Orlando City are through to the next round of the US Open Cup after a thrilling 2-0 defeat of the rival Tampa Bay Rowdies. The match was everything we could've dreamed of, and in the end Orlando came away with the gritty win and a spot in the next round of the cup.
Here are Orlando's top performers from Wednesday's succesful derby showdown with the Rowdies.
3. Robin Jansson
Oscar Pareja made three substitutions at half time and two of them are on this list, while the third was a very deserving of praise as well. Papi switched to a back three, putting Jansson in between the more inexperienced duo of Rodrigo Schlegel and Thomas Williams, and the Swede was excellent.
His cultured passing gave Orlando much more purpose playing out of the back, and on several occasions he put out fires in the final third for the Lions. The other center backs didn't play bad, but Jansson's class was just a step above, and it showed in this match.
2. Junior Urso
I mean, come on.
That is the hardest photo in club history. Urso was great in this game, providing live wire box-to-box energy, scoring the game's second goal and eventual game winner. He helped Orlando push the ball in possesion and did what Junior Urso does.
1. Mauricio Pereyra
Orlando City was a completely different team with and without Mauricio Pereyra. The Uruguayan's skill and ability to dictate play reshaped the entire match. Once the captain was subbed on, Orlando played faster, more direct and more precise. The tempo was faster and the chances were better and more plentiful.
Pereyra himself was at the heart of it, controlling passes, finding space and pinging dimes all around the final third. His stat sheet doesn't do his performance justice, with no official key passes or assists, but the little wizard had his hand in all of Orlando's danger in the second half.