FRISCO - FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo have a length-tension relationship. The two cities battle it out every year for a different type of trophy known as “El Capitan”. The rivalry between the two cities is shared in the world of sports by the two end points on I-45. You have Cowboys/Texans; Rangers/Astros; Mavericks/Rockets and FC Dallas vs the Houston Dynamo.
For midfielder Kellyn Acosta who grew up in both cities but calls Dallas home; he learned about the hostility at a young age.
“For me it dates me back in the academy days," said Acosta. "There is definitely a rivalry, I always want to beat them no matter what and prove that Dallas is a better city.”
Texas has a motto, “everything is bigger in Texas” and when these MLS sides of the Lone Star State get together, you can not expect anything less. The annual series winner gains right to hold and fire El Capitán. So for those of you just joining the rivalry lets take it back a bit. Yes, there are historic rivalry trophies around the league such as the Cascadia Cup and the Rocky Mountain Cup but, only the cannon can be used year-round as a reminder of who is on top in the regional rivalry. El Capitán is a replica version of an 18th-century Mountain howitzer cannon - a piece of artillery used during the American Civil War.
“Since I’ve been around there is always been a pretty good battle, whenever we play Dallas it always means a little bit more when we play them”, said Houston defender Damarcus Beasley.
FC Dallas has won El Capitán five times, while Houston holds a slight edge in the all-time series with six wins. The first leg was a memorable night for FC Dallas fans since they saw the return of Mauro Díaz. The final result was a 0-0 draw at Toyota Stadium.
Leg two had another tie, which ended with a score of 1-1.
Now everything comes down to this third game.
“We want to bring El Capitán here and leave it here. It’s definitely going to be an exciting match, it’s going to be a tough match but we can definitely do it and bring El Capitan home,” said Acosta.
The Dynamo hold the all-time series lead in MLS play with a 10-9-8 record but FC Dallas has won six out of the last nine MLS meetings and three straight Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches. Bringing El Capitán home is a win but both teams know the pride it brings to be able to say that.
“Obviously being from Texas and having the bragging rights of who’s the best in Texas," said Beasley.