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U.S. OPEN CUP Detroit City FC goes to shootout to upend MLS’ Houston Dynamo


Communications Specialist | Web And Content Editor | Director of News |

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HOUSTON, Texas – Detroit City FC pulled ranked on the Houston Dynamo Tuesday night, and it was the Le Rouge’s backup goalkeeper that delivered the knockout blow.

In rare fashion, USL Championship’s Detroit City FC knocked off Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo 4-3 at Shell Energy Stadium with an 11-round penalty kick shootout to decide the winner in the Round of 32 of the 108th Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Carlos Saldana, normally the backup goalkeeper, got the start Tuesday and converted his penalty kick in the 11th round to send the Le Rouge into the Round of 16 of the century-plus-old tournament that features teams from different levels of the U. S. Soccer pyramid. Detroit City FC prevailed in the shootout, 10-9, for its second-ever victory over an MLS side in front of a crowd of 7,549.

Saldana previously watched a penalty kick from Houston counterpart Andrew Tarbell sail wide of the goal, setting the stage for Saldana’s heroic moment. He stepped up and delivered to help his team record the tie-breaker and prevail in the marathon match.

The game was tied 3-3 after 90 minutes of regulation, while neither side scored in the two 15-minute overtime periods. Both teams converted four of their five penalties in the shootout, setting the stage for sudden death kicks.

Detroit City FC (7-1-1) held a 6-5 edge in that nail-biting stage to send the visitors into mass celebration. It marked the second time in three years that the Le Rouge netted an upset win over an MLS side, the last coming on April 19, 2022, in a 2-1, third-round victory over the Columbus Crew in a game played in Hamtramck, Mich., on DCFC’s home field.

Detroit City FC will play in the Round of 16 on either May 21 or May 22 against the winner of the Indy Eleven and San Antonio FC match later this week.

Houston (4-5-2) took a 2-0 lead in the first half, courtesy of goals from Griffin Dorsey (sixth minute) and Latif Blessing (31st minute).

Ryan Williams cut into the deficit in the 39th minute and Yazeed Matthews knotted the score at 2-2 in the 75th minute for DCFC.

Houston struck back for a 3-2 advantage in the 77th minute on a goal from Adalberto Coco Carraquilla only to see Detroit City FC storm back to tie the game a second time on a 83rd minute tally by Maxi Rodirguez

Detroit City FC’s leading goal scorer this season, Rodriguez scored both goals during his team’s 2-1 win over the Columbus Crew two years ago. Rodriguez also tallied in his team’s 1-0 victory last month over the NISA’s Michigan Stars in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup.

With the win, Detroit City FC becomes Michigan’s first team to reach the Round of 16 in 12 years after the Michigan Bucks (now Flint City Bucks) advanced that deep back in 2012. The USL League Two Bucks have been to that stage twice in its history.



(Have a story suggestion for the Premier Media Group and the Michigan Soccer Network regarding club soccer, high school varsity, amateur soccer, collegiate soccer or professional soccer of teams or players with Michigan ties, contact Communications Specialist/Web and Content Editor/Director of News Dan Stickradt via email at, or call 248-884-1051. Dan Stickradt is a 31-year veteran of the Michigan Media circles and recently joined the staff full time in March of 2024. Want to schedule a broadcast game or live show, contact PMG/MSN Director of Broadcasting Jonathan Turner for availability and pricing at 


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