This Sunday, FC Dallas return to Toyota Stadium after a week-long road trip to face off their rivals from the south, the Houston Dynamo. Both clubs compete in a contested derby known as The Battle for El Capitan, in which the winner receives an actual cannon named El Capitan.
There have been some insane Texas Derbies since the rivalry began in 2006, and the list compiled here contain some of the greatest moments in the derby.
Best Goal in the History of the Derby?
David Texeira was never known to be the best striker that the club ever signed, and he struggled from game to game in trying to find consistency, scoring 10 goals in over 40 games. But on October 5th, 2015, he put on a spectacle in one of the most important matches in that season and arguably scored the best goal in the history of The Battle for El Capitan.
In the 51st minute, Texeira scored a banger from around 35 yards out, beating Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric as it rebounded off the crossbar and into the net. It was also a Man of the match performance by Texeira, as he scored another later on in the match, leaving the score 4-1. This was important for that year’s playoff push, but it also ended up in a sweep of all three derby matches that season to win El Capitan
Clark vs. Ruiz
The match wasn’t really noteworthy (we lost 3-0 at home), but this event was the first to brew a true sense of hatred between the two sides.
The match was drawing to a close when FC Dallas one a freekick. As the free-kick was taken, Houston midfielder Ricardo Clark and Dallas forward Carlos Ruiz went to the ball. After colliding with each other and landing on the ground, Clark stood up and gave Ruiz a kick in the stomach, with the ball already out of play.
It was one of the few times in MLS history, maybe even the only time, when another player kicked another player with a force that would warrant an arrest in real life. Clark got a ban for 9 games after being red-carded in this match, and he forever etched his name into one of the many reasons FC Dallas fans despise the Dynamo.
Largest Victories in HousTANK
Two years in a row, FC Dallas went to BBVA Compass Stadium and got 4-1 victories. Both included spectacular performances from the attack, in the quick counterattacking style that Coach Oscar Pareja was known for. Bith performances were so satisfying, as we buried the Dynamo on their own turf.
Cooper returned to Dallas after leaving to Europe in 2009, and in the first two matches of the season, he hadn’t scored. The 3rd game of the season was the Texas Derby, and after taking the lead in the first half with two goals, FC Dallas lost that lead by the 82nd when Houston scored two quick goals. In the last minute though, Cooper won an areal duel with Houston defender Jermaine Taylor and he scored it past the goalkeeper to give FC Dallas the victory. His goal and celebration became iconic moments in FC Dallas history and cemented Kenny’s position as a legend for the club.
This installment of the derby comes at a crucial time for both teams, as they are both on the outside of the playoffs looking in. This game could push one team into contention and the other out of contention. Also, this game will decide this years’ installment of the Battle of El Capitan, as the first match was a 2-1 victory for the Dynamo, which further amplifies the importance of this match.
Will this win push the club into the playoffs? Catch the most important match of the season on Sunday this weekend.
Featured Image: MLSsoccer.com