By TRAVIS CLARK
A streaking Kansas City Wizards side hosts the Houston Dynamo Wednesday evening, in a bid to keep pace in the tightening MLS playoff race (8:30 p.m., MLS Direct Kick). The Wizards have been hot of late, unbeaten in nine of their last 10, including a 2-0 win over Chivas USA this past Sunday.
They'll go at a Houston team that is last place in the Western Conference, and might be forced to rest Brian Ching due to a nagging knee injury. Brad Davis and Geoff Cameron will have to pick up the slack in the attack if Ching can't go, as Houston look to play the spoiler role.
Kei Kamara and Ryan Smith have driven the Wizards' offense for the majority of 2010, and will need to be in fine form for KC as they look to keep up with San Jose and Seattle in the chase for a playoff spot. Anything short of three points won't be good enough for the home side, who trail the Sounders by six points but have two games in hand.
DALLAS PUTS 15 GAME UNBEATEN STREAK ON THE LINE
In Wednesday night's other match, an undermanned FC Dallas welcomes Eastern Conference struggles New England Revolution (8:30 p.m., MLS Direct Kick) to Pizza Hut Park. Dallas is coming in shorthanded, with Kevin Hartman sidelined with the infamous MCL sprain, Ugo Ihemelu and George John remaining out, and Brek Shea suspended for his red card earned against New York last Thursday.
Coming into town is New England, on a downward spiral after a 3-0 thrashing in Colorado. The injuries have piled up, and even Steve Nicol's ability to patch things up with his usual bag of tricks have failed to do the trick. The Revolution have managed a single league win in their last six matches, and have conceded a league high 41 goals.
Of course, it could still be a close game, depending on how Dallas' youngsters fare. Rookies Zach Loyd and Eric Alexander have done a good job of picking up the slack in the face of adversity, but without the heroics of Hartman in goal, could see their unbeaten streak come to an end.
What are your predictions for tonight's games? Can Kansas City keep up in the playoffs? Will Dallas extend their unbeaten streak?