U.S. Open Cup Round of 32: Orlando City SC at Charlotte FC
When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Where: Mecklenburg County Sportsplex at Matthews, Matthews, N.C.
Coming off a tough loss to CF Montreal, Orlando City opens U.S. Open Cup play in the Round of 32 on Tuesday looking to defend its 2022 title against Charlotte FC. Here are five storylines to watch in the Queen City:
Midfielder César Araújo notched his 50th appearance in all competitions as a Lion earning the start against CF Montréal in City’s last match.
Araújo originally joined the Club in 2022 from Montevideo Wanderers of Uruguay’s Liga Profesional de Primera División as part of Major League Soccer’s U22 Initiative on a three-year contract with a Club option in 2025. Also earning the start in the match was forward Ercan Kara, who played in his 40th match for Orlando City across all competitions.
Defending the Crown
The Lions begin their 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup run as reigning champions after winning the 2022 edition of the competition. City took down USL Championship side Sacramento Republic FC 3-0 in the final to claim the Club’s first trophy in its MLS era. Last week, to commemorate the victory, Orlando City players and staff all received 2022 U.S. Open Cup championship rings to forever cement their legacy with the Club.
Orlando City also announced the 2022 U.S. Open Cup documentary ‘For Our City’, which will take fans behind-the-scenes in the days leading up to the Final. The documentary is available to be watched at OrlandoCitySC.com.
City will open its 2023 U.S. Open Cup run on the road, traveling to Mecklenburg County Sportsplex at Matthews to battle against North Carolina-based side Charlotte FC. In last year’s title run, the Lions played all six of their 2022 Open Cup matches in the friendly confines of Exploria Stadium.
This will serve as the first road game City has played in the U.S. Open Cup since June 12, 2019, when it faced USL Championship side Memphis 901 FC at Mike Rose Soccer Complex. City won the match 3-1 to advance in the tournament.
We Love an Open Cup
Last year’s Open Cup run saw a multitude of Lions step up in big moments and put together some much-needed performances. Lions designated player Facundo Torres scored four goals and recorded two assists through the six games in last year’s tournament, including a brace in the Final. His four goals tied for the most goals scored by a Lion in the Open Cup alongside former City forward Carlos Rivas, who scored four goals in four Open Cup appearances. Overall, the Lions had nine different goal scorers in the 2022 U.S. Open Cup.
- Midfielder Mauricio Pereyra is two starts away from 100 in all competitions.
- Kyle Smith is one start away from 75 starts across all competitions.
- Robin Jansson’s next start will be his 125th in his Orlando City career, extending his Club record.
- Head Coach Oscar Pareja is two wins away from 50 wins across all competitions at the helm of the Lions.
Orlando City returns home to Exploria Stadium on Wednesday, May 17 to battle NYCFC. Click here to get your tickets now!