FRISCO, Texas — FC Dallas defeated the Houston Dynamo 3-0 on Wednesday night behind a pair of Kenny Cooper goals to claim bragging rights in the Texas Derby and move on to the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
Both teams had trouble generating any offensive chances for most of the first half with neither goalkeeper being tested until FC Dallas finally opened the scoring in the 38th minute and, as usual, midfield revelation Michel was the catalyst.
The dynamic duo struck again for FCD just before the hour mark. Michel served a corner kick from Dallas’ attacking right and this time the ball went directly to Cooper, who powered a header home to hand the home side a 2-0 advantage. The goals were Cooper’s seventh and eighth all-time against the Houston Dynamo (and first two in USOC play), which lead all FC Dallas players in the Texas Derby.
The hosts put the nail in the coffin in the 76th minute. Jackson harassed Deric into fumbling what should have been an easy catch at the top of his 18-yard-box and the ball trickled out to right back Zach Loyd, who calmly chipped it over the marooned 'keeper from 20 yards to give FCD a three-goal cushion.
On the other end of the field for Dallas, Chris Seitz posted his second-straight shuout in Open Cup play and third on the season.
FC Dallas will be at home again for the USOC quarterfinals on June 26, when they will face either the Portland Timbers (their MLS opponents on the road this weekend) or the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the NASL. Houston’s next MLS match is on the road once more, at Montreal on June 19.
Schellas Hyndman, FC Dallas head coach
We played a very good team, and there’s obviously a rivalry there. I didn’t think we had a very good first half. We gave a lot of balls away. I didn’t think we held the ball very well, but at the end of the first half we started doing better. I didn’t think they had a real good first half or else we would have been in trouble. They only had a couple of shots. The second half, even though we were scoring goals, they really put us under pressure. We got two good goals by Kenny (Cooper), great services from Michel, and then, of course, the ball Michel sent to Jackson that the goalie punched out that led to a wonderful finish from Zach (Loyd).
On the strength of tonight’s lineup being a reflection of the importance of Open Cup…
We went into this competition wanting to win. I’m asking a lot from the guys. It will affect our next performance, but at the same time this is a very important championship trophy for us. Nothing would make us happier than to have a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup trophy in our trophy case. So, we’re going into this to do the best we possibly can.
On set piece goals…
Michel is one of the best free kick specialists in the league. You can probably put him in the top three. Then if you look at the size we have, and the strength we have in the air, it may be the difference-maker of winning games.
On Zach Loyd’s performance…
I think his connection to passes, his decision-making, continues to improve. His defending was one of the better games he’s had this year for the full 90 minutes. His goal was something that didn’t happen by accident. If you come out and watch our training sessions, you’ll see Zach practicing a lot of services, not services to an open goal like he got today, but services in trying to hit targets. If you play it back slowly, you saw a player who had all the time in the world, a player who took his time, looked, made a decision and passed the ball directly into an open net. It’s not only that he had to hit it on the goal, he had to put it over the goalie and not over the goal, so it’s a lot harder than people realize.
FC Dallas forward Kenny Cooper
On his success against Houston this season…
It was a really important game for us for a number of reasons. It is our in-state rivals. Any win against them really means a lot to us. We advance in the competition that has our owner’s name on it. It’s great to get a win. It’s great to advance. Hopefully we can continue in this form as we head to Portland.
What is it about playing against Houston that enables you to have so much success?
Oh, I don’t know about that. I don’t have the best memories playing against them my first time around. In the early days, when I first started with the club and now, they have a great coach. They’re a team that you know you need to play hard the entire 90 minutes against. They don’t stop. It’s great to get a result in this competition and beat our in-state rivals.
On the service from Michel…
His quality speaks for itself. He has been incredible since he joined the team. His service from dead balls and also from the run of play is top, top quality. We’re really fortunate to have him. He’s also a great guy. A great locker room presence… He really has come in and made a good impression on the team and league. I’m really happy for him because he couldn’t be a nicer person.
FC Dallas defender Zach Loyd
On his goal…
[Kenny Cooper] played a ball into Jackson. I thought Jackson was going to beat him to the ball. He made a great run, made the ‘keeper make a play on it. It happened to pop out right to me and I knew that the goal was wide open so I just tried to take my time. I’ve been working on serving the ball in a lot lately. I connected with it just right and it went in so I’m pretty excited about getting my first goal of the season.
Was that the best goal you’ve scored for Dallas?
Yeah. It was definitely the best goal I’ve scored here. I don’t know if it’s the most important goal but it was probably one of my better looking goals. It definitely ranks in my top few. I don’t score a whole lot. I was just happy to get on the score sheet. I’m also excited that the whole team came out and played really well tonight.