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:
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:
All-time regular season series: First *competitive match, however the two sides did meet in a pre-season game that SAFC won 2-1.
San Antonio FC will host its first ever U.S. Open Cup match today as it will host NPSL side, Corinthians FC of San Antonio. This match will also be the first for Corinthians as well since their First Round match against NTX Rayados (USASA) was forfeited "due to a lack of properly registered players" by the Rayados. SAFC are coming off a 1-1 draw with the Oklahoma City Energy while Corinthians are coming off their second straight loss to start their NPSL campaign.
Tonight's match will be the first competitive local-derby match for both sides, and the fist San Antonio Derby in the U.S. Open Cup. While an official name for the derby has yet to be named, some possibilities have been used such as "San Antonio Derby" and "Alamo Derby". The winner will go on to face the winner between the Tulsa Roughnecks (USL) and Des Moines Menace (PDL) with San Antonio FC hosting only if Tulsa advances, otherwise SAFC will travel to Iowa. If Corinthians win, they will travel to either Tulsa or Iowa for their Third Round match.
The match is today, Wednesday May 17th at 7:30pm CST. #SAvCSA
Welcome to the first ever meeting between the San Antonio Scorpions and the Austin Aztex! Fans of both teams have been waiting for this game to happen! The physical proximity to each other makes this a natural rivalry that will pit two teams separated by 70 miles via I-35. Let's take a look at the teams:
This will be the Scorpions second pre-season game; they defeated MLS side FC Dallas 2-1 in the second annual deeproot Funds Cup two weeks ago. The squad has had more practice time together since then. I expect to see a increase in team cohesion and chemistry especially with the new additions to the team. The two biggest questions marks that I still have about the team are the back line and our goal scoring finishing. I was at practice on Wednesday and saw that Julius James looked healthy. He had come out of the Dallas game in the middle of the first half with what looked to be a leg injury. Having James and DeRoux play together along with newcomers Zea and Attakora will be crucial in order to make our defense one of the best in the NASL again. Up top I'm going to be looking for more goals. Palomenque and Elizondo scored in the Dallas game. I'll be looking for more from them and to see what World Cup player Marvin Chávez can add to our attack.
This will be the first trip for the Aztex to Toyota Field and will be looking to take down their rivals to the South. The Aztex have already been in full pre-season mode for a few weeks now as they hosted the first ATX Pro Challenge that included MLS sides Columbus Crew, D.C. United, and FC Dallas. The Aztex went 0-2 in both their games. They weren't able to put a goal on the scoreboard and allowed 3 goals that weekend. You can read my analysis of the ATX Pro Challenge games, including the Aztex's here: match day 1 & match day 2.
I haven't really kept up with their pre-season games, but San Antonio fans will see a couple familiar faces in the opposition. Former Scorpions Leone Cruz, Sainey Touray, & Trevin Cesar signed with the Aztex this off-season and will probably see playing time against their former team. The Aztex also just signed form MLS forward, Kris Tyrpak. He played for the Aztex in 2012 & 2013 before being drafted by the now defunct Chivas USA of MLS.
In full disclosure I have not seen the Aztex play since the ATX Pro Challenge. In those games, Austin lost possession fairly easily and looked lost in the attacking third. They had spurts of possession where they looked dangerous but couldn't convert. San Antonio needs to dominate possession, if we do that, I believe that they will win the inaugural Hill Country Derby. Our back line should be able to exert itself on the Aztex forwards and with Sattler in goal, it will be tough for any opponent to score. We cannot lose focus though. If we let down our guard during the game, it could spell trouble for the home squad.
This should be a fun game to watch. Eberly’s Army, the Aztex's largest supporter's group, will be making the drive down to San Antonio. Add in the always chanting Crocketteers, El Veneno, and Bexar County Casuals and the atmosphere should be rocking as both sides want to claim their stake for Central Texas supremacy.
Game starts at 7:30pm tomorrow, Saturday March 14th, at Toyota Field. Come on out to support your Scorpions!
See you there!
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