Orlando City: U.S. Open Cup Winners 2022.
On Wednesday night, the Lions welcomed USL Championship club Sacramento Republic to Exploria Stadium, for the biggest game in both club’s respective histories.
In the end, Orlando’s top-tier class proved too much as they ran out 3-0 winners.
Admittedly, all the goals came in the final 15 minutes; Facundo Torres with a quick-fire brace, before Benji Michel put the icing on the cake.
Thus, Orlando are the first team from Florida to claim major silverware since Miami Fusion were 2001 Supporters’ Shield winners.
Overall, 22 of 28 MLS clubs have now lifted a major trophy, with all six who haven’t beginning play in 2017 or later.
Buoyant by that success, will Óscar Pareja’s team, who currently sit fifth in the east, cling onto a play-off spot?
Well, Orlando will have to refocus quickly as they couldn’t have asked for a tougher fixture than this one.
Philadelphia Union beat New York Red Bulls 2-0 last weekend; Mikael Uhre and Dániel Gazdag the scorers in New Jersey.
Gazdag has now scored 11 goals in his last 11 MLS appearances, more than any other player since 13 July
The Union have also scored 3X more goals than their opponents, a new record 30 games into an MLS season.
In fact, Jim Curtin’s men have now won four on the bounce and ten of their last 12, netting a ridiculous 38 times in these victories.
This leaves Philly eight points clear at the top of the east, level on points with LAFC in the race for the Supporters’ Shield.
As Philadelphia chase their second shield in just three season, there’s no margin for error.
They are currently unbeaten in 20 regular-season home matches, dating back over a year, so a comfortable Union victory seems very likely at Subaru Park.