Houston Dynamo FC

Dynamo shift focus to league play and playoff push


The Dynamo return to league play on Saturday after advancing to the final of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday with a 3-1 victory over Real Salt Lake at Shell Energy Stadium. Both teams will meet again on Saturday in Utah as both squads look to earn key points in the final stretch of the regular season. 

The Dynamo enter the match in sixth place in the Western Conference and face a Salt Lake squad that currently sits in third. This is the third meeting of the year between the two sides and the first meeting finished in a scoreless draw in Houston on May 6. That was one of nine clean sheets the Dynamo have tallied this season, that mark is tied for the second most in league play. 

Wednesday’s match required extra time following a 1-1 draw in regulation. Dynamo captain Héctor Herrera scored the opening goal in the final moments of the first half. The visitors equalized in the second half with one of their two shots on target that evening. The Dynamo would secure their berth in the Open Cup final early in the first period of extra time with a long-range effort from midfielder Adalberto Carrasquilla. Midfielder Luis Caicedo scored the final goal of the match to give the Dynamo a 3-1 lead and ensure their first appearance in a final since the 2018 edition of the Open Cup.

Real Salt Lake returns to league play following Wednesday’s loss and reaching the Round of 16 in the 2023 Leagues Cup. Salt Lake defeated Seattle Sounders FC in the group stage and eliminated Club Leon in the Round of 32. Salt Lake’s run in the Leagues Cup came to an end in the Round of 16 against LAFC. The team is currently unbeaten in their last nine league games with a 6-0-3 record since a 3-2 loss at home to the LA Galaxy on May 31.

Saturday’s match is the third of a five-game stretch across a two-week stretch. League play will pause after the first weekend in September for the FIFA break. The five-game stretch will continue on Wednesday, Aug. 30 against the Columbus Crew at Shell Energy Stadium.