FC Dallas advanced to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Quarterfinal for the 16th time in the club’s history with a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids.
“Obviously, we are very pleased and happy with the result and the performance,” FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja said. “That was one of the more consistent games we had in the year, in terms of the precision in the players.”
The game in Frisco opened up with Roland Lamah and Ryan Hollingshead terrorizing the wings, combining on some early opportunities. In the 13th minute, the duo combined and Hollingshead broke through on net, but struck the outside of the post.
Early injuries hurt Colorado, as Axel Skolberg went down after a Paxton Pomykal challenge and could not continue, forcing a sub in the 18th minute. Dylon Powers also went down with an injury and Colorado had to use their second substitution of the first half, bringing on Joshua Gatt in the 34th minute.
Dallas had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the first half as Reggie Cannon dribbled past a defender and found open space. Cannon then crossed the ball to a wide open Lamah in the box, but his header landed straight into the gloves of Zac MacMath.
The breakthrough happened in the 44th minute, as a quick free kick by Mauro Diaz came to Ryan Hollingshead. Hollingshead played it to Lamah, who found Diaz on the run, Diaz went into the box and was taken down by Colorado defender Bismack Boateng, drawing a penalty.
Diaz took the penalty and gave Dallas a 1-0 lead. It is his first goal since the 2016 US Open Cup Final against New England. Last year, Diaz was named TheCup.us Player of the Tournament.
The second half began quick, as newly subbed on Micheal Azira took a shot and with a Maynor Figueroa deflection, went past Chris Seitz to give Colorado the equalizer and tie the game at one in the 46th minute.
From then on, Dallas began to pile on the pressure. Bringing on Michael Barrios and Tesho Akindele, the team began to attack through the right wing, with Reggie Cannon and Barrios connecting multiple times and wrecking havoc on the Colorado defense.
Dallas would take the lead in the 57th minute, as Diaz found Cannon making a run behind the defense. Cannon would center the ball and Hollingshead tapped it in to make it 2-1.
Hollingshead had one of his more complete games of the season, going the full 90 minutes and scoring a goal. His performance was singled out by Pareja in the post-match press conference.
“I was hesitating a bit in the prior games because of the injury and his rhythm and not seeing him perform,” Pareja said. “Sometimes that creates doubt on a coach. But Ryan today showed that he’s in tact in well. He produced a lot of volume on that side, giving us a lot of players going forward.”
Hollingshead has only made five MLS appearances for the team, but the Cup game was important to help building back his fitness and confidence.
“Those games are sometimes hard to get up for,” Hollingshead said. “The way our team approaches it, we want to win the whole cup. These games are really important and I was trying to take it very seriously. For me, it’s also just a great chance to get 90 minutes and try to get some of my fitness back. It’s something I have been missing just being out for so long. I was happy with my performance.”
Dallas would continue to dominate the game, pushing for a third goal that would put the game out of reach. The Rapids looked as if they were on the back foot multiple times, having limited chances in the second half. Akindele would almost grab that third goal, going past defenders but striking the post and MacMath’s head in the 86th minute.
Colorado would go down to 10 men in the 88th minute, as Kortne Ford would take down Cristian Colman as a clear professional foul. Ford would receive his second yellow and set up a free kick outside the box.
Javier Morales, who had come on for Diaz in the 73rd minute, stood over the free kick and took a shot. Barrios, who was in an onside position due to Colorado having a man on the post, would try to knock it in unmarked but would miss. Fortunately, the ball snuck past MacMath adding a third for Dallas and sealing the game.
Dallas added to a number of streaks that date back to last year, including a six-game winning streak, and a seven-game unbeaten streak. Dallas has also accumulated a home unbeaten streak of eight games, which was started in the opening game of the 2014 US Open Cup.
For Colorado, it is their 14th tournament in a row that they have failed to win multiple games. The last time they had done that was in 1999, when they reached the final, falling to the Rochester Raging Rhinos (A-League) 2-0.
The win sends Dallas to the Quarterfinals for the 16th time, which ranks second in the 104-year history of the tournament. With 17 Quarterfinal appearances, Kutis Soccer Club from St. Louis are the only team that has more than them.
Dallas will await the winner of Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo in the next round.