Sporting Kansas City 0, Houston Dynamo 0 | 2017 MLS Match Recap
Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo may have played to a 0-0 draw at Children's Mercy Park on Sunday, but both teams emerged from the result to clinch places in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs.
The teams, which already met earlier this week with Houston winning 2-1 at home, kept pace all night on Sunday. The game started out end-to-end, but from about 20 minutes onward, Sporting held firm control of the run of play, while the Dynamo were content to sit back and break on the counter. In spite of the dominance by KC, neither side could find a breakthrough, and Houston goalkeeper Tyler Deric came up particularly big on the night for his side.
- THEY'RE IN: Strangely, this is one of the rare occasions where both teams both pick up a result and they both make the playoffs. That said, the circumstances differ significantly for the teams. Sporting reach the postseason for the seventh consecutive season, and while they're alive to go for a double this year, they've now hit their longest stretch without a win in league play, at four games. The Dynamo, however, are probably celebrating a bit more this evening, as they will be in the playoffs for the first time in four years and seem to be finding the results needed in the playoffs.
- JOCKEYING FOR POSITION: The two games between Sporting and Houston this week leave the teams next to each other in the Western Conference standings, with Sporting in 4th place, two points ahead of the Dynamo. Nevertheless, there's plenty of room for movement up the table for both teams, as only five points separate the Vancouver Whitecaps in 1st place and Houston in 5th. There's a chance SKC and the Dynamo could meet again in the playoffs, but first comes Decision Day presented by AT&T, to finalize the standings ahead of the postseason, with both teams in the thick of it.
- BIG NIGHT FOR DERIC: The star of the night was definitely Deric, and his performance can't be overstated. He made nine saves, some spectacular and some mundane, but no stop was more important to the Dynamo getting the result to clinch the playoffs than a remarkable left-handed save at the end of second-half stoppage time, with Benny Feilhaber in his way. Deric actually reached around his opponent to get the stop and preserve the draw. Simply incredible.