Welcome to your match thread for tonight’s U.S. Open Cup fourth-round meeting between Orlando City and Jacksonville Armada FC of the North American Soccer League (NASL). The Armada had a rough spring in the NASL, earning just seven points from 10 matches and finishing 1-5-4 to tie Miami FC at the bottom of the table. Jacksonville’s -6 goal differential was two better than their South Florida counterparts, to give them 10th spot of the 11 teams.
"[Jacksonville] have had a difficult start of spring season, but the one thing is, if you look at most of the games, they’ve been in most of them," Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath said in a club press release. "We watched them over the weekend and they have pace in the right areas, they’ve got strength and a lot of players that we know. We were Jacksonville a year or so ago [not playing in MLS] and we did really well in the Open Cup because, invariably, the MLS clubs don’t [traditionally] treat it with enough respect and don’t treat the game serious enough, and if we do that tomorrow night, we will be in trouble, but that’s my job and my staff’s job, to make sure that we are prepared for the game."
While this will be the Lions’ first foray into the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2016, the Armada entered the competition in the third round and reached this point by defeating the Charleston Battery, 2-1 in extra time, on June 1. Patrick Otte scored in the 17th minute and Alhassane Keita added the game winner in the 108th minute.
The teams have met just once before, with Jacksonville winning 2-1 in a preseason friendly on Feb. 13 at Community First Park. Kaká, who is unlikely to appear in the 18 tonight, struck first in that match for Orlando with a free kick goal, but former Lion Mechack Jérôme and Keita scored in the second half to give the hosts the victory.
Orlando City has been off for 17 days since its last outing at New York City FC on May 29, but expect multiple players who featured for Orlando City B since that time to take the field tonight. You may see reserves like Conor Donovan, Harrison Heath and Hadji Barry in the starting XI beside key backups like Luke Boden and Antonio Nocerino tonight. I’m not going to guess too much at the lineup (Austin David did that for us yesterday) but I would expect a mixture of younger and older reserves. Carlos Rivas could get a start and Earl Edwards Jr. will almost certainly be between the pipes at kickoff.
In addition to Jerome, Jacksonville features former Orlando City USL players such as goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo and defender Bryan Burke.
Here’s the info you really need:
Goalkeeper: Earl Edwards Jr.
Defenders: Luke Boden, Tommy Redding, David Mateos, Kevin Alston.
Defensive Midfielders: Servando Carrasco, Harrison Heath.
Attacking Midfielders: Carlos Rivas, Antonio Nocerino, Hadji Barry
Forward: Julio Baptista.
Bench: Joe Bendik, Seb Hines, Brek Shea, Conor Donovan, Tony Rocha, Kevin Molino, Cyle Larin.
Goalkeeper: Miguel Gallardo.
Defenders: Anthony Wallace, Tyler Ruthven, Beto Navarro, Bryan Burke.
Midfielders: Pascal Millien, Mechack Jerome, Kevan George, Patrick Otte, Junior Sandoval.
Forward: Alhassane Keita.
Bench: Sean Lewis, Shawn Nicklaw, Lucas Scaglia, Danny Barrow, Alex Dixon, Charles Eloundou, Jemal Johnson
How to Watch
Match Time: 7 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Southern Oak Stadium -- Jacksonville, FL.
TV: CW17 in Jacksonville.
Streaming: This game will be available on YouTube and ArmadaFC.com, or just watch below.
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at@TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City's official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC).
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