoring and the team gaining confidence again. The most troublesome part of that run was two recent defeats at home before bouncing back with a solid 3-0 win over Vancouver.



Sporting Kansas City


MID – Nemanja Radoja (Adductor Injury)


GK – Tim Melia (Quad Injury)

DEF – Kortne Ford (Achilles Surgery) – SEI

DEF – Graham Zusi (Hamstring Injury)

FWD – Willy Agada (Tibia Stress Fracture)

Notes: Ford was placed in Season Ending Injury status and SKC signed former DP Felipe Gutierrez as his replacement


Houston Dynamo 

Ifunanyachi Achara – Knee

Teenage Hadebe – Leg

Tate Schmitt – Knee

Adalberto Carrasquilla – International Duty

Micael – Suspension




Referee: NimaSaghafi

Assistant ref: Jeffrey Swartzel

Assistant ref:  Kali Smith

4th official: Alyssa Nichols

VAR: Jair Marrufo

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