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FC Dallas vs Houston Dynamo: USOC Preview

The Texas Derby comes to the US Open Cup for the forth round of the 2013 tournament.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The fourth round of the 2013 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup kicks off tonight as FC Dallas hosts in-state rivals the Houston Dynamo.

Both teams were off last weekend in league play last weekend and only Dallas will have a game this weekend as the Dynamo's next match is next Wednesday in Montreal.

Recapping the last round

The Dynamo advanced to the fourth round by beating PDL side FC Tuscon 2-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium. Alex Dixon scored the game's first goal in the 26th minute for a mostly reserve Dynamo side while Giles Barnes put the game beyond reach in the 85th minute with a free kick goal.

Dallas was on the road for their third round match against NASL side Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Goals scored in the second half by Blas Perez and Matt Hedges helped moved Dallas into the next round.

Derby history in the Cup

This will be the second time Houston and FC Dallas have met in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, with the Dynamo coming out victorious in the only other meeting way back in 2006, Houston's inaugural season.

Quick Scouting of Houston

In league play, the Dynamo are in a bit of a rut, winless in their last four matches. The last win was a 4-0 beating of D.C. United back at the beginning of May. The form has dipped a little for Dominic Kinnear's squad as they dropped two games in a row at home for the first time ever at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Houston will be without some of their key offensive players in the midfield for this one. Brad Davis is out with the United States men's national team for World Cup qualifying at the moment and Honduran playmaker Oscar Boniek Garcia is also out as well.

The Dynamo do attack well from all sides of the pitch as well as present a physical challenge in the middle of the park with guys like Adam Moffatt and Ricardo Clark.

Keys to advancing on

No word yet on what kind of lineup Kinnear will throw out tonight. Some players are getting healthy still and while the week off certainly helped them out, it remains to be seen how important this tournament is to this club. We know Dallas is expected to take it pretty serious tonight with a fairly first choice lineup.

As long as Dallas does what they did for the first 70 minutes against the Dynamo in their meeting back in Week 3, they'll be able to win this one pretty handily. Pressuring from the wings and adding some smart runs up front by Kenny Cooper or Eric Hassli are key. Also, winning some set pieces in the right areas will go along way with Michel.

Defensively, Dallas needs to remain smart and not allow Houston to dictate the physical nature of this game. Being that it is a rivalry game, things could get out of hand if players aren't careful (looking at you Jair Benitez and Jackson).

Check back later today for the Match Thread of this game. You can also watch the live stream here. Our old pal Daniel Robertson will be on the call for that one!!