Houston ready for Miami in USOC action

The two teams meet in the Open Cup for the first time

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Photo Credit: 
Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

After matching their best ever Open Cup showing last year by
battling to a semifinal loss against the eventual champions, the Houston
Dynamo
hope to build upon that performance in the 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

“We think we can win the tournament, so that is our goal,” said Dynamo goalkeeper
Tally
Hall
. “We want to do better than last year. It was a fun ride to get to the
semifinals, but disappointing in the end to battle that hard and get a
loss.”

“It’s an important game — every game is important,” said defender Adrian
Serioux
. “Even though it is a team that is a league below us, they usually
step up. But we want to win any tournament we are in, and we are definitely going
to go out there and try our best to get a result.”

The first step in a hopefully successful run comes at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday,
as Houston plays host to Miami FC at Robertson Stadium. The USSF Division 2 side features several
former MLS players, including Christian Gomez, Cy Falls High School graduate Chris Gbandi, and former Dynamo Abe Thompson.

“They have some ex-MLS players, and they are always looking to show that they
are better than the guys we have here,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. “You
know those [ex-MLSers], and you know their tendencies. The other guys you don’t
really know about and the way they like to play, so it is important to find out
more information. But you do find out more in the first 15 minutes.”

The Dynamo, who feel they can compete with anyone, are getting no favors from
MLS schedule-makers. A league game on Thursday against Toronto FC follows the Dynamo’s
Tuesday face-off, and it would be naïve to expect Houston to run out all of
their starters. However, they have a deep squad and can mix in some young
players in the middle — such as Francisco Navas Cobo and Sammy Appiah, both who have
shown some impressive flashes in their limited MLS time.

“We have one of the deepest teams in the league,” said Dominic Oduro.
“Hopefully, we can show other teams who we are, and hopefully we can prove that
tomorrow.”

For players such as Oduro, the game provides not just an opportunity to play,
but an opportunity to impress the coaching staff and earn more playing time.

“Every player given the chance will want to prove something,” said Oduro.
“You always want to impress in games like this. We want to prove to the coach
that we deserve to be in the first team.”