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Orlando City to Host Atlanta in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal

July 11, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Orlando City SC News Release

ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando City SC will continue its pursuit of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup trophy when it hosts Atlanta United FC in the Semifinal round of the nation's oldest cup competition. The match will take place on Tuesday, August 6, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Exploria Stadium and will be available to stream live on ESPN+.

The matchup will serve as the first appearance in the Semifinals for both Clubs, with the Lions' previous best finish coming in the Quarterfinals in 2012 as a USL Pro franchise and in 2015 and 2018 in the MLS era. Prior to this year, Atlanta had bowed out of the U.S. Open Cup in the Round of 16 in each of their previous two appearances.

The Lions enter the Semifinal round following a victory via a penalty shootout against 2015 expansion rivals New York City FC in the Quarterfinals. The two sides battled to a 1-1 deadlock after regulation, with Chris Mueller scoring for the Lions in the 61st minute and Maxi Moralez leveling the two sides late in the sixth minute of stoppage time to force the match into extra time. After a scoreless extra time period, the two were forced into a penalty shootout. Goalkeeper Adam Grinwis recorded two saves in the shootout, including the game-winner in the sixth round off of Maxime Chanot's strike to the left side to send the Lions through to the Semifinal round.

Atlanta defeated USL Championship side Saint Louis FC 2-0 in the Quarterfinal round to advance to the last four of this year's edition of the Open Cup. After a scoreless first half, the Five Stripes broke through thanks to finishes from Pity Martinez and Josef Martinez in the 52nd and 95th minutes respectively to punch their ticket to the Semifinals.

A win on August 6 would advance City to the U.S. Open Cup Final, where it would face the winner of the Western Semifinal matchup of Minnesota United and the Portland Timbers. If the Timbers were to win that match, the Lions would host the U.S. Open Cup Final at Exploria Stadium. If the Loons were to prevail, City would have to travel to Allianz Field due to the results of an open draw that determined priority seeding for hosting the final.

2019 marks the 106th edition of the U.S. Soccer Lamar Hunt Open Cup, the country's oldest cup competition and U.S. Soccer's National Championship. The 2019 U.S. Open Cup winner will earn $300,000 in prize money, a berth in the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League and have its name engraved on the Dewar Challenge Trophy - one of the oldest nationally-contested trophies in American team sports - now on display at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas. The runner-up will earn $100,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will take home a $25,000 cash prize.

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