Match Preview: North Carolina FC Welcomes Houston Dynamo for Open Cup Clash

Jun 13, 2017
KICKOFF: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14, 2017 – 7:30 P.M. ET
CARY, N.C. (June 13, 2017) – North Carolina FC continues its Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup run as it hosts the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer (MLS) at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park on Wednesday, June 14, at 7:30 p.m.
This marks the first ever meeting between the two clubs as North Carolina FC hopes to add another MLS club to its list of giants slayed. NCFC boasts a 6-6 record against MLS teams in the Open Cup and most recently earned victories over MLS club Chivas USA in 2014 and three-straight wins over the LA Galaxy from 2012-14.
The Houston Dynamo enter the Open Cup in the fourth round to face North Carolina FC as its first opponent in the tournament this season. The MLS club has appeared in the Open Cup 10 times and reached the semi-finals twice (2006, 2009). The Dynamo are 0-1 against NASL opponents in the Open Cup after falling to the San Antonio Scorpions in 2012.
NCFC entered the Open Cup in the second round and defeated the Carolina Dynamo 6-1. In the third round, NCFC hosted the Charlotte Independence and won 4-1. The team is averaging five goals per Open Cup match and is led by Billy Schuler and Nazmi Albadawi who have each scored twice in Open Cup play this season. Overall, NCFC has six players on the roster that have scored at least two Open Cup goals. Brian Shriver leads the club with eight Open Cup goals in his NCFC career.
Last Time Out:
Schuler and Lance Laing both scored stunning goals from outside the box, as NCFC drew 2-2 with the New York Cosmos in NASL play over the weekend. The draw marked the fourth time that NCFC has earned points on the road in six matches this season.
Players to Watch:
#15 Christian Ibeagha
Ibeagha has played all but nine minutes during the 2017 competitive season, playing in every NASL match so far and only being subbed out during the closing stages of the team’s Open Cup win over the Carolina Dynamo. The center back will be called upon to help stop a tough Houston attack that has scored 27 goals this MLS season.
#9 Erick Torres
Torres is an integral piece of an offensive unit that currently sits in second place in the Western Conference of the MLS. The forward is second in the MLS in goals scored with 10 and leads the Dynamo in total shots with 44. Torres is also second on the Dynamo in shots on goal with 16.
Coming Up Next:
NCFC will continue its NASL season this Saturday on June 17, as it travels to take on the Indy Eleven. The club will return home to host the Indy Eleven for Pride Night on Saturday, June 24 at 7:30 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets at or by calling the North Carolina Football Club Box Office at 919-459-8144.


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