The Houston Dynamo return to play in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tonight as they welcome San Antonio FC to PNC Stadium. The Dynamo are coming off a 2-0 loss over the weekend to D.C. United. Houston won its Third Round USOC match 2-1 against Rio Grande Valley FC. San Antonio, who plays in the USL Championship, suffered a 3-0 defeat to Phoenix Rising on Saturday night. SAFC advanced to the Open Cup Round of 32 by knocking off their neighbors Austin FC by a score of 2-1. The winner of tonight’s match will advance to the Round of 16 on May 24-25.
Don’t take them lightly
San Antonio comes into this match in second place in the USL Championship Western Conference with 7 wins and 2 losses this season. If you thought they’d be an easy win, just ask Austin FC how that went. San Antonio took out the Major League Soccer team down the road from them in the last round of the Cup and they will look to be the last Texas team standing if they can win tonight in Houston. New Zealander Elliot Collier is the team’s top scorer this season and goalkeeper Jordan Farr is coming off a heroic showing in the last round against Austin. San Antonio is 1-2 all-time in the tournament against MLS opposition. The Dynamo will have to be at their best to advance to the Round of 16.
We got to see several Houston Dynamo 2 players in action in the last round against RGVFC and could expect to see more of them tonight. Midfielder Brooklyn Raines and winger Beto Avila both came off at halftime of Sunday’s HD2 game, signaling they will likely be involved, perhaps as starters, tonight. Goalkeeper Xavier Valdez, defender Ian Hoffmann, and midfielder Marcelo Palomino are all eligible for tonight’s match as they have first team contracts. A short-term loan could also be used to put other players on the roster. Defender Talen Maples and Avila (before he signed with the first team) were both loaned before the match in the last round.
The Dynamo have five games in the next 15 days, including three at PNC Stadium. It’s already feeling like summer outside in Houston and with all these matches coming in quick succession, the team’s depth is going to be tested. Players like Darwin Ceren, Zeca, Thiago, Thor Ulfarsson, Zarek Valentin, Ethan Bartlow, and Sam Junqua will be counted on to play valuable, important minutes in the coming weeks. After tonight’s match the Dynamo’s stretch to close out May is a tough one with Nashville SC and the Seattle Sounders at home, along with trips to LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake. There could also be a Round of 16 Open Cup match thrown into that stretch, so the entire roster is going to have to be ready to go.
Houston Dynamo – Questionable: Daniel Steres (left leg)
San Antonio FC – No report