A Day of Firsts
Tuesday’s match will serve as Orlando City’s first appearance in the Semifinal of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in Club history. The Lions’ previous best finish came in the Quarterfinal round in 2012 as a USL Pro franchise and in both 2015 and 2018 in the MLS era. Atlanta United will be making its first appearance in the Semifinals as well, with its best finish coming in the Round of 16 prior to its current run. Tuesday will also serve as the first matchup in U.S. Open Cup play between the Lions and the Five Stripes.
Keep ‘Em Coming
In the Lions’ Quarterfinal match against NYCFC, Chris Mueller registered his first-career goal in Open Cup play. With the finish, Mueller became the fifth different Lion to find the back of the net in their current Open Cup campaign. Sacha Kljestan leads the way with two finishes, having recorded a brace in the Fourth Round against Memphis 901 FC. Following him is Mueller, Tesho Akindele, Robin Jansson and Benji Michel each with one apiece.
Man of the Hour
Goalkeeper Adam Grinwis served as the hero for the Lions in the Quarterfinal round of their 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup campaign, recording two saves in the penalty shootout, including a diving save to deny NYCFC’s Maxime Chanot in the sixth round to send the Lions through to the Semifinal. Grinwis has started all three of the Lions’ Open Cup matches throughout their current run, registering eight saves total in that span.
Enter With Confidence
In each of the Lions’ last three Open Cup matches this season, they have entered following a win or draw in their previous match. Tuesday will be no different, as City earned a 2-0 victory on Saturday against FC Dallas in league action. Tesho Akindele opened the scoring in the 13th minute against his former Club, while Carlos Ascues added an insurance goal in the second minute of stoppage time for his first-career MLS finish.
Against the Five Stripes…
The Lions have faced off just once this season against their MLS rivals, falling 1-0 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on May 12 in league play. The two will square off later this month once more at Exploria Stadium in an MLS matchup on Friday, August 23. That match will be nationally televised on ESPN as a part of Major League Soccer’s Heineken Rivalry Week.