ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 7, 2022) - On Wednesday night, Orlando City SC lifted its first trophy since its Major League Soccer tenure began, winning the 107th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in front of a sold out crowd at Exploria Stadium. The Lions defeated USL Championship side Sacramento Republic FC by a score of 3-0, finishing a top a field of 103 teams to win $300,000 in prize money and punch their ticket to the Club’s first-ever Concacaf Champions League.
City was led by a brace from Facundo Torres, who finished the side’s tournament as its leading goal-scorer with four finishes. Torres found the back of the net in the 75th and 80th minutes, respectively, with Homegrown forward Benji Michel sealing the victory in the sixth minute of stoppage time with his second finish of the competition. Michel and Torres each recorded an assist in the match as well, providing the helper for each’s first goal of the evening.
Capping off a run of six-consecutive Open Cup matches at Exploria Stadium, the Lions made history as the first side to host that many matches en route to an Open Cup title, with Wednesday’s crowd serving as their largest of the tournament with a capacity crowd of 25,527.
Fans are encouraged to celebrate with the team on Thursday, Sept. 8, with Orlando City set to take its celebrations to the steps of City Hall in downtown Orlando. The event is set to begin at 12 p.m. ET.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“Cheers after the Final. It makes it difficult to analyze the game. I think it is important to recognize that Orlando has won the first title here and we are proud of the community and the Club and the players. To have this opportunity to lift this trophy means a lot against a really tough rival. [It was] a very competitive match. In the first 50 and 60 minutes it looked like a really tough Final. After that, we could open the score as we gained more confidence against the block that they had in the back. We are proud. Congratulations to all involved in this trophy. We are very grateful for tonight. Just have to continue and just give a lot of joy to the community.”
75’ Facundo Torres (Benji Michel) - ORL 1, SAC 0
The Lions took the lead with Benji Michel pressuring the Sacramento defense, forcing a back pass with Iván Angulo continuing the pressure before eventually forcing a giveaway by the visitors. Angulo found Michel yet again, who layed it off at the edge of the area to a running Facundo Torres. The Lions’ 22-year-old forward rifled off a left-footed shot first time, sending the ball into the top left corner for the lead.
80’ Facundo Torres (Penalty Kick) - ORL 2, SAC 0
The Lions doubled their lead with Facundo Torres scoring his second of the game from the penalty spot. The referee pointed to the spot after Benji Michel forced a foul by the visitors, and Torres stepped up and calmly slotted the ball in the right side of the net, sending Republic goalkeeper Danny Vitiello the wrong way.
90+6’ Benji Michel (Facundo Torres) - ORL 3, SAC 0
Orlando sealed the deal with Homegrown forward Benji Michel collecting a pass from Facundo Torres, splitting two Sacramento defenders with his run. Michel took a touch and slid the ball to the back post and into the back of the net to add the insurance for the side.
- Orlando City won its first trophy of the MLS era and punched its ticket to its first Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League appearance.
- Orlando City won its fifth game across all competitions, dating back to a 1-0 victory on Aug. 13 against the New York Red Bulls.
- Facundo Torres’ strikes counted as his ninth and tenth of the season across all competitions, and his third and fourth in the Open Cup to lead the side.
- Benji Michel picked up his fourth assist across all competitions during the 2022 campaign and his third in the Open Cup to extend his team-high.
- Torres added an assist on the evening, now with 11 in all competitions to lead the side.
- The side recorded its first clean sheet of the tournament, with goalkeeper Pedro Gallese making two saves to preserve the shutout.
- The Final took place in front of a sellout crowd at Exploria Stadium of 25,527 fans.
- The match served as the first U.S. Open Cup Final played by the Lions in Club history and their first match for a trophy in front of their fans at Exploria.
- The win saw the Lions finish undefeated at home throughout the Open Cup run, playing all matches from the confines of Exploria Stadium and become the first team in the modern era to host and win all six games of the Cup.
- The Club won its first Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup exactly nine years after its last trophy, when the Lions lifted the USL Cup in a 7-4 victory over the Charlotte Eagles on September 7, 2013.
- Head Coach Oscar Pareja coached his 100th match in all competitions at the helm for the Lions on the night.
- Pareja became the second coach in the modern era to win a U.S. Open Cup championship with two different teams - tying the late-Sigi Schmid - after winning in 2016 with FC Dallas.
- Pareja made two changes from last week’s comeback victory against the Seattle Sounders, with Facundo Torres and Ercan Kara each reentering the fold.
Next Match: The Lions face a quick turnaround, returning to MLS action on Saturday, Sept. 10, traveling to take on the Philadelphia Union in a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff at Subaru Park.