Fort Lauderdale – Houston Dynamo FC defeated Inter Miam CF 2-1 to win the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, securing its first title under owner Ted Segal, general manager Pat Onstad and head coach Ben Olsen.
The victory secured Houston’s fourth domestic title in Club history after the Dynamo won back-to-back MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007, as well as the 2018 U.S. Open Cup.
Dynamo onstage to accept their US Open Cup pic.twitter.com/fjIorlBJYN— Ari Alexander (@KPRC2Ari) September 28, 2023
Head coach Ben Olsen is the third coach to win the U.S. Open Cup with two different teams. Notably, Houston never trailed in a match during its U.S. Open Cup championship campaign.
Houston opened scoring in the 24th minute after a passage of play that started on Miami’s half. Forward Amine Bassi found forward Corey Baird running up the left wing, who then found midfielder Artur in the middle of the pitch. The Brazilian passed the ball to a charging Griffin Dorsey, and the defender fired a strong shot into the top left corner of the net from the right side of the six-yard box for hist first goal of the competition.
Houston was awarded a penalty in the 31st minute after forward Nelson Quiñónes was fouled in the penalty box by DeAndre Yedlin. Bassi stepped up and scored his second goal of the competition.
The Dynamo outshot Inter 18-1 in the first half, with five shot on target to Miami’s zero.
Miami pulled a goal back in the 91st minute when Josef Martínez beat slotted a ball past goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell.
Houston’s first dangerous chance came in the seventh minute after some one-two passing with between Baird and midfielder Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla. The American struck the ball from just outside of the penalty box, but it was blocked by the Miami backline before it reached the goalkeeper.
In the 10th minute, Quiñónes charged into the penalty box from the left side after Bassi found him winning up the wing, created his own space and took a shot, but again it was blocked by a Miami defender.
Quiñónes forced a save from goalkeeper Drake Callender with the first shot on target in the 15th minute after finding his way into the left side of the press box again. The Colombian ended the night with two shots on target.
Quiñónes once again dribbled into the left side of the penalty box and crossed the ball to the head of Baird, but his attempt went just over the crossbar.
Houston almost opened scoring in the 22nd minute after Quiñónes’ shot forced a diving save to the left. The rebound fell to the feet of Baird, but Callender managed to get his feet in the way of the shot.
In the 36th minute, Baird found Carrasquilla waiting near the penalty spot, but the Panamanian international’s attempt went over the crossbar.
Artur had a key cut out inside the penalty box in the 48th minute, after Josef Martínez found himself in a dangerous position in the right side of the penalty box. The midfielder ended the match winning possession eight times.
Defenders Micael, Franco Escobar and Dorsey all came up with consecutive key tackles in the 58th minute when Martinez looked to be clear on goal.
Tarbell made his first save on the night in the 60th minute, when Benjamin Cremaschi struck a curling shot from the edge of the penalty box. Tarbell ended the night with three saves.
Captain Héctor Herrera laid a ball off for Carrasquilla in the 70th minute, but his floating shot just missed the top far corner. The Mexican international won possession a team-leading 11 times.
Houston thought it had netted a third goal in the 73rd minute, but Quiñónes’ was ruled to be offside before he struck the shot. In the lead up play, midfielder Adalberto “Coco” Carrasqiulla found Bassi on the edge of the penalty box. The forward put the ball at the feet of Quiñónes in the left side of the penalty box, who fired a ball into the top right corner.
James Harden celebrates a title pic.twitter.com/Txa2yErONv— Ari Alexander (@KPRC2Ari) September 28, 2023
Along with the Open Cup run, Houston is having a resurgent season, currently sitting fourth in the Western Conference standings, the team’s highest spot in the table through at least 25 games since 2017. When reaching the final, the Dynamo qualified for the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup, the first time the team will compete in a regional Concacaf tournament since 2019. Houston also made a run to the Leagues Cup Round of 16 after defeating the top-seeded team from Liga MX, C.F. Pachuca, on penalties.
Houston return to league play when they host FC Dallas in the final leg of the Texas Derby on Saturday, Sept. 30 as the Club celebrates Hispanic Heritage night at Shell Energy Stadium.