San Antonio FC (USL) was eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup by the Houston Dynamo (MLS) 4-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium Wednesday night.
The brand new USL club held its own for the first 45 minutes in its first ever match against an MLS opponent, playing very well against their in-state rival. However, Houston opened up the scoring in the 39' after SAFC defender Milton Palacios slipped at the top of the box, giving room for Houston's Manotas space to slip the ball in past Josh Ford. It looked as though the visitors would go into halftime only down one, but Alex gave the home team a 2-0 lead in first half stoppage time after a deflected cross landed neatly for him.
The second half was a different story. Houston dominated possession as San Antonio couldn't get the ball out of their own half for the majority of the half. Two quick goals in the 60' and the 66' sealed the Cup victory for the MLS side.
Houston will await the Fifth Round draw tomorrow where they will find out their next opponent and what bracket they will be in as the pool of teams left continues to shrink.
This match was a great measuring stick for San Antonio. The organization and city are first class, but there is still work to do on the pitch. San Antonio resumes USL play on Saturday when they host the Colorado Switchbacks at Toyota Field. “Hopefully the guys can learn from tonight, and we’ll get better come the weekend" concluded Head Coach Darren Powell.
All-time regular season series: This is the first meeting between the Dynamo and SAFC
Continuing their inaugural tournament run, San Antonio FC will travel in-state for its third U.S. Open Cup match to face the Houston Dynamo of MLS. SAFC defeated the Des Moines Menace (PDL) in Iowa in the Third Round, 2-1. San Antonio had to come back from a 0-1 deficit to advance in their first win this season after being down a goal. Forward Jacques Francois now has three Open Cup goals & an assist in two matches, including two game-winners. In league play, SAFC are sitting in 13th place in the Western Conference with 11 points in 12 matches, coming off a 1-1 draw against Portland Timbers 2.
Houston will be playing their first match of the 2016 tournament against San Antonio. All 17 U.S. based MLS squads enter in the Fourth Round of the competition. Houston are coming off a 1-1 Texas Derby draw against FC Dallas that was delayed due to heavy rains. The Dynamo currently sit in last place in the Western Conference with 13 points in 14 games. Due to the Copa América break, Houston hasn't played a match since their June 2 Texas Derby draw.
"It's an important competition for us," said Dynamo General Manager Matt Jordan. "As an organization and as a team we're taking the Open Cup very seriously."
Houston made it to the quarter-finals in the 2015 edition of the tournament where they lost 3-1 to the eventual champions, Sporting Kansas City (MLS). The Dynamo have never won the cup, advancing to the semi-finals twice in 2006 and 2009.
Q&A with Dustyn Richardson of Total MLS
Alamo Soccer: With just under half the season played, what is the story of Houston's 2016 season so far? [Note: This question was asked before Houston named Wade Barrett as Interim Head Coach.]
Dustyn: Houston’s season will most likely be defined by the recent coaching change, only the second change in the club’s history. Owen Coyle is out and, well, nobody is in. Wade Barrett and Paul Caffrey, and Paul Rogers are overseeing the team until a new boss is named. There has been no timetable for a replacement so, we will see what happens there.
On the field the team has been bad, no other way to put it. There was a lot of excitement coming into the season with a “new look” Dynamo but the results haven’t panned out. Houston is currently bottom of the Western Conference but are coming off a 1-1 draw at FC Dallas in their last MLS game.
Alamo Soccer: Will we see a strong starting XI or a RGV FC heavy Dynamo side for the Open Cup match?
Dustyn: With MLS being on a break, and a coaching staff basically fighting for their jobs, I think you see close to a first choice XI for the Dynamo. With RGV FC being ineligible, we will probably see a few of their guys as well. A couple of Dynamo players will be out on international duty, most notably the team’s leading goal scorer Giles Barnes, who is with Jamaica at Copa América.
Alamo Soccer: The last competitive San Antonio/Houston match was against the former San Antonio Scorpions in the 2012 Open Cup, a 1-0 San Antonio victory. This being the first match against San Antonio FC, will Houston fans treat this like a rivalry?
Dustyn: Short answer, no. With all due respect, a number of Dynamo fans probably don’t know what San Antonio FC is or even that the Scorpions are no longer in existence. Hopefully, San Antonio joins Major League Soccer soon and then the two teams can begin to forge a rivalry, like Houston has with Dallas. As long as San Antonio is in NASL or USL and plays the Dynamo maybe once a year, I don’t think fans will see them as a rival.
Alamo Soccer: What can San Antonio fans expect at BBVA Compass Stadium for a Fourth Round Open Cup match?
Dustyn: BBVA Compass Stadium is a fantastic soccer stadium. I obviously say that with some bias but it really is a great place to watch soccer. The Open Cup, sadly, won’t draw well. Only the lower level of seating will be open and tickets are general admission. That tells you what to expect crowd wise. If you’re coming to Houston for the game, I recommend stopping at Lucky’s Pub, which is across the street from the stadium. Being downtown is just a very cool vibe for a soccer game.
As for the stadium itself, the field should be in pretty good condition (considering all the rain we’ve gotten over the past month) and there really isn’t a bad place to watch the game from. The Dynamo supporters now sit in the North end of the stadium, underneath the video board. With the second level of seating being closed off for this game, the supporters groups will probably be moved back to their old section in the south end.
Alamo Soccer: Predictions?
Dustyn: If the Dynamo play a close to full strength squad, which I think they will, I think they win 3-1. If they don’t it’s anyone’s guess. The Dynamo have never really taken the Open Cup too seriously but, like I said earlier, with this new staff basically being given a try out, the Dynamo should come out and do well.
I'd like to thank Dustyn for taking the time to answer some questions for me! Dustyn is the Managing Editor of Total MLS. You can follow him on Twitter @TotalMLS & @HouSports.
The match is Wednesday, June 15th at 7:15pm CST in Houston at BBVA Compass Stadium. #HOUvSA
How to watch:
San Antonio FC defeated the Des Moines Menace (PDL), 2-1, last night to advance to the Fourth Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. A second half comeback, fueled by goals from Sam McBride and Jacques Francois, means that SAFC will now travel to Houston to play the Houston Dynamo (MLS) on June 15th.
In front of a modest crowd of 1,754, Des Moines held San Antonio scoreless heading into the break at 0-0. It wasn't until 15 minutes into the second half that the Menace broke the deadlock. Midfielder Christian Flath beat captain Josh Ford off a free kick from just outside the box. The kick curled around the wall and into the net to give the amateur side the 1-0 advantage. The Alamo City boys played more urgently after falling behind and were able to equalize when defender Sam McBride scored his first professional goal - a header off a Carlos Alvarez free kick.
San Antonio would keep the pressure on the Menace and finally gained the lead as none other than Jacques Francois, the Haitian Sensation, scored his third U.S. Open Cup goal off a Greg Cochrane cross. Francois has now scored both game winners in each of San Antonio's Open Cup matches.
San Antonio will have a short turnaround as they will travel back home today to prepare for their first in-state road trip down to face Rio Grande Valley FC on Saturday.
Alamo Soccer's Man of the Match: Jacques Francois (1 goal, game winner)
All-time regular season series: This is the first meeting between the Menace and SAFC.
San Antonio FC will travel to Iowa for its second ever U.S. Open Cup match to face the Des Moines Menace of the PDL. SAFC defeated fellow Alamo City side, Corinthians FC of San Antonio in the Second Round, 3-1, led by a pro-debut brace by the Haitian Sensation, Jacques Francois.
The Menace reached the Third Round after dismantling the Tulsa Roughnecks of the USL, 2-0.
The winner of this match will go on to the tournament's Fourth Round to face the Houston Dynamo of MLS in Houston. Should San Antonio advance, they won't have the opportunity to play a home cup match until the Fifth Round, and that's not a guarantee. Consecutive away matches is difficult enough, and if SAFC are looking ahead to the match with Houston, they could put themselves in a difficult situation when they're in Iowa. The semi-pro side isn't one to ignore. Their win against the Roughnecks was their seventh win all-time versus the professional all ranks.
The match is Wednesday June 1st at 8:00pm CST. #DEMvSA
How to watch:
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