[U.S. OPEN CUP] Orlando City will look to join the San Francisco Bay Seals and Richmond Kickers as only the third third division team to beat an MLS team in the quarterfinals of the Lamar U.S. Open Cup, but the Lions have quite a hurdle to overcome in the Chicago Fire, winner of an MLS record four Open Cup titles and one of the hottest teams in MLS.
2013 U.S. Open Cup:
June 26 in Sandy, Utah
Real Salt Lake (MLS) vs. Carolina Railhawks (NASL)
June 26 in Boyds, Md.
D.C. United (MLS) vs. New England Revolution (MLS)
June 26 in Bridgeview, Ill.
Chicago Fire (MLS) vs. Orlando City (USL PRO)
June 26 in Frisco, Texas
FC Dallas (MLS) vs. Portland Timbers (MLS)
The Seals beat the San Jose Clash, 2-1, on goals by Shani Simpson and Shane Watkins in 1997, and the Kickers knocked off Sporting Kansas City, 2-0, on goals by Shaka Bangura and David Bulow -- an Open Cup record 14th goal -- in 2011.
Both wins were on the road, where Orlando City will be for its match against the Fire, which is 20-0-1 in Open Cup matches played in the state of Illinois. It is also unbeaten in its last seven games, and Mike Magee has scored in every game -- six in total -- since arriving from the LA Galaxy.
Orlando City advanced past MLS affiliate Sporting Kansas City 1-0, in the last round thanks to an early score by Chinese forward Long Tan. It previously topped the PDL’s Ocala Stampede and MLS’s Colorado Rapids in the second and third rounds.
Orlando's four Sporting loanees who did not play against Sporting -- Dom Dwyer, Christian Duke,Yann Songo’o and Jon Kempin -- will be eligible for the match against Chicago.
The other lower-division team still alive is the Carolina RailHawks, who took the lead in the NASL over the weekend. Carolina travels to Utah to face Real Salt Lake in the quarterfinals, then returns home, where it can clinch the NASL spring title with a win over the Atlanta Silverbacks.
The RailHawks already have beat the Galaxy and Chivas USA in the Open Cup this season, though both games were at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Wednesday's other matches are both MLS affairs: Portland-FC Dallas in a battle of the Western Conference leaders and D.C. United-New England.
Chicago's four Open Cup titles came in 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006. D.C. United won the Open Cup in 1996, MLS's first season, and again in 2008, Dallas won in 1997, MLS's second season, while New England's lone trophy in any competition was earned in 2007. Real Salt Lake and Portland have never even reached the final.