Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting KC: Final score 0-0, Dynamo suffer losses in first leg draw

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Eastern Conference champion will be decided by 90 minutes in Kansas City.

The Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City entered the first leg of the Eastern Conference final exhausted and that's how they played on Saturday. Both teams were slow, there were injuries everywhere and in the end, the scoreless draw was a fair result.

The Dynamo were playing their seventh match in 17 days and were coming off of a 120-minute extra time affair on Wednesday. Sporting also played 120 minutes three days earlier and were pushed to the point that some players said it almost felt like they were having a full body cramp. With that in mind, it was tough to expect much from them on Saturday, and they didn't give much.

Kofi Sarkodie came closest to scoring, actually putting the ball in the back of the net, but the assistant referee ruled he was offside and the goal was called back. Replays showed that Sarkodie was probably level with the last defender and the goal should have stood, but it was by the slimmest of margins and one of the toughest offside calls there could possibly be.

Houston was dealt a blow in the 26th minute when Ricardo Clark went down with a knee injury. After being tended to on the field by trainers, the midfielder left the match, leaving the Dynamo without one of their best players. Oscar Boniek Garcia also went down later in the match, but he was able to continue on.

With Clark out and both teams tired, the match turned into a series of crosses and set pieces. Things weren't helped at all by referee Kevin Stott, who allowed both teams to hack away at each other without so much as a whistle. The Dynamo nearly scored on one free kick, but Jimmy Nielsen did well to deny Brad DavisAurelien Collin headed a corner kick just over the bar for Sporting's best chance.

In the end, both teams will probably be okay with the result. Houston may have wanted a win at home, but it was the more tired team and was short-handed once Clark went out. Kansas City now gets to head home, where it will just need a win in front of its own fans to book a spot in the Eastern Conference final. Whatever the result, the second leg should far outstrip the first after both teams get two weeks of much-needed rest.

Houston Dynamo: Hall, Sarkodie, Boswell, Brunner, Chabala, García, Creavalle, Clark (Driver 26'), Davis, Bruin (Weaver 45'), Cummings (Barnes 78').

Sporting KC: Nielsen, Myers, Collin, Besler, Sinovic, Rosell, Nagamura, Feilhaber, Zusi, Bunbury, Peterson.

Follow @SBNationSoccer on TwitterLike SB Nation Soccer on Facebook

More in Soccer:

Where will United-Arsenal be won?

David Silva could miss a month

Hi Haters. It’s me, Neymar.

Chelsea’s striker conundrum has been solved

Juventus found their ceiling

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.