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Houston Dynamo young guns show out in U.S. Open Cup

Aldo Quintanilla scored a brace against NTX Rayados
Aldo Quintaniall scored a brace to lead the Houston Dynamo to the next round in the U.S. Open Cup (Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo)

Here are three thoughts from the Houston Dynamo’s rout against amateur side NTX Rayados in the U.S. Open Cup.

Young players show out 

The Houston Dynamo opted to rest their regulars for their U.S. Open Cup match and in their stead, the Orange played a slew of young players. Aside from Memo Rodriguez, who scored a brace and got the ball rolling, Houston trotted out players it had recently signed to its roster, via short contracts, from its USL affiliate, Rio Grande Valley FC. Of the seven players signed, two made an impression on head coach Wilmer Cabrera. Forward Aldo Quintanilla and midfielder Todd Wharton.

Cabrera said Quintanilla, who scored twice, “showed how dangerous he is.” And although Wharton didn’t score, Cabrera noted the midfielder started to “get more comfortable” as the game went on. While Houston is stacked at midfield, Quintanilla’s performance might warrant a further look from the Dynamo. Before joining RGV, the 23-year-old, who has four goals in nine games with RGV, spent preseason with Houston. 

Defenders return to fold

While the Dynamo’s young players got most of the action in the U.S. Open Cup, Cabrera also took the opportunity to play defender Philippe Senderos, who’s working himself back from an injury he picked up in the early part of the season. Senderos entered the game in the 61st minute, subbing on for Alejandro Fuenmayor, who himself was getting playing time after missing the last two MLS regular season game due to suspension.  

“Very good, very good, very happy to be back,” Senderos said of his return to the pitch after being out for three months. “I want to thank everyone in the organization, they have been very patient with me and very pleased to be back, to get my first minutes back.”

Cabrera said the team didn’t want to push Senderos back onto the field too soon. 

“He’s physically good, but we wanted to be sure that the rhythm of the game was positive for him and he could manage everything very well,” Cabrera said.

Dynamo welcome Loons next round

After Thursday’s draw, the Houston Dynamo will now face Minnesota United FC in the next round of the U.S. Open Cup. Better yet for the Orange, they will host the Loons. The date is to be determined but it will be between June 16-20. And the friendly banter has already started by the Loons. 

With Houston hosting the game, Cabrera made clear after Wednesday’s win that when his side plays at home, no matter the game, it wants to come out and win.

“Each game we play at home is critical for us,” Cabrera said. “So for us today, the game was really important. U.S. Open Cup, but at home, and at home we have to be solid and we cannot just go and play for fun, that’s not the way we are.”

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