Orlando City lost last night in it’s opening night in the Lamar Hunt US OPEN Cup tournament to second tier North American Soccer League’s Miami FC, 3-1. This is the second year in a row that the MLS team has lost to second a tier team in the competition.
The first U.S. Open Cup was played in 1914, making it the oldest cup competition for soccer in the United States and the country’s oldest annual tournament for team sports.
The 99 participating clubs, hailing from 30 different states, make 2017’s the largest field in modern-era U.S. Open Cup history. Among the sides in the 104th installment of the competition are reigning champions FC Dallas and 18 other Major League Soccer outfits. There are six participants from the North American Soccer League (NASL) and 18 teams from the United Soccer League (USL), including Charleston Battery, who, in 2008, became the last non-MLS team to reach the final. Miami is one of 4 NASL teams the are still in the tournament going into last night’s match.
Miami came into Orlando City Stadium ready to fight, while Orlando’s line up showed far less effort. Josh Saunders got the start in goal and had PC, Léo Pereira, Jonathan Spector and Rafael Ramos on his back line. Pierre Da Silva, Antonio Nocerino, Servando Carrasco and Luis Gil manned the midfield while Giles Barnes and Hadji Barry started up top. They found themselves backpedalling and chasing after Miami’s front line all night.
Miami’s Brazilian Forward Stefano Pino turned a hat trick for his club by scoring all three of his teams goals. Miami out shot Orlando 11-2 in the first half and 17-9 by the end of the game. The team’s back wall with two rows of 4 across proved impenetrable for Orlando. The situation didn’t change when Lions coach Jason Kreis inserted more firepower, including Kaka, Carlos Rivas, and Tommy Redding in the second half.
“Miami was clearly the better team and they deserve a tremendous amount of respect, as disappointed as we are and as difficult as that is to say,” Lions Head Coach Jason Kreis said. “I take 100 percent responsibility for the result and for the performance.”
Kreis refused to comment on any individual player’s performance during the press conference.
The Lions return to Major League Soccer play on Saturday, June 17, when the Montreal Impact come to Orlando City Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. The Pulse victims will be honored again on Saturday.