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Sporting hosts familiar foe Houston Dynamo FC on Wednesday in U.S. Open Cup

Date:

Kick off at 7:30 p.m. CT at Children's Mercy Park in Round of 16; Winner advances to host quarterfinal round on June 21 or 22

Sporting Kansas City will resume play in the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday against Houston Dynamo FC at Children’s Mercy Park in the Round of 16. Tickets are available online at SeatGeek.com and are included in Sporting Kansas City Season Ticket Member packages.

Wednesday’s match will stream live on ESPN+ for subscribers across the U.S. with local radio broadcasts available on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish).

Open to all professional and amateur teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer, the 2022 U.S. Open Cup features the largest field in the competition’s modern era (1995-present) with 103 clubs from all levels of the sport. Sporting KC is one of 13 MLS clubs remaining in the competition along with two USL Championship teams and Union Omaha from USL League One.

Sporting’s showdown with Houston is one of five all-MLS match-ups in the Round of 16 and the only fixture of the round to feature former U.S. Open Cup champions going head to head. Sporting KC owns four U.S. Open Cup titles in team history – tied for the most among MLS teams – as champions in 2004, 2012, 2015 and 2017. Houston claimed the club’s first U.S. Open Cup trophy in 2018.

While Houston and Sporting have won three of the past five U.S. Open Cup titles, the teams will now meet in the U.S. Open Cup for a fifth time in the past six editions of the tournament. Most recently, Sporting earned a 1-0 victory over the Dynamo in the MLS regular season on March 5 in the 2022 home opener at Children’s Mercy Park with Remi Walter scoring the game’s only goal to even the all-time series at 13-13-13 through 39 meetings.

During the Sporting era of the club (2011-present), Sporting will have now faced Houston 10 times in elimination matches with four meetings in the MLS Cup Playoffs (2011, 2012, 2013 and 2017) and six match-ups in the U.S. Open Cup (2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022). In fact, Sporting has played Houston 40 times – more than any other opponent – in all competitions since 2011.

Sporting KC advanced to the Round of 16 with a thrilling 4-2 win in extra time against FC Dallas on May 10 at Children’s Mercy Park. After falling behind 2-0 in the first half, Sporting KC rallied with four unanswered goals – the most dramatic of which came in the eighth minute of second-half stoppage time as Marinos Tzionis headed home the last-gasp equalizer.

Houston reached the Round of 16 with a pair of home wins over USL Championship sides, defeating Rio Grande Valley FC in the Third Round by a 2-1 scoreline before earning a 1-0 victory over San Antonio FC in the Round of 32. The Dynamo are led by first-year head coach Paulo Nagamura, who played in Kansas City for five seasons and served as head coach of Sporting KC II for the past four years. Notably, Nagamura’s staff includes assistant coach Jimmy Nielsen, who captained SKC to the 2012 U.S. Open Cup and 2013 MLS Cup championships as a teammate with Nagamura.

Wednesday’s match will mark Houston’s first U.S. Open Cup road match since 2017, snapping a streak of 10 straight home games in the competition. Meanwhile, Sporting has prevailed in the club’s last 10 home matches in the U.S. Open Cup since 2015.

Wednesday’s winner between Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo FC will secure a berth in the quarterfinals, to be played on June 21-22, and will host the winner between Minnesota United FC and Union Omaha. The quarterfinal winner of the Central Region will then advance to play the winner of the West Region (LA/LAFC vs. San Jose/Sacramento) in the semifinals on July 26-27.

Contested since 1914 and named in honor of former Kansas City Wizards owner Lamar Hunt, this year marks the 107th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The competition will crown a champion in September with the tournament winner to receive $300,000 in prize money, a berth in the 2023 Concacaf Champions League and the honor of having its name engraved on the Dewar Challenge Trophy.

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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