MATCHPREVIEW

ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 6, 2022) - Orlando City SC is set to take part in its first-ever U.S. Open Cup Final on Wednesday, Sept. 7, hosting USL Championship side Sacramento Republic FC in front of a sold-out crowd at Exploria Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET with fans able to tune in on ESPN+.

The match will also be transmitted on Real Radio 104.1 in English and Acción 97.9 in Spanish.

The Lions will look for their first trophy since its MLS era began in 2015, set to play for hardware in front of their home crowd for the first time. Wednesday night will mark the second time the side has competed for a trophy, making a run to the final of the MLS is Back Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports in 2020.

Through five U.S. Open Cup matches, City has taken victories over a pair of intrastate foes in the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USL Championship along with fellow Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami CF. In addition, the Lions have defeated the Philadelphia Union, Nashville SC and most recently the New York Red Bulls to earn the right to compete in the Final of the nation’s oldest cup competition.

City took a 5-1 victory over the Red Bulls in the Semifinal round led by a brace from César Araújo in what served as his first professional goals of his young career. Mauricio Pereyra, Facundo Torres and Benji Michel all added to the Lions’ account as well to punch their ticket to the Final.

Araújo and Torres sit tied for the team lead with a pair of finishes in Open Cup play, while seven other members of the side have found the back of the net once. Michel leads the Lions in assists throughout this stretch with two to his credit.

The Lions come into the match riding a four-game win streak in Major League Soccer, most recently overcoming a two-goal deficit to defeat the Seattle Sounders 3-2 this past Wednesday at Exploria Stadium. The contest was decided in the 91st minute thanks to a strike from Kyle Smith, marking the second-consecutive stoppage time game-winner for the Lions. Torres and Ercan Kara accounted for the side’s other two goals on the night.

Sacramento enters the midweek looking to become the second non-MLS team to lift the U.S. Open Cup title in the league’s lifetime, last done by the Rochester Ragin’ Rhinos in 1999. The Republic’s 2022 run has seen them defeat three MLS sides en route to Wednesday’s matchup in the San Jose Earthquakes, LA Galaxy and most recently Sporting Kansas City in the Semifinal round. After a scoreless regulation, the Republic defeated Sporting in penalty kicks 5-4 to punch their ticket to the Final of the 107th edition of the U.S. Open Cup.

Following Wednesday’s match, the Lions quickly turn back to league play, traveling to take on the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, Sept. 10 in a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff at Subaru Park.