HOUSTON—Houston Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera recently said his attacking players are hungry to score and Wednesday night against Sporting Kansas City, Mauro Manotas and Romell Quioto backed up their coach’s claim.
The dynamic duo each netted a brace for Houston in a 4-2 victory, securing a semifinal berth in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. It’s the first time the Orange advance to the penultimate round since 2009, and third time overall in club history.
“I think it’s important for the whole team to understand that we have forwards [and] any of them can score two, three goals in any game,” Cabrera said.
“So, today was Romell and Mauro and tomorrow is Alberth [Elis] or Memo [Rodriguez] or Arturo [Alvarez] or any other. Which is important for us. That’s the motivation and they’re hungry to score and to create opportunities and that’s why they are dangerous.”
For Manotas, scoring in the Open Cup, and especially against Sporting KC, is what the Colombian has used to get his MLS career off the ground. Manotas scored his first Houston goal in the 2015 Open Cup and netted twice the following year against Sporting KC to knock them out of the competition.
In this year’s semifinal run, Manotas scored the winning header in Houston’s Round of 16 victory over Minnesota United FC. That goal, his fifth in the U.S. Open Cup, made him the club’s all-time leading scorer in the competition.
Adding two goals against Sporting KC ups that tally to seven in four tournaments.
Quioto, on the other hand, notched his first Open Cup goals, breaking a scoreless run for the Honduran international that dates back to May in MLS play. While Quioto, who goes by the nickname “El Romantico”, hasn’t been scoring, he has been racking up assists and currently sits tied for second in league play with 10.
“He’s been important,” Cabrera said. “He’s been giving us important numbers and what we were expecting from him. [He’s given us] assists … attacking opportunities and created opportunities for us. And when he has the possibility, he can score and today he was dangerous.”