In the Round of 32, Houston defeated the top-seeded team from Liga MX C.F. Pachuca 5-3 on penalties at Shell Energy Stadium on Wednesday, August 2. Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark made the only save of the penalty shootout, diving to the left to stop Pachuca’s fourth kick from Tony Figueroa. Midfielder Luis Caicedo buried Houston’s fifth kick into the left side netting to send the home crowd into rapture.
Charlotte defeated Cruz Azul 4-3 on penalties on Thursday after goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina managed three saves in the shootout, including the final attempt to secure the victory. Ben Bender, Derrick Jones, Kerwin Vargas and Andrew Privett were the scorers for Charlotte in the penalty shootout
The winner of this match would advance to play the winner Inter Miami CF and FC Dallas in the quarterfinals. If Houston finds victory over Charlotte, the Dynamo would travel to play that quarterfinal match.
The revamped format of Leagues Cup features 47 clubs that currently compete in Major League Soccer and Liga MX. Both leagues have paused their regular season to compete in the World Cup-style tournament.
Fans can follow the matches live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.
Here are three key points ahead of Monday’s match:
- RESURGENT SEASON: Along with advancing in Leagues Cup, the Dynamo are having a resurgent season, currently sitting in a Western Conference playoff position. Houston reached the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the first time since winning the title in 2018 and will host Real Salt Lake at Shell Energy Stadium on Aug. 23. The Dynamo are one of two teams (RSL) currently in an MLS playoff position and still alive in both the U.S. Open Cup and Leagues Cup.
- PENALTY PROWESS: All three of Houston’s Leagues Cup matches have been decided by a penalty shootout, with the Dynamo finding victory in the last two matches versus Liga MX teams. Houston defeated Santos Laguna 5-4 in its final group stage match, with the shootout seeing every player from both sides convert their attempts until the final kick when Raúl López put the ball to the right over the crossbar. The Dynamo then defeated C.F. Pachuca 5-3 in penalties to advance to the Round of 16. Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark made the only save of the penalty shootout, diving to the left to stop Pachuca’s fourth kick from Tony Figueroa, while midfielder Luis Caicedo buried Houston’s fifth kick into the left side netting to send the home crowd into rapture.
- VERSUS CHARLOTTE: Houston and Charlotte have only met once since the Crown’s inaugural MLS season in 2022, resulting in a 2-1 victory for the visitors at Shell Energy Stadium. In that match, Houston got on the board in the 84th minute, as forward Fafa Picault put home a chipped pass from midfielder Darwin Quintero. The Dynamo will look to even the all-time series at one win apiece on Monday night.