Match previews

Match preview: Orlando City FC vs Philadelphia Union

Photo: Howie Pollard

Who: Orlando City FC vs Philadelphia Union

What: 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.  Round of 32

Where: Exploria Stadium Orlando, Fl

When: Tuesday May 10 7:00 p.m. (Eastern)

Watch: ESPN+

Whistle: Not available at time of publication

No rest for the weary.  The Union head straight outta LA to sunny and proudly unwoke Florida where they take on Orlando City FC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup round of 32.  Game time is 7:00 PM on Tuesday. Note that this match is only being shown on ESPN+ – so if you are not already a subscriber you may need to pony up some dough (or just wait for the Match Recap right here at The Philly Soccer Page). 

The US Open Cup is a knockout tournament –  this year featuring 103 teams from throughout the United States and a wide range of levels. All 25 U.S. MLS teams are eligible for the tournament (Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver play in the Canadian Championship).  

By virtue of their 2021 Eastern Conference, second place finish, the Union received a bye in the third round matches when most other MLS teams played.  This is Orlando’s second Open  Cup match after they defeated the USL Championship Tampa Bay Rowdies by a 2-1 score on April 20. For the past two years the US Open Cup was canceled due to COVID-19.

This will be the second Open Cup meeting between the two teams.  The first resulted in a 1-0 win for the Union way back in July 2018. The Union eventually went on to the Cup finals losing 3-0 to Houston.

Scouting Report: Orlando City FC

Despite losing some premiere talent in the off-season, Orlando has been doing reasonably well.  In a campaign sans Nani, Chris Mueller and Daryl Dike they find themselves in 4th place and just 2 points behind the Union (though they have played one more match). Despite maintaining their defense, Orlando has conceded the 6th most goals in the East

Orlando City comes into this match following a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of the resurgent CF Montreal on Saturday so they will be looking for redemption.

Injury report:  Not available at time of publication

Suspended:  None

Scouting report: Union

The deodorant following the post-game showers is barely dry before the Union have to lace up the cleats and take to the pitch again. Following a late night match against LAFC that didn’t end until 1:00 AM on Sunday a midweek game (is Tuesday mid-week?) looms.  With the extremely short turnaround time it would make sense for the first real squad rotation of the season.  

And it looks like that is exactly what will happen. Coach Curtin has stated that Matt Freese, Stuart Findley, Matt Real, Olivier Mbaizo, Jack McGlynn, Quinn Sullivan and Paxton Aaronson will all start. Just spitballin’, but that leaves space for Jack Elliot, Leon Flach at the 6, Cory Burke and maybe Gazdag at the 10.  Perhaps a formation change is in the works.

While some may be happy coming away with a point from the away, LAFC match, it is worth remembering that the Union are winless in their last 4 matches and a victory may help get them back on track as the Red Bulls come into town on Saturday

Injury Report: Not available at time of publication

Suspension Report:  None

Key Matchup:  Orlando Offense vs Union Defense

There will be many changes in the Union backline, at the very least both outside backs and one center back.  They will need to gel as they will be attacked from (probably) a number of Orlando starters.

Player to Watch: The Kids

The Union likes to boast about how they build through the Academy but Nathan Harriel is the only one getting regular minutes. The Kids will now get some much needed time on the pitch and show what they’ve got. 

Prediction:  Philadelphia 2-1 Orlando


Philadelphia Union:    +208

Orlando City FC:   +124

Draw:   +224



  1. Andy Muenz says:

    Rather than Elliott and Flach, they should consider bring up Craig and Turner from Union 2. And if Uhre is doing better from the quad issues, he should be considered as a forward just to get the minutes in.

  2. Tim Jones says:

    They play Red Bull Saturday, and then Miami the following Wednesday, so I would be cautious with the injured.
    Turner and Craig should be on the bench, but I would doubt Craig plays. Turner might well in the midfield.
    Curtin wants to win this game. Craig needs another year before he’s ready to wrestle MLS strikers. He is still just barely 18. LeBlanc had Nkanji man-up against Borgelin on Saturday all over the defensive third. He had the benefits of watching the two of them in games and probably some practices as well last year.

  3. Tim Jones says:

    Here are the referees according to the maneland, a blog about Orlando.
    Ref: Elvis Osmanovic AR1: Albert Escovar AR2: Brian Marshall 4th: Jamie Crosby.
    Remember that in the past links have not functioned inside comments boxes.
    Osmanovic is a USL Championship referee.

  4. Rather than Flach, it would be great to see Jesus Bueno at the 6 to start and then maybe bring Flach in off the bench if needed?

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