Excitement Brews for NCFC’s Open Cup Showdown Against Houston Dynamo

Jun 13, 2017

CARY, N.C. (June 13, 2017) – North Carolina FC will look to add to its storied Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup history when the Houston Dynamo make the trip to Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park on Wednesday night. NCFC, who is off to a sweltering start in this year’s Open Cup, is ready to resume its role as a giant-slayer and upset another MLS squad.

“Obviously, it’s great for us to advance to the next round and get the opportunity to host an MLS team,” said NCFC veteran Brian Shriver. “We’ve had a lot of success here over the years with beating the LA Galaxy a few times and beating Chivas USA. It’s a great night for the club and the community. Any time you get to host a team that’s from the MLS it brings a lot of exposure to the club.  For all of us, we’re ecstatic to take part in the game.”

The club’s quick start in Open Cup play has been paced by a fierce attacking unit this season, averaging five goals per match in its first two Open Cup contests.

NCFC tied its record for the most Open Cup goals in its second-round match against the Carolina Dynamo, finding the back of the net six times. The excitement only increased with a 4-1 win over the Charlotte Independence in the third round. The win gave NCFC back-to-back victories in the North Carolina Derby and sealed the opportunity to host an MLS team for the fifth time in six years.

While the match gives NCFC another chance to host an MLS side, against which it boasts a 6-6 record against in Open Cup play, this year’s matchup carries an added significance.

With the club striving for a spot in the expanding top-flight of U.S. Soccer, matches against MLS opponents provide NCFC with unique motivation. Not only does the club have a chance to face a team from the first division, but the match serves as a measuring stick and gives the MLS hopeful the spotlight to represent its bid on the field.

“We always try to play to our standard, no matter who it is and hopefully get a result,” said captain Nazmi Albadawi. “But it’s an MLS team, so a lot of the guys will get hyped up for that knowing that they are playing against a team that is supposed to be a better team than us.”

“We take that, we hear what people say and of course we’re competitive. I think it will add some extra motivation being able to play against an MLS team with some very good players. Hopefully with the right energy we can get a result.”

With a history that has often resulted in unforgettable Open Cup nights in the past, North Carolina will look to capture the tournament magic once again as it attempts to prove itself against the highest level.

For match details click here.

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