Orlando City will face either the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL or the Charleston Battery of the USL in Round 4 of the 2015 U.S. Open Cup.
The fourth-round drawing took place tonight, streamed live by 120 Sports, announcing the pairings. The Lions will either host Fort Lauderdale or travel to Charleston, depending on who wins their match on May 27 - a game that will be streamed live on YouTube. The fourth-round match will take place June 17, regardless of which opponent and location the Lions get.
The 102nd edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is an FA Cup-style knock-out tournament consisting of professional and amateur teams from the United States. City has participated since joining the USL in 2011, compiling a 7-4 record and reaching at least the third round each year. In 2013, the Lions reached Round 5 before bowing out to the Chicago Fire. In 2012 Orlando fell 3-2 in Round 3 against eventual Cup winners Sporting KC.
The U.S. Open Cup has been around since 1913-14, when it was known as the National Challenge Cup. Seattle Sounders FC are the defending champions and have won the competition four times. The winner of the tournament automatically qualifies for the CONCACAF Champions League.
So what about these potential opponents?
Fort Lauderdale currently sits seventh in the 11-team NASL table, on seven points, with two wins, a draw and three losses after six matches. The Strikers have scored seven goals and also allowed seven in their six outings. The club is tied with the Carolina RailHawks on points but holds a game in hand, and is eight points behind the first-place New York Cosmos.
Charleston is a club that's familiar to long-time Orlando City fans. The Battery are second in the USL's Eastern Conference, with 18 points from five wins, three draws and a loss. They sit three points behind the first-place Rochester Rhinos after each has played nine games. Charleston has outscored its opponents 17-11 on the season.
Orlando City drew 1-1 after less than half an hour of a weather-shortened preseason match against the Battery in the Carolina Challenge Cup back in February. The Battery's only 2015 loss to date came on the road against FC Montreal, 1-0, on May 14.
Regardless of who wins between Fort Lauderdale and Charleston, it should be a fun match-up for Orlando City fans in Round 4. Let's hope it's a home match.
In addition, Orlando City's USL affiliate, Louisville City FC, will travel to play Chicago Fire on June 16 at 7:30 p.m. if they can get past Indy 11 in Round 3 next week.
Previous U.S. Open Cup Results
Orlando City 4-1 Ocala Stampede (PDL) in Rd 2
Orlando City 4-1 Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) in Rd 3
Orlando City 2-5 Colorado Rapids (MLS) in Rd 4
Orlando City 2-1 Ocala Stampede (PDL) in Rd 2
Orlando City 3-1 Colorado Rapids (MLS) in Rd 3
Orlando City 1-0 Sporting KC (MLS) in Rd 4
Orlando City 1-5 Chicago Fire (MLS) in Rd 5
Orlando City 7-0 KC Athletics (USASA) in Rd 2
Orlando City 2-3 Sporting KC (MLS) in Rd 3 - eventual winners
Orlando City 1-0 Charleston Battery (USL) in Rd 2
Orlando City 2-3 FC Dallas (MLS) in Rd 3