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‘After letting nine in, I had to do something, right?’ | DCFC’s Carlos Saldaña talks Open Cup heroics

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 05/10/24, 5:00PM EDT

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Le Rouge goalkeeper joined CBS Sports Golazo’s Morning Footy to talk penalty shootouts, Detroit-style pizza, and more

So, how was Detroit City FC goalkeeper Carlos Saldaña feeling when he stood over a chance to send his side into the Round of 16 of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night?

“After not saving any really – yeah, I got one, got my hand to another, had to save that fifth one, which was huge – but I feel like after letting nine in I had to do something right?” Saldaña told the crew on CBS Sports Golazo Network’s Morning Footy on Friday of his finish that saw Le Rouge upset defending Open Cup title holder Houston Dynamo FC at Shell Energy Stadium after an 11-round penalty shootout.

Making just his second appearance for DCFC after his offseason arrival, the 29-year-old was one of the heroes in one of the memorable contests of the Round of 32 in the past week. He put up four saves in regulation and extra time before keeping Detroit in the shootout with a save on Houston’s Ibrahim Aliyu in the fifth round, and then won the shootout in the 11th round after Dynamo counterpart Andrew Tarbell missed with the shot prior.

The win maintained DCFC’s strong start to the season, which Le Rouge will aim to continue on Saturday evening on CBS Sports Network when they play host to Phoenix Rising FC at Keyworth Stadium at 5 p.m. ET.

For Saldaña, the success the side has achieved is down to not only the quality the side has on the field, but the camaraderie in the locker room.

“This is my first year here, and I could just see the seriousness with how they want to work, how they want to do things,” said Saldaña. “The people they brought into the staff, they brought in that culture and that mentality that we want to transmit to the fans, but also that our coaching staff is transmitting to us.

“Honestly, on a day-in and day-out, we’ve just been working, really focused, enjoying it as well, but honestly just creating that brotherhood and getting that real connection. You can see it on the field. When the going got tough, we were able to really grind it out, stay focused, help each other on and get a result out of it at the end of the day.”

Learn more about Saldaña’s pathway into the professional game, embracing the city of Detroit, which Detroit-style pizza he’s been able to check out, and much more in the full interview.

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