Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas | 2016 US Open Cup Match Preview
HOUSTON DYNAMO vs. FC DALLAS
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM, Houston, Texas
July 20, 2016 (U.S. Open Cup)
8:15 pm ET (YouTube)
It's an all-Texas affair in this quarterfinal matchup of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, and each team has quite a bit riding on the outcome. The Dynamo sit in last place in the Western Conference standings in what has already been a tumultuous year – so winning the Open Cup realistically represents their best shot at silverware in 2016. FCD, meanwhile, are leading the Supporters Shield standings. If they want to be the first team in league history to record a domestic treble, they'll give it everything they've got on Wednesday, despite a crowded recent schedule.
Giant-killers, part 2?
Whatever happens this week, Houston have already guaranteed that there will be a new Open Cup champion this season. They knocked out defending holders Sporting Kansas City in June by a 3-1 margin that wasn't really even that close. Dallas might be more acclimated to that bayou heat and humidity than Sporting, but there's no denying that a muggy summer night in BBVA Compass Stadium poses a substantial home-field advantage for the Orange.
No easy run
FC Dallas had to outwit a tough opponent in the round of 16 as well, advancing to the quarterfinals with a 2-1 home victory over their closest Supporters' Shield rivals at present, the Colorado Rapids. Before that, they needed penalties to advance past USL side Oklahoma City Energy. This will be their first time on the road in Cup play.
Who wants it more?
Sure, that's a cliché – but Wednesday's outcome could depend on how badly Dallas boss Oscar Pareja wants to go for the Open Cup, especially with CONCACAF Champions League play opening soon. That's not a concern for the Dynamo, who are presently the longest of shots to climb over the red line by playoff time. Pareja's team is loaded with talent, but is he prepared to try to stretch it over three competitions?