New on Sports Illustrated: Sporting Kansas City-Dynamo Preview

September 04, 2020 at 12:40AM

Perhaps all the Houston Dynamo needed was an extended amount of time to find their rhythm.

The Dynamo aim for a third consecutive victory overall, and second in less than two weeks over visiting Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night.

Even amid the craziness of this 2020 season, Houston (2-2-4) probably did not expect that its first win under first-year coach and MLS legend Tab Ramos would come in late August. However, that was the case with a 5-2 victory at Kansas City on Aug. 25. The Dynamo then followed with Wednesday's 3-0 win over Minnesota United FC.

It's a welcome mini-run for a team that is still not out of the woods in terms of status in the Western Conference, but finally starting to be rewarded for its collective effort.

"I think any win would have been a good win following a huge win on the road (at Kansas City)," Ramos told the official website of MLS.

"We can only live this moment here. And I think that the team reacted really well. I mentioned before that it's been coming, we've been playing this way, we just weren't getting the results. And I think the team is … I feel it's getting better and better."

Ariel Lassiter netted a brace, with both goals assisted by Alberth Elis, against Minnesota. Elis also had a goal with an assist against Sporting, while Darwin Quintero has recorded three goals with two assists in those last two games.

This will actually be the third time already this season that Houston and SKC will hook up. Kansas City won 4-0 at home over the Dynamo back in March before the coronavirus pandemic halted the MLS season.

Kansas City (5-2-2) still sits atop the Western Conference standings, but are 0-1-2 since beating Minnesota in the first match back from the MLS is Back Tournament. Following that three-goal loss to Houston, SKC played both Colorado and FC Dallas to 1-1 draws.

Like every other side in the league, Sporting is trying to best handle a condensed schedule and not compromise the health and stamina of the club.

"At some point, they're going to break down," coach Peter Vermes told Sporting Kansas City's official website. "We're trying to do a good job of managing that. I think the guys have been really good about taking care of themselves and putting themselves in a good position but it's not an easy one."

Khiry Shelton scored his fourth goal of 2020 against Dallas. He recorded a goal with an assist against Houston in March.

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