The Houston Dynamo remained perfect in their 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup campaign as they bested the Philadelphia Union 3-0 last night in Houston’s first ever US Open Cup trophy at BBVA Compass Stadium. Mauro Manotas and Alberth Elis stood out with Manotas getting a brace and Elis playing the set up man who notched assists on Manotas’s goals. There were times that the Union had the Dynamo penned back, but the home side absorbed the pressure and responded well after some close chances by the visitors.
Quick Thoughts about the Game:
1) The win last night provided the Dynamo with some silverware, $300,000, and with a berth in CONCACAF Champion’s League. These are the season’s silver linings as the club is due to miss this year’s playoffs and Houston was on the losing side of the Texas Derby. Hopefully for the remainder of the season we can continue to develop our young players and we can use the cash to improve the roster,
2) Houston flew out of the gate with Manotas getting on the board early in the 4th minute. However, there were stretches where the Dynamo looked a bit like the side that sits back on their leads. After each of Manotas’s goals the club did sit back which saw the Union bring more pressure in our own half. The Dynamo did generally defend well with the Union struggling to break down our back and Houston did respond to a few close calls by being more aggressive on offense.
3) You can’t understate how influential Mauro Manotas and Alberth Elis were in this game. Elis was a constant threat with his pace and dribbling which helped him get behind the Union back line and set up chances for Manotas. Manotas is the tournament’s golden boot winner and he was a force against the Union. He was good with both feet and his finishing on the first goal was very well taken with his head and his second from distance highlighted his precision.
4) While the Dynamo are back in action against the San Jose Earthquakes this Saturday, for now let’s enjoy this win. The Dominic Kinnear years never prioritized the Open Cup, but there is something very satisfying about winning a tournament in a different competition outside of MLS. It’s not the MLS Cup, but it’s still a victory at a Cup Final.