Dynamo Fall 1-0 to San Antonio Scorpions who Move into USOC Quarter Finals
The US Open Cup third round kicked off Tuesday night with NASL side San Antonio Scorpions FC taking on the Houston Dynamo in a first ever meeting between the two clubs. While the Scorpions are fighting for respect in second division soccer, the Dynamo sit sixth in the Eastern Conference standings for the MLS.
With Houston set to take on La Liga side Valencia on Thursday, Mac Kandji and Cam Weaver got the nod up front and Adam Moffat started in midfield with Bobby Boswell in defense.
The Scorpions started their most offensive attacking line-up with Bayona, Campos and Denissen all playing advanced roles with Harmse and Pitchkolan providing cover for the back four which included former Houston Dynamo Ryan Cochrane.
Houston came out looking confident with the ball and had an early chance when Colin Clarke missed a fairly open shot at the six yard line in the second minute of play. After that a couple of early opportunities for the Scorpions ensued but they largely squandered what possession they earned in the beginning phases of the match.
Houston kept funneling the ball into Kandji’s feet who was always looking to immediately take on defenders but quickly learned how solid the back line for the Scorpions have been playing this season. Kandji turned the ball over a few times giving way to some quick counterattacks from the Scorpions.
In the 43rd minute, Esteban Bayona won the ball close to midfield and raced toward Tyler Deric’s goal but ran out of gas at the last moment and rushed the shot into Deric’s outstretched arms finishing out the half with the best chance for the Scorpions.
As the second half was underway, Pablo Campos chested a ball down in front of the box and muscled his way past the defender who couldn’t handle his physicality. As a result Campos was fouled and a penalty was given to San Antonio. Denissen stepped up and finished with a clinical shot to the upper right corner and put the Scorpions up 1-0.
After the penalty, the Dynamo tried desperately to break down the Scorpions defense but never grabbed a foothold and were constantly distracted with the quick interchanges from Scorpions players through central areas of the pitch.
In the 75th minute Harmse sent a glorious through ball to an unmarked Wes Knight on the opposite side of attack leaving him alone with Deric, who was in great form throughout the match and caused Knight to shoot wide.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, we knew these guys were a good team and had some guys with MLS experience and it was a tough game,” said Houston Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear.
San Antonio did field a more offensive side and went for it early on, but conceded a lot of possession to Houston who did have their chances.
“If you look at our chances compared to theirs, we could’ve had two or three goals with Estie (Esteban Bayona) to Hans and Pablo later in the match,” said Scorpions head coach Tim Hankinson. “We were a little bit unlucky not to really put the game away. Houston is Houston, they are two-time champions of MLS and I thought our guys showed they belong.”
The San Antonio Scorpions look to take on the Charlotte Eagles who defeated FC Dallas 2-0 to move into the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup. The match will take place June 5th at Heroes Stadium but not before hosting the defending league champions Minnesota Stars Saturday, June 2nd.