They might have lost to both FC Dallas and Austin FC recently, but the Houston Dynamo took a big step in the battle for Texas supremacy on Wednesday evening.
Throughout his short reign in charge, head coach Paulo Nagamura has reiterated his intention to make the Dynamo the best soccer team in Texas.
Those derby defeats to Dallas and Austin didn’t help the cause, especially after going ahead in both games. But ruling your local roost is about more than just one-off games. It’s also about lifting trophies and while the other two Texan MLS teams have already crashed out of the US Open Cup, the Dynamo kept on going into the round-of-16 with a 1-0 win over San Antonio FC on Wednesday.
“When I said a couple of weeks ago, we want to be the best team in Texas. We want to be fighting for championships. We want to win trophies. We want to be in the playoffs at the end of the year,” Nagamura said after Wednesday’s win, delivered by Sebastian Ferreira’s 82nd-minute goal.
He added: “It’s a step-by-step process and again, the guys who stepped onto the field today, the guys who had the opportunity, they took the opportunity really well. Every time we step on the field, even if we rotate the squad or if in a league game, it’s to win games and that’s the goal—to put this club where we want to go and it’s a process, but we build from this. We know that it’s step-by-step but we are definitely going to build from this win tonight.”
Then Dynamo now await their fate in the round-of-16, where they will be drawn against one of Union Omaha, Sporting Kansas City, or the winner of Minnesota United vs Colorado Rapids.
Given they’re only in their second year, it’s hard to compare Austin FC with FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo. However, the two older Texan MLS clubs have certainly enjoyed their fair share of success over the years.
The Dynamo lead the way 2-0 when it comes to MLS Cup wins, lifting them back-to-back in 2006 and 2007, while losing consecutive finals in 2011 and 2012.
Houston also won the US Open Cup in 2018, but only after Dallas had already taken two titles (1997, 2016) and reached another two finals (2005, 2007).
Dallas are also the only Texas team so far to win the Supporters’ Shield, doing so in 2016 after finishing second in both 2006 and 2015. The closest Houston have come to this title was runner-up in 2008.
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