Houston Dynamo Win Lamar Hunt, Beat Philadelphia Union
MLS – September 27, 2018
Two goals from Colombian forward Mauro Manotas, 23, brought the Houston Dynamo victory in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (also known as the U.S. Open Cup), America’s oldest soccer championship. Dynamo rolled over the Philadelphia Union with a final score of 3:0 on their home field in Houston, Texas.
Manotas made his Dynamo debut on June 17, 2015, in a 2–0 win over the Austin Aztex in the U.S. Open Cup, also getting an assist in stoppage time. He made his MLS debut as a sub in the team's next match against the Portland Timbers on June 20th. His first Dynamo start was June 30th in a Cup match versus the Colorado Rapids, scoring the winning goal, his first as a Dynamo.
The Dynamo’s third goal in their total victory over the Union came from an own goal by Philadelphia defender Auston Trusty in the 65th minute, adding to Manotas’ double. Dynamo goalie, Joe Willis, made five saves to complete the shutout.
This is the first Lamar Hunt for the Houston Dynamo, and their first championship trophy since winning the MLS Cup twice in a row in 2006 and 2007. There hadn't been a first-time winner of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup since 2001. Major League Soccer teams have dominated the competition since MLS entered the circuit in 1996. No lower division team have won a Lamar Hunt since the Rochester Rhinos in 1999, or reached a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final since the Charleston Battery in 2008.
For winning the Cup, Houston earned automatic entry to the CONCACAF Champions League for the chance to represent the CONCACAF region in the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup. The 2018 Lamar Hunt season began with 97 teams from all levels of American soccer, including both amateurs and professionals. Houston earned $300,000 in addition to the title. Second place Philly made $100,000 for their strong participation in the tournament.