Back to the Cup
The Lions return to action in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night, hosting the New York Red Bulls in the Semifinal round of the nation’s oldest cup competition. The 2022 edition of the tournament marks the second-consecutive time that City has reached the last four of the competition, doing so in the last edition in 2019, with the side looking for their first berth in the Open Cup Final in Club history.
What’s at Stake
Fighting for a spot in the U.S. Open Cup Final on Wednesday evening, the Lions remain on the hunt for their first trophy in the MLS era with a number of other incentives on the line. The 2022 U.S. Open Cup winner will earn $300,000 in prize money, a berth in the 2023 Concacaf Champions League and have its name engraved on the Dewar Challenge Trophy – one of the oldest nationally-contested trophies in American team sports. The runner-up of the tournament will earn $100,000 in prize money.
This past weekend saw Orlando City defender Robin Jansson make Club history, becoming the first player to surpass 10,000 minutes as a Lion. Saturday was Jansson’s 113th all-time appearance for the Lions, which is second all-time in the Club’s MLS era. The last time the Swedish international was subbed out of a game was August 6, 2020, in a match against Minnesota United as part of the MLS is Back Tournament.
In the Attack
Six different players have found the back of the net for the Lions on their current U.S. Open Cup run, with Alexandre Pato, Júnior Urso, Ercan Kara, Andrés Perea, Facundo Torres and Rodrigo Schlegel all finding themselves on the scoresheet through four fixtures in the competition in 2022. Each of those have tallied once, all of which have served as their respective first goals in Open Cup play.
Inside the Fortress
The Lions have had the privilege of playing all their 2022 Open Cup matches in The City Beautiful, hosting from the Third Round onward beginning with the revival of the I-4 Derby against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on April 20. Should the Lions advance to the final, they will host once more in what would mark the first tournament final hosted at Exploria Stadium.
City’s Quarterfinal fixture with Nashville SC saw the side forced into a penalty-kick shootout for the second-consecutive round of the tournament, where they maintained their perfect form when forced into penalty kicks in the MLS era. The Lions are 7-0 in penalty shootouts since joining Major League Soccer in 2015, five of those victories coming in Open Cup play.