Two teams in need of a win meet Friday night to open a weekend full of MLS action.
Houston, sitting fourth in the East with 17 points from 15 matches, last tasted victory May 17 against the LA Galaxy. To find Sporting's last win you have to go back another week, to May 10 and a match against the Montreal Impact.
Both clubs have been hampered by missing players as the World Cup draws near, but Houston manager Dominic Kinnear thinks the rivalry match could be just the thing to spark some life into both teams.
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“Both teams enjoy this confrontation, it brings out the physical element in both sides," he told the club's official website. "It’s an important one for us as we head into the break. It’d be good to get a win to go into the break on a positive note. Whenever you play your rival I think it does bring out the best in you.”
A win for Houston would move the club above Sporting in the table, while Kansas City can create a five-point gap between itself and the Dynamo with a victory.