Luke Stergiou

Senior Photographer

On Wednesday, September 26, Houston Dynamo defeated the Philadelphia Union 3-0 in the final to lift the U.S. Open Cup 2018.

The Texan side dominated the Union throughout the whole game, having the home field advantage on their side. According to, Colombian striker Mauro Manotas scored a brace for the Dynamo, with his first goal coming very early on in the fourth minute of the game. He would then add to Philadelphia’s misery 22 minutes later by just narrowly slotting a shot right past Union goalkeeper Andre Blake. Philadelphia would add to their misery even more when defender Auston Trusty scored a heartbreaking own goal, making it 3-0 to the Dynamo in the 65th minute. This scoreline is the biggest margin of defeat in a domestic cup competition since 1996.

This win for the Houston Dynamo granted the team its first ever U.S. Open Cup trophy in the club’s history. This win also granted the Dynamo the only trophy it could win this season. The Houston side currently sits in tenth place in the Western Conference and 12 points behind sixth place Seattle Sounders, meaning that realistically they can’t make the MLS Cup playoffs this year. The team has struggled much this season, under head coach Wilmer Cabrera’s second season in charge, but this trophy provides some positives to a rather abysmal season. This win also secures qualification to the 2019 Concacaf Champions League.

As for the Philadelphia Union, this loss comes as a big damper to its stellar U.S. Open Cup run. Both teams were looking to win this competition for the first time, but ultimately Houston came out on top. Unfortunately, the Philadelphia Union become the first team in the history of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to lose in the final on three separate occasions, with back to back losses in 2014 and 2015, and now in 2018. But unlike the Dynamo, the Union currently resides in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, giving the team a good chance of advancing to the MLS Cup playoffs.

But now the Philadelphia Union will try to forget this performance and return their attention to its playoff run. In a recent interview posted on, Philadelphia midfielder and captain Alejandro Bedoya said: “I think it’s OK to be frustrated and be emotional, but tomorrow’s a new day. We’ve got a game on Saturday, it’s a quick turnaround and we’re still in the playoff hunt.” Bedoya also added: “Hopefully we can use this game as a motivation and learn from this. A lot of guys can learn from this and move on and hopefully go into the playoffs.”

The Philadelphia Union team has a pretty tough schedule ahead of them, playing fourth place Columbus Crew on Saturday, September 29th, followed by two home games against Minnesota United and the New York Red Bulls respectively, then finishing off the regular season with an away match against New York City FC. It will be very interesting to see how the Philadelphia Union recovers from the U.S. Open Cup final loss, and how far of a run the team makes in the playoffs.

Luke Stergiou can be contacted at

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