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Orlando City dumps Sporting Kansas City out of U.S. Open Cup, extend unbeaten streak to 14 matches

Jun 13, 2013, 10:53 AM EDT


Life is good for USL Pro club Orlando City.

After purchasing a new plot of land for a future stadium and weeks of being rumored as one of the possible destinations for Major League Soccer’s next club, the Florida-based outfit eliminated Sporting Kansas City from the U.S. Open Cup last night by a score of 1-0.

Last year’s Champions were dumped out at home after Orlando City striker Tan Long netted in the second minute of play. It was the second MLS scalp the Lions have taken this season, having beaten the Colorado Rapids 3-0 on May 28th in the third round of play.

The hosts came into the match looking to make amends for their previous match, a 2-1 home loss to Montreal on June 1st. But with Graham Zusi, Matt Besler, Kei Kamara all out on international duty, Sporting lacked the punch to get the job done despite registering 18 shots in defeat.

Peter Vermes’ side came close through C.J. Sapong and Paulo Nagamura but goalkeeper Orlando City Miguel Gallardo was up to the task. The 28 year old netminder was simply fantastic on the night.

With the victory, Orlando City extend their unbeaten streak to 14 matches and have sealed their place in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals where they will face the winner of Chicago and Columbus. The last time a lower league side won the U.S. Open Cup was in 1999 when the Raging Rhinos of Rochester beat the Colorado Rapids 2-0.

Here’s how the rest of U.S. Open Cup action panned out:

  • Carolina Railhawks upped their unbeaten streak to five matches by knocking off Chivas USA, 3-1 in extra time
  • A cracking volley by Michael Nanchoff handed Portland a 2-0 win over Tampa Bay
  • New England continued its offensive onslaught beating the Red Bulls 4-2
  • Kenny Cooper’s brace helped FC Dallas to a 3-0 victory over rival Houston
  • Real Salt Lake came from two goals down to crush Charleston Battery 5-2 in extra time
  • D.C. United beat Philadelphia 3-1 behind a Dwayne De Rosario hat-trick

Here’s the U.S. Open Cup fixture list for the Round of 16:

  • Real Salt Lake v. Carolina
  • D.C. United v. New England
  • Chicago/Columbus v. Orlando City
  • FC Dallas v. Portland
  1. dws110 - Jun 13, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Even with Sporks being total jerkweasels and not letting Dom Dwyer play, OCSC still took care of business. I admit it, I’m gloating today.

    • takethelongview - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      I know, right! What jerkweasels. How dare they have the gall to follow the established practice in professional soccer in every country in the world? This is America! We don’t mind a good conflict of interest in this country. Who cares if Dwyer had played and failed to score….no one would ever accuse him of throwing the match. Who cares if the SKC defender playing for Orlando City had skipped a slide tackle when one was needed from fear of taking out a newly returned Bunbury, who then went on to score? No way anyone would say he put the interests of the club paying him over the interests of the club playing him. That could never happen, because we all believe in the fairness of it all. Just because Dwyer and Co. are employees of SKC, they shouldn’t have to do what their employers tell them to do on the job. I mean no one else does that at work, right?

      • mvktr2 - Jun 13, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        thanks for typing the truth so I didn’t have to 😉

  2. takethelongview - Jun 13, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    I do share one sentiment with the previous poster: OCSC took care of business; SKC did not. In fact, they were downright awful in the first half, spraying errant passes around as if they had never seen one another before. I thought Rosell, who has garnered much praise this year, was particularly erratic. The result was fair because the team that played to its abilities won the game, while the team that underwhelmed earned its defeat.

    Prindiville noted only the most prominent trio among SKC’s international absences; two other frequent starters, Peterson Joseph and Mechak Jerome, were also away. Given the tendency of MLS sides to use Open Cup games as opportunities to provide minutes to the bench, it’s fair to question whether the line up last night would have looked much different had all six international absences been available. (US U-20 Mikey Lopez, this year’s first round draft pick, is the other; one strongly suspects he would have started this game.) Between the six players away on international duty and the four on loan to Orlando, ten players on the SKC roster were not available. Four of those resulted from a business decision made in February; the other six resulted because USSF scheduled the tournament during an international window.

    So just as this game’s parent club-affiliate club player availability debacle will no doubt prompt USSF to revisit its bracketing procedures, perhaps it should also revisit the wisdom of scheduling tournament games during international “breaks.” USSF delayed this year’s final all the way to September; it had the luxury of allowing the tournament to marinate another couple weeks, which would have allowed teams to call upon all their weapons, if desired.

    Because while Vermes might have calculated he could win last night’s game without playing Kamara, Besler, and Zusi, one can argue that fairness dictates that he be accorded the right to make that calculation for himself.

  3. dreadpirate82 - Jun 13, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    There was nothing unfair about this result. Orlando City looked like the MLS squad. Seth Sinovic was the only SKC player who played well. I thought Uri was fantastic defensively, but his passing wasn’t up to his usual standard last night. Bieler and Jacob Peterson tried to do some work, but they didn’t have much to work with. Service was poor. Feilhaber and Nagamura were particularly bad. I know Vermes loves Nagamura’s grit, but his spot in the starting XI has to be in jeopardy. With Kamara back in the fold, I would like to see Zusi drop back to the midfield to bring more creativity.

    I can complain about Sporting’s play all I want, but Orlando City deserved to win. They didn’t just park the bus and hope to get lucky. Even with a lead from the beginning, they came at SKC and looked really strong. They’ll be a tough test for Chicago or Columbus, especially with Dwyer and Songo’o able to play.

    • takethelongview - Jun 13, 2013 at 5:34 PM

      Just to be clear, I do not question the fairness of the result on the field, as played by the players on hand. 0-1 was eminently just.

      I simply wished to generate discussion regarding the wisdom of pushing the schedule forward at a moment in time when international absences deplete rosters. Would LA Galaxy lose to Charleston with Keane and Gonzalez available? Quite possibly, because it’s easy to imagine Arena leaving them in Los Angeles. By contrast, it’s easy to imagine Vermes using his regulars in this game because he has done so in the past.

      Much ink (er, screenspace) gets deddicated each season to question whether MLS should shut down during international breaks. My point raises the same discussion in a new guise. Because if that policy makes sense for MLS, it shoild make sense as well for USOC.

      • dreadpirate82 - Jun 13, 2013 at 5:57 PM

        I definitely wasn’t talking about you, longview. It seemed like a lot of people I heard talking after the match thought Orlando City was lucky.

        I understand your points, but most MLS clubs don’t take the competition seriously enough to field full teams even when they have their full rosters available.

      • takethelongview - Jun 13, 2013 at 6:52 PM

        First, apologies to the Carolina Railhawks, who deserved the credit for vanquishing the Galaxy. My bad on the prior post.

        Second, I concur that it is debateable whether MLS teams would utilize their international-caliber stars for these games. But let us project ourselves into May/June 2014 for a moment. We will assume the US and Ireland have qualified for Brasil and purely for the sake of this discussion (not trying to ignite what is an entirely different debate) let us assume that Seattle, KC, and LA each place two people on Brasil-bound rosters. Two of those three teams have shown they take USOC seriously. I would prefer USSF not punish them for their players’ when they have the means of avoiding it in the construction of the schedule.

      • takethelongview - Jun 13, 2013 at 6:56 PM

        And I recognize you’re not arguing with me dread, it’s just my brain kept grinding the issue during my 3 hour drive today. And I had more words to spill out.

  4. galaxycontrol - Jun 13, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Good job ORL. I suggest that MLS relegate Chivas USA to the NASL and promote ORL to MLS.

    • dreadpirate82 - Jun 13, 2013 at 4:06 PM


  5. bobinkc - Jun 13, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    As much as I hate to say it, I have to agree with dread and longview. My boys just did not show up to play last night. Passing was slow and easily intercepted by ORL. Movement was slow in the heat and humidity. All in all, it was about 70 minutes of decent soccer; it’s just too bad that ORL played them. Now that this is out of the way, maybe SKC can focus on winning games that actually count for something. Best of luck to ORL getting into MLS.

    • takethelongview - Jun 13, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      First thing first: best of luck to Orlando the rest of this tournament!

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