Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union

The Basics

Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union
2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final
Wednesday, September 26, 2018, 7:00 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas

Broadcast Information

Univision Deportes – 7:00 p.m.
650 AM/Radio.com app – 6:30 p.m.
Univision Radio 1010 AM – 6:30 p.m.


There will be a new Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champion when the Houston Dynamo host the Philadelphia Union when the 105th edition of the competition wraps up with the final at BBVA Compass Stadium Wednesday night.

The Dynamo, who have enjoyed home cooking en route to the title match, have never played in the final, while the Union are competing for the U.S. Open Cup crown for the third time in five years.

This is the first-ever USOC meeting between the sides, who are playing not only for bragging rights but a Cup to polish in their trophy cabinet. The winner of the U.S. Open Cup picks up a cash prize of $300,000 and books a place in the 2019 Concacaf Champions League.

They met once in league play this year, with the Union winning 3-1 at BBVA Compass Stadium on July 25. After Mauro Manotas put the hosts in front in the 10th minute, Alejandro Bedoya leveled in the 34th minute, Cory Burke scored the go-ahead goal in the 70th minute and Fafa Picault added an insurance tally in stoppage time.

Houston Dynamo    

After defeats in their previous two trips to the USOC semifinals, the Dynamo advanced on penalty kicks over LAFC, winning the shootout, 7-6, after the sides played to a 3-3 draw.

On goals by Andrew Wenger, Manotas and Memo Rodriguez, the Dynamo led 3-1 with a quarter hour remaining, but Diego Rossi struck for a late brace to complete a hat trick, leveling in the fifth minute of stoppage time to send the game into extra time. When a winner couldn’t be decided, the match went to penalty kicks where Philippe Senderos converted the decisive spot kick in the eighth round.

Houston come into the game off the heels of a 0-0 draw against Orlando City SC on Saturday.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - A.J. DeLaGarza (torn left ACL), F - Mac Steeves (left hip injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Joe Willis — Andrew Wenger, Philippe Senderos, Alejandro Fuenmayor, DaMarcus Beasley — Boniek Garcia, Darwin Ceren — Alberth Elis, Tomas Martinez, Romell Quioto — Mauro Manotas

Philadelphia Union

The Union reached their third USOC final in five years by defeating the Chicago Fire, 3-0, in the semifinals at Talen Energy Stadium.

Burke struck for a late brace and CJ Sapong added an insurance goal four minutes from full time to complete the rout for a Union squad that is heading into the final in a good way, defeating Sporting Kansas City, 2-0, on Sunday while utilizing a heavily rotated side. Jay Simpson scored both of the goals in Philadelphia’s second consecutive win.

“We had a plan in place, we stuck with it,” Jim Curtin said. “But it's my first time going through it and I'd argue not many managers have had to navigate that part of things. Players deserve all the credit in the world for the result today, and again, could not be more proud of the total team performance. Player 1-30 in this group has had a good strong season and that's the sign of a good team.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: QUESTIONABLE: D - Matt Real (left knee sprain), M - Ilsinho (quad strain), M - Borek Dockal (left ankle sprain), D - Raymon Gaddis (left ankle sprain)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Andre Blake — Keegan Rosenberry, Mark McKenzie, Auston Trusty, Raymon Gaddis — Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya — CJ Sapong, Borek Dockal, Fafa Picault — Cory Burke

All-Time in U.S. Open Cup

  • Overall: Houston Dynamo 16 wins, 49 goals … Philadelphia Union 19 wins, 51 goals
  • This is the first all-time USOC meeting between the Houston Dynamo and the Philadelphia Union