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Talking Dynamo, Sporting Kansas City and timing of streaks

New York Red Bulls v Sporting Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 15: Aurelien Collin #78 of Sporting Kansas City, Graham Zusi #8, Matt Besler #5 and Chance Myers #7 celebrate a 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls at Livestrong Sporting Park on October 15, 2011 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

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In a league where too many teams still make the playoffs – anything more than half qualifies as “too many” – post-season success is always going to be about timing.

A prolonged hot streak may be enough to gain post-season access; but the right timing of a big run will carry the playoff day.

That brings us to tonight’s big Eastern Conference clash, Houston’s visit to Sporting Kansas City.

Houston’s telling run was from late June through early August, when Dominic Kinnear’s men started making Supporters Shield noise with a 6-0-2.

But things have gone a little stale since then, with Houston going 2-2-3 in all competitions. Meanwhile …

Sporting Kansas City (pictured) is hotter than a Texas sidewalk in summer. Since July, Peter Vermes’ side has gone 4-0-1 in league play and captured the U.S. Open Cup trophy with a victory over Seattle. So, SKC’s streak of sizzle began about the time Houston began to fizzle.

Some of the Dynamo malaise is about the stacked-and-packed schedule: six games in 19 days over three countries. But that’s really neither here nor there at this point; the playoffs are approaching.

Kickoff tonight from Livestrong Sporting Park is 8:30 ET on NBC Sports Network.