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Manotas brace lifts Dynamo to first ever U.S. Open Cup title


The Houston Dynamo may be fading in the MLS Western Conference playoff race but that did not stop them from lifting their first U.S. Open Cup title on Wednesday.

Wilmer Cabrera’s side eased past the Philadelphia Union 3-0 behind two first half goals from Colombian forward Mauro Manotas. The momentum from the Union’s back-to-back wins against Seattle and Kansas City evaporated when Manotas latched onto an Alberth Elis cross in the fourth minute to head the Dynamo in front.

Elis crossed from the byline and Manotas lost his marker Jack Elliott by faking a run to the near post before connecting with the bouncing cross from his knees in the six yard box.

Manotas and Elis combined again for the second Dynamo goal 20 minutes later, but this time Manotas did most of the work. Manotas picked up the ball from Elis just inside the Union half and proceed to beat one defender and dribble at Elliott before firing a low left-footed drive from just outside of the box off the far post and in just past a sprawling Andre Blake.

The Union out-shot the Dynamo 19-9, but only six of those were on target. Any chance of a Philadelphia comeback ended in the 65th minute when defender Auston Trusty turned a blocked shot from midfielder Romell Quioto into his own net.

Despite the loss, the Union sit fifth in the Eastern Conference and look set for a playoff berth. The Lamar Hunt trophy is the only bright spot in a disappointing campaign for the Dynamo who sit 10th in the west and 12 points adrift of a playoff spot.

Man of the Match: Mauro Manotas scored two goals and was involved in the attacking move that led to Auston Trusty’s own goal.

Moment of the Match: The Dynamo’s second goal truly took Philly out of their game.

Match to Forget: Cory Burke was very quiet offensively, failing to get much going in the Dynamo’s box.


  1. Thanks for covering this story at sbi, david wilson!

    disappointed that a fan like me has to ask for coverage of THE MOST IMPORTANT SOCCER GAME IN THE USA this week.

    behold, i at, they ran a total of (by my count) 29 STORIES about the usa open cup final between houston and philly.

    follow the link to see my list of all 29 stories:

    • johnny_razor said “If they want to know there are sites that do that. The fans here, for the most part, don’t care and if they do they go to the other places for that info. They used to do more college coverage and do cover the college cup every year, but this is the free market if people aren’t clicking on those stories or sharing them then it is not financially feasible to continue.”

      my reply: johnny_razor, i disagree with your opinion. ran by my count 29 STORIES about the usa open cup final. probably this year, only the mls all-star game in atlanta and mls cup in december will generate this much media coverage in the usa. i don’t think even any one of the usmnt games this year – including usa-france, usa-brazil and usa-mexico – generated anywhere near that many news stories at

      let’s say this one more time:

      1. MLS CUP
      2. USA OPEN CUP

      johnny_razor, you are right in a sense. in the sense that ten years ago, you were right. but the times change. for the usa soccer fan, the focus is now on the games that are happening right here in the usa, not in some far away land. what you say used to be right years ago. but my fellow soccer fan, it’s just not true anymore, i think.

  2. I don’t think that Houston is that far away from being very good.

    When you look at how many fans they had last night though and you wonder if they can get there. I don’t get some of these cities. Hold the game in Seattle if they are going to draw that many fans, probably get a larger attendance and then I can go.

    • That’s decline from usual, based on the team making the playoffs once in 4 years, and the impression we don’t spend to compete. When the FO does their job we average 20k+. The FO is handing us doggie doo.

  3. As an MLS fan, hugely disappointed that Houston will represent the league in CCL! 🙁
    There are teams that you can be somewhat certain to be competitive next year – Atlanta, KC, NY teams, Atlanta, TFC, LA teams, Seattle. When it comes to Houston (or Philadelphia for that matter) it will be a pleasant surprise if they appear competitive.

  4. The Dynamo are a completely different team with Cabezas back. If they start next season healthy and actually use their 3rd DP intelligently, there’s no reason they can’t beat a non-Liga MX team in the Round of 16, something both Colorado and FCD failed to do last season

    • A lot of focus on Cabezas, which is fair for the midfield ball winning to kick start the offensive counter, but part of what has happened is that the defense is stable and competent. This deep into the season Cabrera is finally figuring out the 4 members of the defense that can play, the one that started the Orlando game and finished this one after Senderos was hurt. Most of the season he has hamstrung the defense with Watts, Leonardo, or Machado in there giving up goals every week.

      And the way the team plays when certain players are healthy or used reflects on the GM, who put the team together. There is no plan B behind Cabezas and we barely have 3 decent mids. There are 4 decent backs and the other half are dreck. And without the stars aligned just so the coach isn’t bright enough to patch something together to compete.

  5. with victory comes responsibility. it’s not just a trophy. are Houston ready to represent our league in the concacaf champions league next year? they won the usa open cup, sure, but being in 10th place in the west standings, fan confidence has to be low that they are ready and able to manage the added responsibility of Playing in ccl next year.

    looks like the four mls teams in ccl next year will be: houston (us open cup), atlanta (shield), ??? (mls cup) and sporting kc or fc dallas (other conference).
    hopefully houston is up for it. if so, should be a pretty good group representing us in ccl next year, yeah?

    • Houston is a wild card. A lot of the core is either very old or potentially looking to transfer. There have been rumors Quioto and Elis want to go to Europe. That would basically reboot the frontline. And several players are over 30 and some like Boniek and Beasley are well into their 30s. And that’s setting aside that a wise team, given how little we could do without Cabezas, would be rebuilding that line too.

      For that matter, last year’s starting keeper Deric had legal problems and has been on loan to RGV, but is now up to speed. Something has to give there, we’re carrying 4 keepers.

    • I am also curious what the shift back to straight home and home knockout from group play does to the incentives for marginal teams to put energy into CCL You’re only promised 2 games, 1 at home. Do you go spend to compete? Or do you hope to compete with the MLS roster, and in Houston’s case, a pretty cheap (and perhaps revamped) one?

      • As a Dynamo fan I was curious, so:

        FCD 18 lost Tauro 1st rd
        SKC 16-17 elim in 2nd place group
        SEA 15-16 won group lost quarters Club America
        DCU 14-15 won group lost quarters Alajuelense
        SKC 13-14 won group lost quarters Cruz Azul
        SEA 12-13 won group lost semis Santos L.
        SEA 11-12 2nd group lost quarters Santos L.
        SEA 10-11 elim in last group
        DCU 09-10 elim in 3rd group
        NER 08-09 elim in prelim rd Joe Public (where Richardson scored a jillion goals)

        mixed bag, for a period in the group stage years USOC teams did well, but initially poorly and recently bad also.

      • +1 i agree, and looking at the data imperative collected (farthest usoc advance in ccl was by seattle in 2012-2013) i’m guessing yeah you’re probably right.

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