Orlando City and the Sacramento Republic will each look to make history when they meet in the US Open Cup final on Wednesday evening.
For the Lions, this is their shot at a first major trophy since joining in MLS in 2015. Oscar Pareja’s side have endured a tough path to the final, beating the Tampa Bay Rowdies before seeing off fellow MLS outfits Philadelphia Union, Inter Miami, Nashville SC, and New York Red Bells.
Sacramento, meanwhile, are already the first non-MLS team to reach the Open Cup final since the Charleston Battery in 2008, while they’re looking to become the first to win the competition since the Rochester Rhinos’ 1999 success.
Mark Briggs’ team have dumped out MLS opposition in each of the last three rounds, beating the San Jose Earthquakes, LA Galaxy, and Sporting Kansas City.
It looks set to be a thrilling evening in front of a sold-out Exploria Stadium crowd, so read on to find out how you can watch live:
This is the first competitive meeting between these two teams.
Alexandre Pato and Joey DeZart remain sidelined for the hosts, but Orlando will hope to have key center-back Robin Jansson available following a leg injury.
Rodrigo Lopez will be the danger man for the Republic after registering four goals and four assists in six Open Cup appearances this season, while the veteran forward also scored the winning penalty in the semi-final shootout win over SKC.
Both teams have equal motivation to make history on Wednesday, while Sacramento may be even further fired up following reports of Orlando spying on their training sessions.
Sacramento have obviously been the fairytale story of this year’s Open Cup, with the USL side knocking out some MLS giants en route to the final.
However, Orlando have hit form just at the right time, winning each of their last four games. The likes of Ercan Kara and Facundo Torres are beginning to find their scoring touch and attacking quality at the Lions’ disposal could prove too much for their lower-league opponents on the night.
Prediction: Orlando City 3-1 Sacramento Republic