It’s finally here – Orlando City (12-10-6, 42 pts.) faces Sacramento Republic FC (12-8-7, 43 pts. USL Championship) in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final this Wednesday night, with a chance to lift the Club’s first trophy in its MLS era on the line. The sold-out match is set to kick off at 8 p.m. ET and will be televised nationally on ESPN+. Local radio coverage will be available from 7:30 p.m. ET on Real Radio 104.1 in English and Acción 97.9 FM in Spanish.
Here’s everything you need to know about Sacramento:
Key Additions - M Rodrigo López (RGV FC Toros), GK Danny Vitiello (Pittsburgh Riverhounds), CB Conor Donovan (OKC Energy FC), DM Matt LaGrassa (Nashville SC), CF Douglas Martínez (Real Salt Lake), CB Lee Desmond (St. Pat’s)
Key Departures - CB Hayden Sargis (D.C. United), GK Tomás Gómez (Real Salt Lake), CM Petteri Pannanen (Ilves), LW Kharlton Belmar (Colorado Springs Switchbacks), CB Mitchell Taintor (San Antonio FC)
Take a look at Sacramento’s full roster here.
Sacramento plays in the second-division USL Championship, the current version of Orlando City’s original league. Republic FC is the first lower-league side to reach the U.S. Open Cup Final since the 2008 Charleston Battery and is looking to be the first to win it since the 1999 Rochester Raging Rhinos. Sacramento has beaten three MLS teams on its way to the Final, including the San Jose Earthquakes, the LA Galaxy, and Sporting Kansas City.
Republic FC has had an up-and-down season in USL Championship, though it has improved considerably on last year’s team that missed the postseason. Sacramento is in fourth place in the USL Championship Western Conference, but has lost three of its past five games. A heavily rotated side fell 3-1 to Louisville City on Saturday night in the team’s last match.
Orlando City and Sacramento Republic have faced off once before, during the two sides’ one season together in what was then called USL Pro. The two played to a 0-0 draw at Bonney Field in Sacramento on July 17, 2014, ending an eight-game winning streak for Orlando. The Lions finished top of the table and won the USL Commissioner’s Cup, but Sacramento would go on to win the USL Pro Championship after Orlando was upset early in the postseason.
Rasmussen University Fact
Republic FC features two former Orlando City players on its roster. Sacramento captain Rodrigo López played for the Lions in USL Pro in 2012, while center back Conor Donovan was taken in the first round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and spent three years in Orlando’s system, appearing once in MLS in August 2015 before tearing his ACL in his debut match.