The Magic City has officially been booted from the 2018 U.S. Open Cup with Miami United’s loss to Orlando City last night at Ted Hendricks Stadium. Despite a strong run through the first four rounds of the tournament, the match was over before it started. Orlando City proved a point that they were taking this tournament seriously under third-year coach Jason Kreis.
For the third straight year the Open Cup symbolizes a battle between South and Central Florida. You already know that Miami United will host Orlando City tomorrow night. You already know that the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and The Miami FC have defeated the MLS foe in consecutive years. What you don’t already know is, Can Miami United make it three straight years of South Florida dominance?
The Magic City will get to see MLS competition for the second straight year courtesy of Miami United FC and their deep run into this year’s U.S. Open Cup tournament. In a first for the club, Miami United FC will host Major League Soccer side Orlando City SC in Round 4 of the U.S. Open Cup on June 5 or 6.
The fourth-round draw took place this morning and in a shocking turn of events, Orlando City opted out of a chance to host for the round. Orlando City has had poor attendance and even worse luck in this round of the tournament in previous years, especially when taking on an opponent from South Florida.
Miami United will look to be the newest addition to the club of lower division sides to knock off Orlando. In 2016, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers were able to get past Orlando in extra time with a game winning goal from Victor “PC” Giro (now on the OCSC roster). In 2017, now NPSL foe, Miami FC knocked out Orlando with a hat trick from Stefano Pinho (now also on the OCSC roster). Miami United has the right amount of firepower up front and tactical ability on defense to provide South Florida with another #cupset for the third consecutive year.
The match date has a placeholder for June 6th (subject to change) and it will take place at Milander Park in Hialeah. This will be City’s first visit to South Florida in the history of its existence in MLS. For years, the South Florida market has been ignored by City amidst the talks of a possible MLS Miami team coming in. Perhaps leaving the South Florida market untapped may come back to haunt Orlando as United look to pack the stadium in a true showing of Miami soccer pride.
Matthew Bunch contributed to this report.
It’s very rare to find derby matches that have shown the strengths and weaknesses of both clubs with so much parity. It’s also very rare to face-off against your cross-town rival three times in one month. That’s what we have here in the 305 and only one club can be crowned as the Magic City’s best. Miami FC and Miami United will clash to settle all the scores.