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Bryan Salas/Houston Dynamo

Countdown to the Cup

We're counting down the days until the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at BBVA Compass Stadium! Get your tickets now to see a champion crowned here in Houston!

FOUR DAYS

The Dynamo have had to win four games to advance to the U.S. Open Cup Final. Here’s a quick recap of each of those contests:

Fourth Round – June 6 – Houston Dynamo 5-0 NTX Rayados

  • The Dynamo kicked off their 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup campaign with a 5-0 victory over NTX Rayados, an adult amateur team from the Dallas area, thanks to a brace from midfielder Memo Rodriguez and three goals from players on loan from Rio Grande Valley FC. After a scoreless first half, Houston ran away with five second-half goals en route to victory.

Round of 16 – June 18 – Houston Dynamo 1-0 Minnesota United FC

  • With a lineup bolstered by several first-team regulars and facing a fellow Major League Soccer club for the first time in the tournament, the Dynamo advanced to the Quarterfinals with a 1-0 win over Minnesota. Locked in a scoreless tie at halftime, the Dynamo found the winner just two minutes into the second stanza when forward Mauro Manotas headed home a cross from defender Adam Lundkvist.

Quarterfinals – July 18 – Houston Dynamo 4-2 Sporting Kansas City

  • After falling behind less than two minutes into the match, the Dynamo reeled off four consecutive goals to knock off the defending Open Cup champions Sporting Kansas City. Forwards Romell Quioto and Mauro Manotas each scored twice, with Quioto netting both the equalizer and match-winner before Manotas put things on ice in the second half. The win advanced to the Dynamo the tournament semifinals for the third time in club history and first time since 2009.

Semifinals – August 8 – Houston Dynamo 3-3 Los Angeles FC (7-6 pen.)

  • The Houston Dynamo advanced to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final for the first time in club history after defeating Los Angeles Football Club 7-6 on penalties. Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis made two massive saves in the shootout, including the match-winning save on a penalty from LAFC forward Latif Blessing in the eighth round of attempts. Willis also kept the Dynamo alive with a save on LAFC’s fifth attempt, which could have ended the match had it gone in.

FIVE DAYS

A win next Wednesday would deliver the FIFTH piece of silverware into the Houston Dynamo trophy case. The club has previously won the MLS Cup twice – in 2006 and 2007 – and captured two MLS Eastern Conference Championship trophies – in 2011 and 2012.

SIX DAYS

If the Dynamo defeat the Philadelphia Union next Wednesday to win the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, it would be the sixth championship won by a Houston men’s major league professional team:

1994 Houston Rockets – NBA Champions
1995 Houston Rockets – NBA Champions
2006 Houston Dynamo – MLS Cup Champions
2007 Houston Dynamo – MLS Cup Champions
2017 Houston Astros – World Series Champions
2018 Houston Dynamo – ???

Of course, the number of trophies nearly doubles when you add in the ladies’ accomplishments, as the Comets captured four consecutive WNBA titles from 1997-2000. That would make Wednesday’s final “One for the (other) thumb” for Houston sports fans!

SEVEN DAYS

Seven Dynamo players have experience in the U.S. Open Cup Final and will look to lean on that experience, not only for themselves but for their teammates, next Wednesday night. Those players are:

  • Midfielder Arturo Alvarez – Played in the 2005 and 2007 U.S. Open Cup Finals with FC Dallas, losing both
  • Defender DaMarcus Beasley – Won the 2000 and 2003 Open Cups with the Chicago Fire
  • Midfielder Luis Gil – Was a member of the 2013 Real Salt Lake squad that lost the 2013 U.S. Open Cup Final
  • Defender Dylan Remick – Was a member of the 2014 Seattle Sounders team that advanced to the Open Cup Final
  • Goalkeeper Chris Seitz – Won the 2016 U.S. Open Cup as the starting goalkeeper for FC Dallas
  • Defender Andrew Wenger – Advanced to the 2014 and 2015 Open Cup Finals with the Philadelphia Union
  • Goalkeeper Joe Willis – Led D.C. United to the 2013 Open Cup Final, starting every game up until the Final before giving way to regular starter Bill Hamid for the Final, which they won

Additionally, assistant coach Davy Arnaud was a starter on the 2004 Kansas City Wizards team that won the Open Cup that year.

EIGHT DAYS

Dynamo forward Mauro Manotas holds the club record with eight career goals in the Open Cup. The 23-year-old Colombian has scored 39 career goals for the club in all competitions, including a club-record 18 this calendar year.

NINE DAYS

Houston’s No. 9, forward Mauro Manotas, has used the U.S. Open Cup as a launching pad in his young career with the Dynamo. The striker, who scored his first-ever goal with the Dynamo in the Open Cup in 2016, already owns the club scoring record in this tournament with eight in his career. If he can score in the Final, he would tie for the Golden Boot in this year’s tournament with five goals. Two goals in the Final would win him the Golden Boot outright.