Connect with us

Sporting KC

Preview/How to Watch US Open Cup: Sporting KC v. Houston

We preview Sporting KC hitting the road for the 4th round of the US Open Cup against the Houston Dynamo in Texas.



Potential first team loanee, Sebastian Cruz | Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting KC vs. Houston Dynamo

WHEN: Wednesday, May 10th @ 7:30 PM CT

WHERE: Shell Energy Stadium | Houston, TX


The match will be live streamed on US Soccer’s YouTube channel. If watching isn’t your preference you can still listen on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) or La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish).

Round four of the US Open Cup sees Sporting Kansas City facing off with the Houston Dynamo (again). Last year it was in the round of 16, this year it’s in the round of 32. In fact, Sporting KC have played the Dynamo in five of the last six versions of the competition. It’s one of the real flaws of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, that you play the same teams over and over. Sporting KC have also frequently met Minnesota United and you have to go all the way back to 2013 to find a year when SKC didn’t play either team.

The round of 32 is the first time Major League Soccer clubs can face each other. Eight more MLS teams enter the competition (the CONCACAF Champions League teams and four other top finishers). Of the remaining teams, just eight lower division sides remain, all from the USL Championship (2nd division). At least one of the eight will advance as the Birmingham Legion and Memphis 901 are facing one another. The other six clubs, by extension, are all against MLS foes.

The Houston/KC game marks the first of at least three potential meetings this year (not counting playoffs or Leagues Cup possibilities). Despite the familiarity, there are some changes as Houston are now coached by former D.C. United front man, Ben Olsen. Houston are off to a respectable start, as they currently sit sixth in the MLS Western Conference standings with a 4-3-2 record with just nine games played (compared to SKC’s 11). They’ve racked up 14 points and are just six points behind the first place Seattle Sounders.

How did the Dynamo get Here?

The Houston Dynamo beat the Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL Championship) to advance out of the third round, which was when they entered the competition along with Sporting KC. The scoreline was 1-0 and 18-year-old Brooklyn Raines scored the game winner in a lineup littered with younger players.

How did Sporting KC get Here?

Kansas City made it through the third round by defeating fourth division side, the Tulsa Athletic, 3-0 at Children’s Mercy Park. Goals were scored by Daniel Salloi, Alan Pulido and Marinos Tzionis. The game likely stands out for you, because up until last Sunday, it was the only win in 2023 in a non-preseason game. SKC didn’t play all their starters, but it was a lot of them. Sporting are always known for taking this competition relatively seriously, and that may be even more true in 2023 with the way the season started.

Squad Rotation

The Dynamo enter Wednesday’s home game with an extra day of rest, having played to a home draw against Real Salt Lake over the weekend on Saturday, while KC played on the road on Sunday. Houston also don’t play again until Sunday, while KC play on Saturday night where they host Minnesota United.

Sporting KC are on a ‘five games in 14 days’ stretch already, and this ‘three games in seven days’ situation will do them no favors. Luckily, they have the ability to call on players from Sporting KC II, and at least one player is going to join as Ethan Bryant, the breakout star from the third round, will join the team according to Peter Vermes. In that game, the team was also joined by forward/midfielder Sebastian Cruz (who has exclusively played RW for the 2nd team) and Mo Abualnadi, who is a CB but has lined up at LB. There was also good news that Nemanja Radoja is going to be available (only an illness kept him out of the Seattle game).

I would expect some, but not a ton, of squad rotation. It’ll be interesting to see if more loans are announced and if new signing Stephen Afrifa makes his debut.

As far as the Dynamo, I won’t claim to be an expert, but it sounds like they aren’t rolling out their regular starters. That’s pretty common for many teams early in the tournament. It’s when they get through a few games, that most clubs start to take it more seriously.


Despite Sporting KC finally getting right over the weekend and winning a big game, it’s hard to trust them. There are 10 other games that say they don’t have it in them. Plus, the schedule congestion and their first game in heat are more objects to overcome. With Houston not likely to roll out a premier lineup, you never know, but their young guys want to win just as bad as SKC’s do.

Sporting KC Lose 1-2 to Houston

Key Dates

If Sporting KC were to advance past the Dynamo, here are the important dates for the remainder of the tournament.

  • May 11 – Round of 16 and Quarterfinal Draw
  • May 23-24 – Round of 16 Matches
  • June 6-7 – Quarterfinal Matches
  • TBD – Semifinal and Final Draw
  • August 23 – Semifinal Matches
  • September 27– 2023 U.S. Open Cup Final

Recent Comments

KC Soccer Journal in your Inbox!

Be the first to know when news breaks, sign up to get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox.


Follow us on Twitter