Adrian Heath and his Orlando City Lions travel tonight to take on the Jacksonville Armada in the club’s first game in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup of the season. The game will take place at Jacksonville’s Southern Oak Stadium, at 7:00 PM EST.
Those fans not travelling to the match, can watch the game at the following YouTube stream:
The Armada are in the North American Soccer League (NASL), generally considered the second best league in American soccer, but Orlando City should know better than to underestimate clubs from lower leagues.
In the 2013 installment of the Open Cup, Orlando City, then playing in the United Soccer League (the third best league in the country) went on a Cinderella run all the way to the quarterfinals, beating MLS sides the Colorado Rapids 3-1 in the round of 32, and Sporting Kansas City 1-0 in the round of 16.
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Also, last season when the Lions met USL side Charleston Battery in the round of 32, they played to a 4-4 draw and had to go through ten rounds of penalties before the Lions finally earned the victory.
This is how Orlando City will line up tonight:
Earl Edwards Jr. gets his first first start of the season in goal for the first team. Luke Boden and Kevin Alston will each earn their fourth starts of the season at left back and right back respectively.
Familiar center back duo Tommy Redding’s and David Mateos’s familiarity with each other will hopefully prove to stabilize the back line.
Servando Carrasco and Harrison Heath will be partnered in the deep-lying midfield roles for the Lions for the second consecutive match.
Carlos Rivas will earn his fourth start of the season at left wing. Hopefully he can play like he did last season in the US Open Cup, when he scored 4 goals in just 2 matches.
Hadji Barry will get his first start with the first team after some promising time with Orlando City B.
Antonio Nocerino will start in the match, exactly a month after his last appearance, when he was a non-factor in a 1-2 loss to Sporting Kansas City.
Finally, Julio Baptista will start alone up top a game removed from scoring his first goal in purple, spurring Orlando City to a dramatic 2 goal comeback at NYCFC.
Here’s what the bench will look like for the Lion’s, who are trying to make it to the round of 16 for the second straight season: