HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas announced rules changes for awarding El Capitán, the 18th-century cannon presented annually to the winner of the teams' season series. The teams will meet for the first time in 2009 on Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. at Robertson Stadium in Houston.
The new rules do not include the away goals tiebreaker that was used last year, as the teams now play an unequal number of home and away games in regular season play. Instead, if the teams tie the season series in head-to-head record and goal differential, the results of other competitions, such as the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, will determine the winner. Should the teams not meet in other competitions, the previous winner will retain the trophy.
"We felt that with the teams not playing the same number of home games in MLS play, it was impractical to use away goals to break a potential tie," Dynamo Vice President Rocky Harris said. "Both organizations were able to agree that on-field results in all competitions should be prioritized, so we plan to operate that way going forward."
Beginning this year, criteria for determining the winner of the El Capitán series will be as follows:
1. Head-to-head regular season series (W-L-T)
2. Head-to-head goal differential in regular season series
3. Result of playoff series (if applicable)
4. Result of CONCACAF Champions League series (if applicable)
5. Result of SuperLiga playoff match (if applicable)
6. Result of SuperLiga group match (if applicable)
7. Result of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match (if applicable)
8. Holder retains trophy
The teams will meet three times during the MLS regular season in 2009. The first is this Saturday, May 9, at Robertson Stadium. The second meeting will come on Saturday, June 13, at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. The final meeting is on Thursday, August 6, also at Pizza Hut Park.
El Capitán is a replica of an 18th-century mountain howitzer cannon and weighs nearly 600 pounds. The trophy's official name was chosen by fans of both teams through an online poll in the first year of the Texas rivalry.
ABOUT THE HOUSTON DYNAMO The Houston Dynamo are a Major League Soccer franchise that has won two MLS Cup championships in its first three seasons and represented the United States in three consecutive regional championships. The Dynamo return home on Saturday, May 9, for an 8:00 p.m. game against rival FC Dallas at Robertson Stadium, and fans will be treated to post-game fireworks. Be sure to ask about the new Texas Children's Health Plan Family Section. For more information, please log on to www.HoustonDynamo.com or call (713) 276-7500.