Preview: Sporting KC continues U.S. Open Cup quest on Wednesday against Orlando City SC
Sporting KC (MLS) vs Orlando City SC (USL Pro)
Wednesday, June 12 - 7:30 p.m. CT
Sporting Park | Kansas City, KS
Sporting Kansas City looks to defend their 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title when they take on the club's USL PRO affiliate Orlando City SC on Wednesday. The fourth round match at Sporting Park will kick off at 7:30 p.m. CT. Fans may purchase tickets online at Ticketmaster.com or at the Sporting Park Box Offices.
Sporting Kansas City defeated the Des Moines Menace 2-0 in the third round of the competition with goals from Kei Kamara and Claudio Bieler. The goal was Kamara's third in U.S. Open Cup competition tying him for fifth all-time in club history.
Orlando City SC is one of two USL PRO teams still alive among the 16 remaining clubs in the tournament. Orlando City defeated Premier Development League side Ocala Stampede 2-1 in their initial match of the 2013 tournament. Most recently, Orlando City upset the Colorado Rapids 3-1, marking the club's first ever victory against a Major League Soccer team in U.S. Open Cup competition.
Wednesday's match marks back-to-back seasons Sporting Kansas City and Orlando City SC have met in U.S. Open Cup play. In 2012, Sporting KC defeated Orlando City 3-2 in the third round of the tournament. Sporting KC's Paulo Nagamura opened the scoring in first half stoppage time. Kevin Molino responded for the visitors, finishing Erik Ustruck's cross shortly after the halftime intermission.
Soony Saad answered for Sporting KC by scoring two goals in five minutes, including the game-winner. Dennis Chin was able to pull one back late for the Lions, but Sporting KC prevailed en route to lifting the tournament trophy.
Sporting KC will be without six players on Wednesday due to international competition. Peterson Joseph and Mechack Jerome both saw minutes for Haiti in their 2-2 draw with Italy earlier today. Matt Besler and Graham Zusi are with the U.S. Men's National Team ahead of tonight's FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Panama. Kei Kamara and Sierra Leone will face Cape Verde Islands on June 15 and Mikey Lopez is with the U.S. U-20's as they prepare for 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Orlando City SC were crowned USL PRO champions in 2011 and have won the Commissioner's Cup in each of the last two seasons for the best regular season record. In 2013, Orlando City continues to sit atop the 13-team USL PRO standings with a 10-1-2 record.
Founded in 2010, Orlando City SC has competed in the U.S. Open Cup in all three seasons led by Manager Adrian Heath and boasts a 5-2-0 record all-time in the tournament.
The victor in Wednesday's match will advance to the quarterfinal round on June 26 to play at the winner between the Chicago Fire (MLS) and the Columbus Crew (MLS), who meet at Toyota Park tomorrow night.
Due to the heat advisory in effect for tomorrow, all ticket holders will be permitted to bring one bottle of water into Sporting Park. The bottle must be sealed and no larger than 20 ounces, and the bottle's cap will be removed at the gate upon entrance.
All fans are invited to the Boulevard Members Club after the match. Sporting KC will be distributing a special silver ticket, which grants admission for one to see the Silversun Pickups concert in the Power and Light District on July 30.
The 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the 100th edition of the tournament, began on May 7 with the largest field in the modern era featuring 68 teams. The oldest annual team tournament in American sports history, the U.S. Open Cup has origins in 1914 and is named after Lamar Hunt, the original founder of Sporting Kansas City.
Sporting Kansas City won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2004 and 2012, prevailing in a penalty kick shootout over the Seattle Sounders FC in last year's final at Sporting Park. Sporting Kansas City supporters can follow Tuesday's match online via @SKCGameday on Twitter and the SportingKC.com/GameOn page.