Houston Dynamo FC begin Leagues Cup play on Friday when they face Orlando City SC in central Florida. The Dynamo return to international competition for the first time since 2019 when they hosted Club America in the quarterfinals of the Leagues Cup.
The revamped format of the tournament features 47 clubs that currently compete in Major League Soccer and Liga MX. Both leagues will pause their regular season to compete in the World Cup-style tournament. Houston hosts Club Santos Laguna at Shell Energy Stadium on Tuesday, July 25 and the group will be decided on July 29 when Santos face Orlando in Florida.
The Dynamo closed league play with a 0-0 draw against the Colorado Rapids on July 15. The team finished in a playoff position and will return to league play on Aug. 20 when the Dynamo host Portland Timbers FC at Shell Energy Stadium. Three days later the team will host Real Salt Lake in the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Dynamo midfielder Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla returned from international duty earlier this week and will be eligible for his first game with the team since June 10 when Houston earned a 4-0 victory at home against LAFC. The midfielder led Panama to the final of the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup and received the Best Player Award for his impact throughout the competition.
Captain Héctor Herrera also returns to the team after representing the club at the 2023 MLS All-Star Game against Arsenal FC. Herrera entered the game in the 68th minute and competed in the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge.
Orlando have won three of their last five games and finished league play with a 2-1 victory on the road against Atlanta United FC. They currently sit sixth in the Eastern Conference and enter with a 5-3-4 (WLD) record at home this season. The offensive duo of Duncan McGuire and Facundo Torres combine for 15 goals and five assists this season. Defensively, the team is led by Pedro Gallese who has seven clean sheets this season.