Three Points: Houston Dynamo Host Minnesota United FC in Open Cup Round of 16
HOUSTON - The Houston Dynamo will continue their quest to repeat as Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champions as they host Minnesota United FC on Tuesday night at BBVA Stadium in a Round of 16 matchup. Tuesday's contest marks the second consecutive year that Houston and Minnesota will face off in the Round of 16; the Dynamo knocked out the Loons 1-0 last year thanks to a goal from forward Mauro Manotas.
Houston advanced to the Round of 16 with a nervy 3-2 win over USL Championship side Austin Bold FC last week. The Dynamo surged to a 3-0 lead in the first half and looked to have things well in hand, but a lackluster second-half performance allowed the visitors from the capitol city to pull two goals back and make things interesting. Midfielder Tomás Martínez and forward Ronaldo Peña each finished with a goal and an assist, and midfielder Matías Vera made his first goal in orange count, bagging the eventual game-winner.
The winner of Tuesday's match will host the winner of FC Dallas and New Mexico United, who play on Wednesday night in Frisco, in the Quarterfinals. If the Dynamo win, they would host that match on Tuesday, July 9; Minnesota would host on Wednesday, July 10.
A win on Tuesday would put Houston in the Open Cup Quarterfinals for the fourth time in five years.
Houston Dynamo vs. Minnesota United FC
Tuesday, June 18 - 6:00 p.m. CDT
Here are three key points ahead of tonight's game:
ROTATION AND RHYTHM - The Dynamo begin a 15-game stretch on Tuesday that will span over 54 days and average a game every three days through the beginning of August. Houston's depth will be tested as Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera navigates an international window while competing in three tournaments simultaneously. Fresh faces like Peña, Chris Duvall and Michael Salazar will likely see substantial time on the field this summer as Houston look to defend their Open Cup title and return to the MLS postseason.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DYLAN - Off the field, Tuesday night's game will feature a tongue-in-cheek throwback to last year's Open Cup tilt between the two sides, as they renew "The Dylan Wolpers Derby." A year ago, Dynamo fan Dylan Wolpers was enjoying a night out at the game when his girlfriend surprised him with a message on the stadium's video board that read "Happy Birthday Dylan Wolpers." Through a glitch on the production end, that graphic wound up also being seen on the U.S. Soccer live stream of the match, instantly turning Wolpers into a minor celebrity among Dynamo and Minnesota fans. As luck would have it, Tuesday is Wolpers' actual birthday, and he'll be on hand to take part in many of the festivities.
QUINTERO AND CO. - Minnesota made it through to the Round of 16 with a 4-1 hammering of MLS rivals Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday night. Colombian winger Darwin Quintero was the star for the Loons, scoring twice and assisting on the opening goal. Minnesota's game went opposite of Houston's - after going into halftime tied at 1-1, the Loons dropped three on Sporting in the second half to cruise to the victory.
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