Sporting Kansas City were the best team in the Eastern Conference this season, but they were the best team in the East last season, too, and it did them no good. When they met the Houston Dynamo in the Eastern Conference final, Dominic Kinnear put a whooping on Peter Vermes and despite MVP candidate Brad Davis going out injured, the Dynamo beat Sporting to advance to MLS Cup.
This season, Sporting are hoping to turn things around and conquer the Dynamo, albeit a round earlier and over two legs. That starts today at BBVA Compass Stadium, where the Dynamo are undefeated.
Both teams are going with fairly predictable lineups so there are no major personnel surprises. The question is what those players do, and whether Vermes can hang with Kinnear this time around.