The objective is to win a trophy of some sort every season, and it’s echoed numerous times by Sporting Kansas City coaches and players alike throughout the year. In three of the past four seasons, it’s come to fruition.
But if Sporting KC is to add to the trophy collection in 2016, it won’t come from the U.S. Open Cup.
Houston squashed Sporting Kansas City’s bid for a second straight Open Cup championship with a 3-1 decision Wednesday in the Round of 16.
The Dynamo will meet the winner of FC Dallas versus Colorado in the quarterfinals.
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“We gave up three easy goals,” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said in a phone interview. “Credit to them — they deserve to move on to the next round. We don’t.”
Houston scored early goals in each half Wednesday before Brad Davis gave Sporting KC life in the 61st minute with a tally against his former club.
But the damage was done.
And most of it was supplied from Mauro Manotas. He needed only seven minutes to find the back of the net against Sporting KC backup keeper Alec Kann, who made his third start of the season. Houston defender Abdoulie Mansally dished a crossing pass to an unmarked Manotas, who slid as he directed the shot over the line. Manotas beat Kann again in the 85th minute, the dagger in Sporting KC’s tournament hopes.
The Dymano sandwiched in another score, a header from Alex, who finished off a sequence from a corner kick.
“I don’t think we had the same rhythm as we’ve had in the last so many games,” Vermes said. “I thought the guys (have been) cohesive. I just don’t think we were those things in this game.”
Sporting KC implemented a starting lineup that featured a mixture of regulars and reserves. After spending the past five-plus weeks with the United States men’s national team for the Copa America tournament, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi returned to Kansas City over the weekend. Three days later, they were in the starting lineup.
Sporting KC entered halftime scoreless, but it wasn’t for a lack of chances. Diego Rubio and Zusi saw close-range looks poked away by Houston keeper Joe Willis. Kevin Ellis, starting at right fullback for the first time this season, sent a line drive just over the post moments before the halftime whistle.
It finally converted in the 61st minute, when Davis finished off a pass from Rubio. Davis, who had entered the match only three minutes earlier, played 10 years in Houston. Rubio was credited with the assist.
“I thought at that point we were on the verge of getting the second,” Vermes said. “But we just didn’t have enough in us.”
Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup summary
DYNAMO 3, SPORTING KANSAS CITY 1
KANSAS CITY: Kann; Kevin Ellis, Lawrence Olum, Matt Besler, Jimmy Medranda; Soni Mustivar (Brad Davis, 58th), Benny Feilhaber, Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi, Diego Rubio (Dominic Dwyer, 71st), Connor Hallisey.
HOUSTON: Joe Willis; Sheanon Williams, David Horst, Agus, Abdoulie Mansally (Jalil Anibaba, 45th), David Rocha, Alex, Andrew Wenger (Boniek Garcia, 77th), Cristian Maidana (Collen Warner, 67th), Leonel Miranda, Mauro Manotas.
Kansas City: 3, Brad Davis (Diego Rubio), 61st minute.
Houston: 1, Mauro Manotas (Abdoulie Mansally), 7th minute; 2, Alex (Andrew Wenger), 55th; 4, Mauro Manotas 2 (Boniek Garcia), 84th.
Shots on goal
Kansas City: Roger Espinoza, 88th minute.
Houston: Jalil Anibaba, 52nd minute.
Kansas City: None.
Referee: Mathieu Bourdeau.
Assistant referee: Jason White.
Assistant referee: Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho.
4th official: Silviu Petrescu.
Announced attendance: 2x,xxx.