ORLANDO, Fla.— In the third round of US Open Cup play, the Colorado Rapids (Major League Soccer) fall to Orlando City SC (USL PRO) by a margin of 3-1 Tuesday night at Fifth Third Bank Field of the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando. In the 4th minute, Orlando’s Bryan Burke put the home side up, but Kamani Hill picked off a pass to bring Colorado even in the 18th minute. Orlando City forward Dom Dwyer scored a brace in the second half to give the club its first-ever win over an MLS club in US Open Cup play. Orlando advances to the 4th round and will face Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park.
“I think just before and during the second half we were far and away the better team,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “I thought we were worthy winners and it would have been a travesty if we didn’t take home the win.”
The Colorado defense failed to clear the ball from danger in the fourth minute, and Bryan Burke sent a rifle shot from 20 yards out. The ball nicked a Colorado defender Anthony Wallace and out of the reach of Colorado Goalkeeper Steward Ceus giving the Lions the 1-0 advantage. The former Kitsap Puma (PDL) star scored his second goal for Orlando City (his first goal came Saturday night in USL PRO season over Wilmington).
Colorado, which started a group that had plenty of MLS experience, kept the pressure on Orlando City in the first half closing the space quickly and trading attacks with Orlando as the match progressed. In the 18th minute, an Orlando City defensive turnover gave Rapids’ Midfielder Kamani Hill the ball. Hill took advantage by calmly slotting the ball in the corner past Orlando City Goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo to even the game at 1-1.
Despite many opportunities, neither side was able to convert and the first half finished tied. Neither side made changes to start the second half.
Orlando City began the second half like the first – on the attack. In the 48th minute, Burke surged down the right hand side and sent a floating ball into Dom Dwyer on the back post. The header from the USL PRO leading scorer was on frame in the back left corner and gave the Orlando a 2-1 lead.
The game really opened up when Dwyer got behind the Colorado defense and Colorado Goalkeeper Ceus came out of his box. After a header by Dwyer got the ball past the goalkeeper, Ceus clotheslined Dwyer stopping his advance, and Rapids defender Shane O’Neill was able to clear the ball before it crossed the goal line. At the stop, the referee conferred with his assistant and then indicated a foul at the top of the box for Orlando. Seconds later, Ceus was showed the red card and ejected from the match. The Rapids were forced to bring winger Kevin Harbottle out as Goalkeeper Clint Irwin came in to finish the match, and the Rapids were a man down for the final 30 minutes.
The game was sealed by Orlando City five minutes later, when Dwyer scored his second to put Orlando up 3-1. The play started with Adama Mbengue (brought up from Orlando City U23s this season) hit a fantastic through ball to Long Tan. Tan then controlled the box beat off a defender and sent a brilliant cross into the box. Dwyer converted after getting past Colorado defender Clint Irwin. The goal was Dwyer’s 16th goal counting both league play and Open Cup.
Orlando controlled much of the possession in the final 25 minutes as Colorado played a man down, to close out with the win 3-1. This was the clubs first win over an MLS side in Open Cup play, and the first time they have advanced to the 4th round of competition to face Sporting Kansas City. The match will be on Wednesday, June 12.
Interestingly, Orlando is the official USL PRO affiliate of their fourth round opponent Sporting Kansas City, and four Orlando Players are on loan from Kansas City. Dom Dwyer is one of the two loaned players that were key to Orlando’s win in the match. The other is defender Yann Songo’o who had a solid game in the center defense and along with Rob Valentino and kept Colorado’s offense to 1 goal. Also on loan to Orlando from Kansas City are goal keeper Jon Kempin and midfielder Christian Duke.
There is some doubt about whether the players on loan will be able to play against their parent club. When questioned about the situation after their win over the Des Moine Menace (2-0), Kansas City coach Peter Vermes said, “Well I think it’s going to be more from the league, but I’ll know in the next couple of days. I don’t know at the moment, that’s something the league has to be involved in for sure.”
Orlando City lost to Sporting in the 3rd round of US Open Cup play last year in a tight 2-3 match, and will be looking to avenge the loss. Each match against an MLS team has greater meaning to Orlando City supporters as they appeal to the MLS to be the league’s 21st team. As the match ended, they supporters chanted, “We belong in MLS!” And from last nights match, they look to be competitive.
Team 1 2 Final
Orlando City SC 1 2 3
Colorado Rapids 1 0 1
ORL- Bryan Burke (unassisted) 4th
COL- Kamani Hill (unassisted) 18th
ORL- Dom Dwyer (Bryan Burke) 48th
ORL- Dom Dwyer (Long Tan) 63rd
Orlando City Miguel Gallardo, Yann Songo’o, Bryan Burke, Luke Boden, Rob Valentino, Anthony Pulis, James O’Connor, Kevin Molino, Adama Mbengue (Jamie Watson 67), Dom Dwyer, Long Tan (Dennis Chin 76)
Colorado Rapids Steward Ceus, Marvell Wynne, Shane O’Neill, German Mera, Anthony Wallace, Dillon Powers, Nick LaBrocca (Atiba Harris 72), Kamani Hill (Deshorn Brown 66), Tony Cascio, Kevin Harbottle (Clint Irwin 58), Danny Mwanga
ORL- Anthony Pulis (Yellow) 32nd
COL- Shane O’Neill (Yellow) 36th
COL- Steward Ceus (Red) 56th
ORL- Adama Mbengue (Yellow) 65th
COL- Atiba Harris (Yellow) 80th
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.