FC Dallas hosts a Round of 16 matchup against the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday night as they return to 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play. Dallas advanced past the Fourth Round with a 6-5 penalty kick victory over USL affiliate OKC Energy FC on June 15, playing to a 2-2 draw after 120 minutes. The Rapids advanced past USL side Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on the same night with a 1-0 victory at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The top two teams in MLS will square off in the LHUSOC Round of 16. Colorado (9-2-5) is off to the league’s best start this season, having not lost a game since April 9. Dallas (9-5-4) is just one point behind them despite having played two more league games. In three meetings last season, the Rapids had FCD’s number amassing a 4-0 win at Toyota Stadium and a pair of 1-1 draws in suburban Denver.
KEY PLAYER FOR COLORADO
Dillon Serna – The Rapids Homegrown has largely been used off the bench in 2016, but scored the lone goal in Colorado’s Fourth Round Open Cup matchup - adding to his brace in last season’s USOC Fourth Round win. Serna also scored two of his three MLS goals in 2015 against Dallas in just 99 minutes of action.
Carlos Lizarazo vs. Axel Sjoberg – The first-year winger enjoyed a breakout performance in the Fourth Round with a brace against Oklahoma City. Oscar Pareja has inserted him as a sub in both MLS matches since then, and you can bet he’ll be given another solid look on Wednesday night.
Jesse Gonzalez vs. Kevin Doyle –The young Homegrown has given way to Chris Seitz as the lead man in net for FCD over the last two months, and he’ll be looking to capitalize on another starting look in the mid-week Open Cup match.
PROJECTED LINEUP (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Zac MacMath; Defenders: Eric Miller, Axel Sjoberg, Jared Watts, Dennis Castillo; Midfielders: Michael Azira, Sam Cronin; Luis Solignac, Dillon Powers, Dillon Serna; Forwards: Kevin Doyle.
KEYS TO THREE POINTS
FC Dallas has advanced in seven of the club’s eleven Open Cup matches held at Toyota Stadium, and they’ll face one of their biggest tests yet against the red-hot Colorado Rapids on Wednesday. If they can continue to get strong support from the supporting cast of players mixed in with the regular starters –just like they did in the Fourth Round – they should be able to advance on home field for the eighth time.