FC Dallas enters play in the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night with a Fourth Round matchup against USL-affiliate OKC Energy FC at SMU’s Westcott Field. Dallas and OKC meet in the Fourth Round of last year’s tournament as well, a game which FCD took 4-1 with braces from Michael Barrios and David Texeira. Energy FC has advanced to the Fourth Round moving past Mississippi Brilla FC (PDL) on penalties on May 18 and then Rayo OKC (NASL) in extra time, 2-1, on June 1.
The first-year affiliates will meet for the fourth time in exactly one year – 365 days – on Wednesday night dating back to last year’s USOC match (6/16/15). In a preseason friendly in OKC, Atiba Harris picked up a goal and an assist as Dallas took a 2-1 result. Then just a week later, the FC Dallas reserves posted a matching result over the Energy in the second part of an Opening Day doubleheader in Frisco.
KEY PLAYER FOR OKLAHOMA CITY
Danni Konig – The second-year striker for OKC hasn’t yet hit his stride compared to his USL record-breaking 22 goal performance a year ago, but still leads a low-scoring Energy side with two tallies in 10 games. He also scored Oklahoma City’s lone goal in the Open Cup meeting last year.
Fabian Castillo vs. Michael Harris – Last year, Castillo had a field day down the left side of the pitch and picked up an assist in just 50 minutes of action. In his five Open Cup games dating back to 2014, the Colombian winger has three goals and four assists.
Zach Loyd vs. Sebastian Dalgaard –The Danish winger leads OKC and is tied for second in USL assists with 3 so far in 2016. He also scored Energy FC’s late first-half equalizer against Rayo OKC in the USOC Third Round and has a goal in USL play this season as well. Loyd shined in his season debut at right back against Houston, and could get the start there as well on Wednesday.
PROJECTED LINEUP (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Cody Laurendi; Defenders: Kalen Ryden, Coady Andrews, Cyprian Hedrick, Michael Harris; Midfielders: Michael Thomas, Michael Byskov; Sebastian Dalgaard, Wojciech Wojcik, Kyle Hyland; Forward: Danni Konig.
KEYS TO THREE POINTS
FC Dallas is unbeaten in four-straight matches against Energy FC, but is coming off an almost two-week break in schedule during Copa America Centenario. If they can avoid a slow start and return to the form that has them tied for first place in the MLS standings, they can extend their series streak punch their ticket to the USOC Round of 16 over OKC for the second-straight year.