A bonus Texas Derby in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday means an added wrinkle in how El Capitán, the replica 18th century mountain howitzer, will be awarded this year—maybe.


According to the agreed-upon rules and tiebreakers for El Capitán, Wednesday's matchup between the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas will only factor into the cannon's victor if the teams finish the regular season tied in both record and goal difference and do not meet in the MLS Cup Playoffs:

  1. Head-to-head regular season series (W-L-T)
  2. Head-to-head goal differential in regular season series
  3. Result of playoff series (if applicable)
  4. Result of CONCACAF Champions League series (if applicable)
  5. Result of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match (if applicable)
  6. Holder retains trophy

Currently, the Dynamo have the edge in the 2016 series with one win and one draw, and one game yet to be played in Houston on August 27. The Men in Orange also have a substantial lead in the goal difference category thanks to the 5-0 rout in March. FC Dallas must win by more than five goals in August to claim El Capitán on the first tiebreaker. If Dallas wins by exactly five goals and the teams do not meet in the playoffs, then Wednesday's result will decide who gets to fire the cannon in 2017.