Welcome to your match thread for Tuesday night’s US Open Cup match between Orlando City SC and the Philadelphia Union at Exploria Stadium (7 p.m. ESPN+). This is a battle between two of the top four teams in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference. The Lions (5-4-2, 17 points) are just two points behind Union (5-1-4, 19 points) in the regular-season standings, but Philadelphia have a game in hand.
Here’s what you need to know before playing.
Orlando City are 4-5-5 in 14 MLS encounters with Union since the club joined Major League Soccer in 2015 and are 4-6-5 in all competitions. Orlando and Philadelphia have previously met in the US Open Cup, with Union winning 1-0 at home on July 18, 2018 with a goal from Alejandro Bedoya.
The Lions are 2-1-3 at home against Union.
The teams last met on September 19, 2021 at Subaru Park. Union prevailed 3-1 largely on a brace from Kacper Przybylko after he got away with an obviously clear elbow in the face of Rodrigo Schlegel. Instead of being sent off or conceding a free kick against Orlando City, Union scored in the following game and won the game. The teams last met in Orlando on July 22nd. The Lions scored goals from Benji Michel and Andres Perea on the team’s only two shots on target to win 2-1. Przybylko, who had been frolicking in Orlando since arriving in Philadelphia, pulled one back for the visitors, but the Lions held on.
The teams in 2020 in the group stage of the MLS is Back tournament in 2020, with the game ending in a 1-1 draw after a goal by Mauricio Pereyra canceled out an Ilsinho goal. This draw allowed the Lions to win Group A of the competition and they advanced to the finals.
The teams met at what was then Talen Energy Stadium on July 7, 2019, with the Lions and Union tied 2–2. Dom Dwyer and Santiago Patino brought Orlando back from a 1-0 deficit but Przybylko scored in the 90th minute to win some of the points for the Union. That game was rescheduled by MLS the night it was supposed to take place – a move Orlando City struggled against – and was played the next day instead.
The two teams had met just days earlier on July 3, losing Orlando’s 3-1 home loss to Union. Chris Mueller and Przybylko traded goals in the first half before Robin Jansson was sent off just before the break. After that, the 10-man Lions gave up two more goals – one for Przybylko and the other for Fafa Picault – and then went down with another man with Sacha Kljestan seeing red.
The teams drew 2-2 in a wild final on September 1, 2018 in Orlando. Just when it looked like Picault had led the Union to victory with an 88th-minute strike, Scott Sutter equalized in added time to salvage a point for the Lions. Dwyer and Cory Burke also scored in that match. The Lions defeated Union 2-0 on April 13, 2018 in Philadelphia. Dwyer and Mueller arranged the crime.
The teams split their two games in 2017, with the home side prevailing both times. The Lions won 2-1 on March 18 at Orlando City Stadium as part of the team’s hot start. Cyle Larin scored a brace to lead the Lions. CJ Sapong scored for Philadelphia. The rematch was an ugly 6-1 win in Philadelphia in the season finale for both teams. Dwyer gave Orlando his only goal while Earl Edwards Jr. (in his first MLS start) was beaten twice each by Ilsinho, Picault and Sapong.
The Lions were 1-1-1 with Philadelphia in 2016. The team’s first away win of the series came on October 16, 2016, when the Lions roared, 2-0. Carlos Rivas and Julio Baptista scored. The teams drew 2-2 in Orlando on May 25 when Ken Tribbett made the Lions pay for Kaká’s missed penalty in the first half by equalizing from a corner kick. Kevin Molino and Larin scored for Orlando City and Tranquillo Barnetta also scored for Union. Barnetta’s 89th-minute free-kick gave Philly a 2-1 win on March 8, 2016, with Adrian Winter scoring on the road for the Lions.
Orlando drew 0-0 at home and lost 1-0 away (on penalties) to Philadelphia in 2015.
Orlando City goes into the game in their worst form of 2022. The Lions were beaten 4-1 in Montreal on Saturday afternoon and have managed just 12 shot attempts (five on target) in their last three games combined. The good news is that Orlando won one of those three games and losses were minimized by other results across the Eastern Conference as Orlando sits fourth in a crowded table. The Lions are only 3-3-0 at home in league games and 4-3-0 at home in all competitions.
The Union drew 2-2 at LAFC at the weekend, extending their current winning streak to four games (0-1-3). But Philadelphia has lost just once in 2022 and is going at a respectable 2-1-2 this season.
While this is Philadelphia’s first game of the 2022 US Open Cup, the Lions have played once before, beating the Tampa Bay Rowdies 2-1 at home on April 20. Alexandre Pato and Junior Urso scored the goals.
Orlando must contend with Philadelphia’s strong midfield and limit opportunities from Daniel Gazdag and Julian Carranza, who have combined nine goals and six assists this season. The Lions also need to be aware of Kai Wagner joining the game as he leads the Union with four assists. At the other end of the field, the Lions need to find ways to beat Jamaican international goaltender Andre Blake.
“We have to prove [on Tuesday] that we’re not the team we presented in our last game and we need to turn the page,” Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja said after Saturday’s loss. “Our focus is on Philadelphia with this game coming up in the middle of the week and we need to be prepared for that.”
Orlando will be without Antonio Carlos (hamstring), while Tesho Akindele (hamstring) and Silvester van der Water (hamstring) are doubtful. Philadelphia is relatively healthy but could do without Jose Martinez, who is injured at LAFC, and Mikael Uhre, who has not traveled to Los Angeles.
Mandatory Game Content
Orlando City (4-2-3-1),
Goalkeeper: Mason Stajduhar.
Defender: Kyle Smith, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, and Michael Halliday.
Defensive Midfielders: Cesar Araujo, Junior Urso.
Attacking midfielders: Alexandre Pato, Andres Perea, and Facundo Torres.
Forward: Erkan Kara.
Bank: Adam Grinwis, Ruan, Joao Moutinho, Thomas Williams, Sebas Mendez, Mauricio Pereyra, Jack Lynn.
Philadelphia Union (4-4-2 diamond)
Goalkeeper: Matt Freese.
Defender: Matthew Real, Stuart Findlay, Jack Elliott, Olivier Mbaizo.
Midfield player: Jack McGlynn, Leon Flat, Quinn Sullivan.
Forward: Daniel Gazdag, Cory Burke, Paxten Aaronson.
Bank: Joe Bendik, Kai Wagner, Jakob Glesnes, Jose Martinez, Alejandro Bedoya, Sergio Santos, Julian Carranza.
Ref: Elvis Osmanovic.
AR1: Albert Escovar.
AR2: Brian Marshall.
4th: Jamie Crosby.
how to watch
playing time: 7 p.m. ET.
Venue: Exploria Stadium – Orlando.
Stream: The game can be streamed on ESPN+.
enjoy the game Go to town!
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