BUENOS AIRES – Sporting Kansas City has been held scoreless only once in its last seven matches while extending its unbeaten streak to 10. Scoring against the Houston Dynamo may be a tougher task.
Separated by one point in a tight Eastern Conference race, the teams continue jockeying for position when they meet Saturday night in Houston.
Kansas City is 4-0-6 since a May 21 loss in Seattle after earning a 1-all draw with Chivas USA last Saturday. Omar Bravo scored in the third minute of stoppage time after a sluggish first half for the second straight game.
Kansas City (5-6-7) also needed a late second-half goal to tie Colorado 1-all July 6.
Coach Peter Vermes said the most recent slow start was the worst half he's seen his team play all season, though he gave his players credit for bouncing back.
"The important thing is how you react in the second half," he told the league's official website. "And I thought our reaction was excellent, and we had the last-minute dramatic goal to get the tie, but the amazing part is the fight the guys have to just keep going and going."
The draw helped Kansas City keep pace in the East, as the top six teams are separated by six points.
"I feel that we're starting to come into our own as a team, and we're going to continue to hopefully get results," Vermes said. "As much as you don't want to focus on everyone else in the league, it's not like everyone else is taking off in points because some teams are getting beat."
Houston (5-6-8) will be looking for its third consecutive shutout - a feat last accomplished May 30-June 10, 2009 - after a 2-0 victory over Toronto last Saturday.
Geoff Cameron and Danny Cruz scored for Houston, which didn't allow a shot to reach goalkeeper Tally Hall after he faced seven in a scoreless draw July 3 versus Colorado.
"It's always good when you get no goals against," coach Dominic Kinnear said. "We made a few mistakes, but we covered up for it. Tally gave a lot of credit to his back four for making his job easier than it had to be."
A victory would push Houston four points ahead of Kansas City, which has played 13 of its 18 matches on the road, going 3-6-4. The Dynamo are 3-0-2 in their last five home games, including playoffs, against Kansas City.
"We need to climb the ladder," fullback Corey Ashe said. "We have some home games that we need to start utilizing. Ties are good, but they're not great. Especially since we're at home, we need three points."
These teams have not met in MLS play this season, though Kansas City won 1-0 on April 6 in a U.S. Open Cup play-in game as C.J. Sapong scored in extra time.