Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round Preview: FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo
FC Dallas continues its Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup journey tonight as they host Texas Derby rivals Houston Dynamo in the fourth round of the 100th edition of the legendary tournament(WATCH LIVE). Both Dallas and Houston come into the match off a bye week, so both teams should be rested and ready for what should be a strong rivalry battle tonight. Here’s what you could see from both sides in the do-or-die matchup:
FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round
FC Dallas Stadium – Frisco, Texas
What is the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup?
The oldest national soccer competition in the United States, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is celebrating its 100th edition of the competition in 2013. Open to any USSF affiliated team from the amateur level all the way to MLS, the LHUSOC is the United States' version of England's FA Cup.
There are seven official rounds of the U.S. Open Cup, with all non-MLS professional teams entering in the second round while MLS teams enter in the third round. Currently, we’re in the fourth round of the tournament with 16 teams left. 12 MLS teams have survived to the fourth round and FCD vs. Houston is one of four all-MLS games this round.
How did they get here?
FC Dallas is in the fourth round of the competition for the second time in the last three years after beating the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2-0 on Tuesday, May 28 in Florida. Second-half goals from Blas Perez and Matt Hedges sealed the win for Dallas, the team's first LHUSOC road victory since 2007.
The Dynamo advanced to the fourth round by beating PDL side FC Tuscon 2-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium. Alex Dixon opened the scoring in the 26th minute for a mostly reserve Dynamo side while Giles Barnes put the game beyond reach in the 85th minute with a free kick goal.
This is the second time Houston and FC Dallas have met in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, with the Dynamo coming out victorious in the only other meeting way back in 2006, Houston’s inaugural season.
Last time they met
FC Dallas took home the El Capitan cannon, beating the Dynamo 3-2. George John and Andrew Jacobson put FCD two goals in front before halftime, but Andrew Driver and Brad Davis pulled the Dynamo level late in the second half. Dallas-native Kenny Cooper scored the game-winner in the 90th minute to seal a dramatic win for the home side.
Both FC Dallas and Houston come into the match off bye weekends. Houston and FCD both played last on June 1, with Dallas tying 2-2 at Colorado and Houston tying 1-1 at Columbus. The Dynamo will be missing Brad Davis & Boniek Garcia, who are away with the U.S. and Honduras National Teams while FCD will be missing Raul Fernandez, Je-Vaughn Watson and Blas Perez to international duty.
Looking at 2013 Dynamo
Houston currently sits in a three-way tie for third place in the Eastern Conference. After a 6-2-2 start to the campaign, Dominic Kinnear’s side has cooled off a bit with an 0-2-2 record in their last four league matches, including their first two league losses at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo come into the match in the middle of a remarkably light schedule without an MLS game between June 1 and June 19.
To stop Houston, it must really be a team effort as the Dynamo are a side that relies on offense all over the field rather than just one or two stars. Houston has a diverse attack boasting five players with at least three goals scored this season, tied with Portland and RSL for most in the league while six players have at least two assists this season.
What to expect from FC Dallas?
Schellas Hyndman said after practice on Tuesday that FCD is as healthy as they’ve been in quite some time and that last week’s off weekend was a huge benefit to the team after a busy stretch of games. It remains to be seen whether Hyndman will choose to start a first-choice XI, but Hyndman has said time and again that the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is extremely important to FC Dallas this season, so expect a strong FCD squad.
Should FC Dallas defeat Houston, the club will advance to the LHUSOC quarterfinals and host the winner of Wednesday night’s match between Portland Timbers FC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Wednesday, June 26 at FC Dallas Stadium. If Houston comes out victorious, the Dynamo will host the Portland vs. Tampa Bay winner.