Storylines | Open Cup Round of 16

Storylines | Open Cup Round of 16

Home Sweet Home

Orlando City will host a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match for the first time since 2017, when it hosted Miami FC in the Fourth Round. The Club traveled to Miami United FC, D.C. United and Philadelphia Union in the 2018 edition of the tournament and to Memphis 901 FC in the Fourth Round of this year’s version of the nation’s oldest cup competition. 

New Name, Same Palace

Wednesday’s Round of 16 match against New England will mark the inaugural contest at the newly named Exploria Stadium. Formerly Orlando City Stadium, the Club partnered with Exploria Resorts, a Clermont, Fla. based organization, to become its first-ever naming rights partner for the 25,500-seat soccer-specific stadium.

Defending the Fortress

While Wednesday’s match will be the first meeting between City and New England in the U.S. Open Cup, it will be their 10th encounter all-time. The Lions stand undefeated to the Revolution in Orlando with a home record of 2-0-3. This stretch of unbeaten matches is highlighted by a 6-1 victory over the Revs in 2017, that still stands as the most goals scored by the Lions in a single match across all competitions. 

For Club & Country

The Lions will be without four players for Wednesday’s match who are currently on international duty with their respective national teams for the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup in Danilo Acosta (Honduras), Will Johnson (Canada), Kamal Miller (Canada) and Greg Ranjitsingh (Trinidad and Tobago). Early on in the tournament, Johnson and Miller’s Canadian squad won their first match 4-0 over Martinique, while Honduras takes on Jamaica on Monday and Ranjitsingh’s Trinidad and Tobago square off against Panama on Tuesday. 

Quest for the Cup - MLS Edition

Orlando City’s Round of 16 matchup could feature Kyle Smith’s first appearance in the U.S. Open Cup as an MLS player. Smith appeared in the 2018 edition of the tournament with Louisville City FC of the USL Championship League. Smith scored one goal for Lou City to help lead the club to the Open Cup Quarterfinals for the first time in its history. He has played in nine games for Orlando City this year, with three starts. 

Lots of Firsts

Sacha Kljestan’s two goals in the Lions’ 3-1 victory over Memphis 901 FC on Wednesday served as his first brace for the Club across all competitions, as well as his first two goals in Open Cup play for City. Defender Robin Jansson secured the victory in the 71st minute with his first goal as a Lion, getting his foot on the end of a scramble in the box for City’s third goal of the evening. Midfielder Cristian Higuita also recorded a goal contribution on the night, registering his first assist of 2019 on Kljestan’s second finish of the game.