Houston Dynamo FC Travel to Face Chicago Fire FC for a Place in Semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

June 5, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Houston Dynamo FC News Release

HOUSTON - Wrapping up a three-game road trip, Houston Dynamo FC travel to face Chicago Fire FC at 7:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, June 6 at SeatGeek Stadium to play for a spot in the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

WHO: Chicago Fire FC vs. Houston Dynamo FC

WHEN: Tuesday, June 6 - 7:30 p.m. CT

SeatGeek Stadium

STREAM: CBS Sports Golazo Network

Play-by-play: Josh Easter

Commentary: Ricky Lopez-Espin

This quarterfinal matchup will be the first time the two sides have faced off in the U.S. Open Cup and are two of three previous tournament winners still alive in the 2023 edition of the competition alongside the LA Galaxy. Houston won the 2018 edition, while Chicago has claimed four titles in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006.

Houston reached the quarterfinals after defeating Minnesota United FC 4-0 at Shell Energy Stadium on May 23. Forward Corey Baird recorded his first career hat trick, netting goals in the 33rd, 68th and 89th minutes and set up forward Aliyu Ibrahim's first goal for Houston in the 79th minute. Defender Erik Sviatchenko made his club debut, starting the match and serving as the team's captain as Houston earned its largest margin of victory over an MLS opponent in the U.S. Open Cup.

The Dynamo hold a 12-8-8 (WLD) record versus the Fire in all competitions. Houston won the previous meeting 4-0 at home on June 25, 2022, while the Dynamo's last win at the Fire came on May 20, 2018, when they earned a 3-2 victory. Houston enters this match with a 5-7-3 (WLD) record in MLS play and will look for a bounce back victory after falling 3-0 to St. Louis CITY SC on Saturday.

Chicago advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-0 road victory over Austin FC at Q2 Stadium on May 24. Both defender Rafael Czichos and forward Kacper Przyby�ko found the scoresheet, while goalkeeper Spencer Richey kept the clean sheet. Chicago advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament for the 15th time in Club history, which ranks as the second-most in MLS era (since 1996).

The winner of this quarterfinal matchup will advance to face the winner of the June 7 West Region matchup between Real Salt Lake and LA Galaxy, with the semifinal to be played on August 23.

The Dynamo return to league play on June 10 when they host LAFC at Shell Energy Stadium at 7:30 p.m. CT before travelling to face Los Angeles again the following Wednesday in a match that was rescheduled.

Here are three key points ahead of the U.S. Open Cup match on Tuesday:

HOUSTON IN THE LATE ROUNDS: A win on Tuesday would mark Houston's third time advancing to the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup. Since the Club's inaugural season in 2006, the Dynamo have advanced to the Round of 16 or better eight times, the Quarterfinals or better six times and the Semifinals or better three times, including winning the trophy in 2018.

FORWARDS FINDING THE BACK OF THE NET: After scoring 12 goals in their first 13 games of the year, the Dynamo have scored nine goals in their last five matches in all competitions, with eight of them coming from attacking players. Newcomers to the scoresheet include forward Corey Baird, who recorded his first career hat trick in the Round of 16 match versus Minnesota United FC and scored his first league goal of the season at Vancouver on May 31. Forward Aliyu Ibrahim, who arrived in Houston in early May, also netted his first goal for Houston in that U.S. Open Cup match. Additionally, forward Iván Franco netted his first goal for the Dynamo in game-winning style, scoring in the 88th minute to defeat in-state rivals Austin FC 2-1 at home in league play on May 27. Forward Thor Úlfarsson scored his first league goal of the season on May 20 to earn a late point at FC Dallas. Finally, forward Amine Bassi scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season at Vancouver last week.

DYNAMO DEPTH PROPELLING THROUGH THE CUP: Houston's eight matches in May required the team to dig deeper into the roster for both MLS and U.S. Open Cup play to earn a 3-3-2 (WLD) record. In the Round of 16 versus Minnesota, defender Erik Sviatchenko, who was signed in March,made his club debut, starting the match versus Minnesota and serving as the team's captain in the clean sheet performance. Forward Aliyu Ibrahim also earned key minutes in the match, scoring his first goal for Houston. In the Round of 32 versus Sporting KC, defender Brad Smith made his first start for the Club, while five other players made their club debuts, including defender Mujeeb Murana, defender Djevencio van der Kust, midfielder Charles Auguste, Ibrahim, and defender Talen Maples. After making his first MLS start earlier in the season versus New York City FC, 18-year-old Homegrown midfielder Brooklyn Raines scored his first career goal in Houston's 1-0 road win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the Third Round of the U.S. Open Cup.

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