Welcome to your open thread for tonight’s U.S. Open Cup match-up between Orlando City and the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers out of the NASL. It’s the round of 16, and the winner of tonight’s match gets to visit Chicago for the quarterfinals. That’s where Orlando City’s run ended last season and it sure would be nice to get revenge for that, but first the Lions must get rid of the last remaining in-state opponent in the competition.
Logan Oliver did a good job giving his three keys to victory tonight so let’s not get all game preview-y here.
Orlando City and Ft. Lauderdale met in a closed-door friendly back on Feb. 24 at Sylvan Lake Park, which the Lions won, 2-0. Hadji Barry and Pedro Ribeiro scored the goals for Orlando.
The Strikers have some familiar faces. Forward Guiseppe Gentile appeared in 11 matches for Orlando City in 2014, scoring a pair of goals. Midfielder Jean-Marc Alexandre, a Haitian international, played for the Lions in 2012 and 2013, with his first stint as a loan from the San Jose Earthquakes. Alexandre scored four goals in 18 matches across two seasons with Orlando City.
Orlando City is here due to its 1-0 fourth-round victory at Jacksonville Armada on June 15 at Southern Oak Stadium. David Mateos’ header in the 62nd minute -- his first competitive goal with the Lions – was all that separated the two sides in a hard-fought match. Antonio Nocerino started the play with a quality corner kick to the head of Julio Baptista, who flicked toward the back post, where Mateos finished the play.
The Strikers got to this point by knocking out D.C. United in the fourth round, drawing 0-0 in regulation and advancing on a 4-3 advantage in the penalty kick shootout. Goalkeeper Diego Restrepo was a wall for Ft. Lauderdale in the match. The Strikers entered the competition in the third round, advancing past the USL’s Richmond Kickers on penalties after a 1-1 draw. Manny Gonzalez scored for Ft. Lauderdale.
How to "Watch:"
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Camping World Stadium -- Orlando, FL
TV: Nope. They want you to buy a ticket.
Radio: Nope. They want you to buy a ticket.
Streaming: Nope. They want you to buy a ticket.
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City's official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC). We’ll try to tweet more than usual to try to make up for the lack of a broadcast.
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