The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup rolls into the Quarterfinal phase, as Orlando City SC comes to Talen Energy Stadium to face the Philadelphia Union.
US Open Cup History:
The Union obviously have more experience in this competition with 17 wins and 8 losses. Two of those losses were in back to back trips to the final (’14, ’15), as opposed to the Lions 5 wins, and their third trip to the quarters in their fourth season in MLS.
The two teams have never met in a USOC match.
To get here the Union beat another Eastern Conference rival New York Red Bulls in a thrilling 2-1 decision. Orlando beat DC United on penalty kicks.
The winner faces the winner of Chicago Fire vs United Soccer League (USL) club Louisville City the reigning USL Champion.
Philly Vs. Orlando:
All time, the teams are knotted at 3-3-1, with the last match a 2-0 Orlando win at Talen back on 4/13.
Orlando City SC Observations:
One of the interesting story lines is that the Purple Lions will be playing their first Open Cup game under coach James O’Connor, who just joined the team a few weeks ago, coming from the aforementioned Louisville club. These are not easy decisions to make on who will start, and how much you invest in a mid-week non-league match.
The Union under Head Coach Jim Curtin have never held back in Open Cup matches. They have been very good at home, 11-2, and 13-4 overall, under Curtin.
Knowing how this club handles these matches, combined with Orlando’s coach’s inexperience along with the momentum the U should take from their last match, the heart-stopping 4-3 win at Chicago, I am sticking with the Union 2-Nil.
I leave you with one of the Union’s typically fun hype videos: #WeWantTheCup!