Tuesday night brings fifth round Open Cup action to Houston as the Dynamo host Colorado Rapids. Both teams, sitting ninth and tenth in the Western Conference cellar, come into the match needing a spark after each club has posted consecutive 2-0 losses.
These teams have met once earlier in the MLS season, during late March. That match, played without the Honduran and Jamaican duos on International duty, resulted in an uneventful 0-0 draw in Houston. Colorado haven't exactly found more success than that, as they have managed to secure a league-high nine draws from seventeen total matches.
Owen Coyle will bring a lineup similar to the one that bounced Austin from the tournament in the last round. Look for that game's man-of-the-match Leonel Miranda and Alex (the Brazilian acquired from Chicago) to make another Open Cup appearance. Against Austin, the two South Americans combined very well, producing an exciting attack that Aztex defenders struggled to deal with.
Along the back line, Coyle may opt for the Kofi-Raul-AJ-Ashe defense that proved mostly effective against Austin. The occasional miscommunication between AJ Cochran and Corey Ashe produced some nervy moments for Houston but both have been participating in Dynamo training and look to smooth out those missteps.
For their part, Colorado dispatched the Colorado Springs Switchbacks of the USL to the tune of a 4-1 scoreline in the previous round. Rookie defender Joseph Greenspan played his first minutes in that match, notching the game-winning goal and earning MLS starts since. Dillon Serna, with two goals and an assist in that game, could prove challenging to contain for a Houston back line with few collective minutes together.
The prevailing team from Tuesday night will advance into the Open Cup Quarterfinals to face either FC Dallas or Sporting Kansas City on the road in late July. The Dynamo have only ever advanced beyond the quarterfinals twice but not since 2009. Colorado's last quarterfinal appearance dates back to 2007 and their highest finish was the 1999 Final (they lost 2-0 to then A-League's Rochester Rhinos).
The Dynamo will face Colorado Rapids on Tuesday, June 30th at 7:30PM. This match will be carried via online stream on HoustonDynamo.com. It can be heard on radio broadcast at 1560AM and 850AM.