The 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs roll on with Leg 1 of the Eastern Conference Final between Dominic Kinnear’s Houston Dynamo and Peter Vermes’s Sporting Kansas City at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Tex. The Dynamo are coming off a 4-3 aggregate victory over the New York Red Bulls, while Sporting are coming off a 4-3 aggregate victory over the New England Revolution.
Kickoff for the first leg is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. CT/2:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by NBC, Univision Deportes and RDS2. Here are 10 Bold Predictions for today’s match between the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City.
1. Sporting scores first
This season, Claudio Bieler has 10 goals to his credit and played a major part in their Conference Semifinal with New England. Bieler should be on goal in the first half.
2. Graham Zusi with a goal and an assist
The big playmaker for Sporting Kansas City is Mexico’s personal savior, Graham Zusi. This season, Zusi has six goals and eight assists to his credit. Today, looks for Zusi to record a goal and an assist against the Dynamo.
3. Jimmy Nielsen with at least four saves
In 2013, Jimmy Nielsen has had 68 saves to his credit. One of the more reliable netminders in the league, look for the Danish international to make at least four on Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium.
4. Tally Hall with at least five saves
On the other side, Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall has been clutch for the Dynamo, with 95 saves to his name. Hall will need to come up big once again, and he will, making at least five stops.
5. Will Bruin with a goal and an assist
The Dynamo are determined to return to the MLS Cup, and one player that will take them there is Will Bruin, who has had eight goals and seven assists to his credit. Bruin will earn a goal and an assist today.
6. Brad Davis with a couple of assists
This season, Brad Davis has been Houston’s top provider with nine assists in 2013 and today, he will add to his assists total in the playoffs with another.
7. Here comes Giles Barnes
Houston’s leading goalscorer in 2013 is Giles Barnes, who scored nine goals in the regular season. A proven finisher in key situations, Barnes will be on goal in the second half for the Dynamo.
8. Seth Sinovic on goal for Sporting Kansas City
Could he be this year’s Mr. November for Sporting Kansas City? Seth Sinovic has scored two goals in seven postseason matches and will be on goal today against the Dynamo.
9. At least 30 fouls and three cards
Hard, fast, physical football between two Midwestern powerhouses will be on display today. There will be at least 30 fouls whistles and at least three cards issued.
10. Sporting take the ascendancy
In what is an exciting game full of goals and big plays from both teams, Sporting Kansas City will win the first leg and head into the second leg riding a massive wave of momentum.
Sporting Kansas City 3, Houston Dynamo 2