Wilmer Cabrera: 'We're still humble, we know our limitations'

Slumping in MLS's Western Conference and coming off a 1-0 home loss to Sporting Kansas City in which three players and head coach Wilmer Cabrera were ejected, the Houston Dynamo could have folded in the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night.

It blew a 3-1 lead against LAFC and conceded the tying goal by young Uruguayan Diego Rossi -- his third goal of the game -- in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

But the Dynamo hung on and won in a shootout, 7-6, after a 3-3 draw to advance to the Open Cup final for the first time.

Andrew Wenger, Mauro Manotas and academy product Memo Rodriguez scored to stake the Dynamo a 3-1 lead after 75 minutes, but Rossi became the first player in the MLS era to record a hat trick in the semifinals or final with two late goals.

The hero for Houston was keeper Joe Willis, who stopped LAFC captain Laurent Ciman in the fifth round of the shootout with a chance to end the game and Latif Blessing in the eighth round.

Instability on the backline has been a problem for the Houston defense all season, and the Dynamo has slumped in MLS play, going 2-6-3 in its last 11 games after starting out 5-3-3 over the first 11.

Given what his players have been through, Cabrera said the shootout win on Wednesday was well-deserved.

"I’m proud of them because we’ve been suffering a while," he said. "It’s been difficult, but they haven’t given up, and that’s the most important thing. We’re still humble. We know our limitations, but we continue working hard to try to achieve our goals, and it wasn’t easy. Today, we faced a very tough opponent, and even though we were ahead, they came back and tied the game. The key was that we never gave up, and the guys tried, and the guys pushed against a very tough opponent."

Aug. 8 in Houston
Houston Dynamo 3 LAFC 3 (LAFC wins 6-5 on penalties). Goals: Wenger 12, Manotas 25, Rodriguez 75; Rossi 6, 78, 90+5.
Houston -- Willis; Wenger, Machado, Senderos, Lundkvist (K.Garcia 88); Bo.Garcia, Martinez, Ceren; Elis, Manotas (Gil 84), Quioto (Rodriguez 72)
LAFC -- Miller; Harvey, Ciman, Zimmerman (Jakovic 58), Beitashour; Feilhaber (Horta 53), Nguyen (Kovar 70); Rossi, Vela, Blessing; Atuesta.
Att.: 7,581.
2 comments about "Wilmer Cabrera: 'We're still humble, we know our limitations'".
  1. humble 1, August 9, 2018 at 8:12 p.m.

    watched the last 35 min and all OT and penales - more eratic ref’ing - wheels almost came off again - but - Willis saves the day.  

  2. Right Winger, August 9, 2018 at 8:16 p.m.

    Officiating in the MLS is questionable at best.  The Dynamo KC game was a joke as it pertains to the officiating.

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