The Houston Dynamo have placed first in the Carolina Challenge Cup, narrowly besting the host club the Charleston Battery. The Dynamo started the annual preseason tournament stumbling after losing to the Battery 1-0. The team quickly rebounded against MLS newcomer New York City FC and bested them 2-1 with Brad Davis and Oscar Boniek Garcia finding the net. The final match against Orlando City SC kept the Dynamo in contention for the cup with a 3-0 win against the 9-man Orlando side, but they had to leave it to fate as a Charleston win over New York would clinch the cup for the hosts. NYCFC would go on to win that match which allowed the Dynamo to walk away champions.
The Dynamo finished with 6 points topping the tournament with New York City FC and the Charleston Battery finishing with 4 points apiece, and Orlando City SC finishing with just 2 points. The tournament didn't go quite as expected and many minor storylines emerged as the tournament progressed. Host club the Charleston Battery played above the expectations of many, the Charleston vs. Orlando City SC match was halted early due to heavy rains, and our Dynamo played against a club that had 2 players sent off, something incredibly rare for preseason.
The Dynamo have previously won the Carolina Challenge Cup in 2006 and 2007, which were the years that the Dynamo won the MLS Cup. I'm not superstitious by any means, but I think we can all appreciate the coincidence and will gladly accept the omen if we go on to win the final trophy at the end of the season.
Here's my Dynamo victory song which is really appropriate considering our late fall last season and our early promising start to the preseason. If you're a Santana fan, you'll love it. If not, you'll at least love the goofy outfits of 1980.