Orlando City Opens Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Campaign at Memphis
ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando City SC will begin its 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup run on Wednesday, June 12 when it visits Memphis 901 FC of the USL Championship League (USLC). Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET at Mike Rose Soccer Complex.
"I think for every team any cup competition gives a chance to create history, a chance to create a bit more profile," Head Coach James O'Connor said. "I think that the opportunities for every team are obviously to go on and have a good cup run. For Memphis they'll be really excited to have an MLS team come to their hometown. I'm sure their supporters are looking forward to the game, their players are looking forward to the game. For us it's making sure that we're very professional and we approach Memphis like we did Montreal. Nothing changes, our preparation, our focus, our process all stays the same."
The 2019 edition of the U.S. Open Cup marks the 106th of the tournament, which stands as the oldest cup competition in U.S. soccer. Major League Soccer teams enter in the fourth round. All U.S. Open Cup matches will be available to stream on ESPN+.
Memphis began its tournament run in the second round with a 3-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls U-23's of USL League Two on May 15 and then went on to defeat fellow USLC club Hartford Athletic FC in a 4-0 rout on May 29 in the Third Round. This is Memphis's first year competing in the U.S. Open Cup, as the club was founded in 2018 and began play this year. Former Orlando City goalkeeper coach Tim Mulqueen sits at the helm for Memphis, named the club's inaugural head coach on August 15, 2018.
The Lions enter Open Cup play coming off a 3-0 victory against the Montreal Impact on June 1. All three of City's goals came in the opening half, with Nani opening the scoring in the 27th minute off of a penalty kick. Tesho Akindele then followed with a finish in the 36th with Will Johnson putting the game away with his first goal of the season in the 42nd. The match marked City's third shutout of 2019.
In 2018, the Lions matched their best finish in the U.S. Open Cup in the MLS era, defeating Miami United FC of the National Premier Soccer League and fellow MLS club D.C. United before falling to the Philadelphia Union 1-0 in the Quarterfinals. City also reached the Quarterfinal round in 2015 in its inaugural season competing in the tournament as an MLS club.
The winner of Wednesday's match will advance to the Round of 16 with an open draw set to decide the matchups on June 13.
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