The Houston Dynamo will travel roughly 200 miles down I-10 to San Antonio to face the expansion San Antonio Scorpions of the North American Soccer League (NASL). It's the Dynamo first match in the 2012 US Open Cup tournament and hopefully won't be there last.
The Scorpions are 4-3-1 so far this season, good enough for third place in the NASL standings. They feature a couple former MLS players including defender Ryan Cochrane who spent some time with the Dynamo, as we'll all remember I'm sure. Another name that might be familiar is striker Pablo Campos who played for both the San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake. Dynamo home grown midfielder Josue Soto is also with the Scorpions on loan.
The Dynamo will likely have a weakened lineup for the match with several reserves likely getting a chance to shine. While you likely won't see Brian Ching, Brad Davis and other starters, you will get to see Cam Weaver, Alex Dixon, Warren Creavelle and others. The biggest question we'll all be asking is how seriously the team will be taking this match and the tournament as a whole. You'll hear all the right things from players and coaches, but it's hard to say how important the Open Cup will be to Kinnear this season.
I won't lie, I don't know a lot about the Scorpions, so I'm not going to "wax philosophic" about this match. What I can say is that everything I've read and heard leads me to believe they're a solid team that defeated a good Laredo Heat team to get to this match. Add to that they've been getting fantastic crowd support and they play in a high school football stadium that appears to have turf, this could be a tough match.
Houston has advanced to the US Open Cup semifinals twice in their history and now that the tournament offers a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League, there's certainly something to play for. We'll just have to see what happens.
Should the Dynamo win, they will play on Tuesday, June 5 against the winner of the FC Dallas/Charlotte Eagles match. If FCD wins, the game will be at FC Dallas Stadium. If the Charlotte Eagles advance, the match will be at BBVA Compass Stadium.
You can watch the match starting at 7:30pm CT online at HoustonDynamo.com