Jacksonville Sports Day

THE PITCH: Orlando City Bows Out of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in Loss to Atlanta

ORLANDO  – Orlando City SC fell 2-0 to Atlanta United FC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal at Exploria Stadium. The Five Stripes scored on both sides of the break, finding the back of the net in the 37th and 78th minutes respectively.

The match served as the Lions’ first appearance in the Semifinal round of the nation’s oldest cup competition, with their previous best finish coming in the Quarterfinals in 2012 as a USL Pro franchise and in both 2015 and 2018 in the MLS era.

The Five Stripes got on the board first with Eric Remedi taking a shot just outside the area that was saved by City goalkeeper Adam Grinwis. Julian Gressel got on the end of the rebound, sending a ball across the face of goal from the right side for the easy finish for Remedi.

Atlanta added another late in the second half, with Remedi lofting a ball to the left side for Franco Escobar, who played it first-time to the middle of the area to Emerson Hyndman for the tap-in finish.

The Lions return to MSL play when they travel to face Toronto FC on Saturday, August 10 at BMO Field.

MATCH NOTES – The Lions made their first appearance in the Semifinal round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night. Orlando City set a Club-record for attendance for a U.S. Open Cup match, with 18,461 fans in the building for the Semifinal match.  Goalkeeper Adam Grinwis earned his fourth-consecutive start in U.S. Open Cup play this year, recording a tournament-high of five saves in the match. The Lions return to league play when they travel to face Toronto FC on Saturday, August 10 at BMO Field.

ORLANDO CLUB NOTES – Tesho Akindele scored a goal and added an assist in the same game for the third time in his MLS career, the second time this season (also: April 6 vs. Colorado). … Carlos Ascues netted his first goal in MLS, making his 19th appearance over two seasons. … Ruan recorded his fourth assist of the season, his second over the last five games. … Sacha Kljestan recorded his second assist of the season, his first coming April 20.

LODEIRO REACHES DOUBLE FIGURES IN ASSISTS – Nicolás Lodeiro of Seattle Sounders FC recorded his 10th assist of the season, laying on his club’s opening goal by Jordan Morris during their match against Sporting Kansas City at CenturyLink Field last Saturday evening. Lodeiro has now contributed at least 10 assists in each of the past three seasons. He is the eighth player in MLS history to record 10 or more assists in at last three consecutive seasons – one of two current players, as Diego Valeri of the Portland Timbers achieved the feat earlier this season.

USL CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES –  Birmingham Legion FC’s Tom Soehn has been voted the USL Championship’s Coach of the Month for July after leading the club to three consecutive victories over the course of the month that saw the side not concede a goal in making a move toward the playoff race in the Eastern Conference. The expansion side earned crucial victories against Eastern Conference contender North Carolina FC and fellow playoff challenger the Charlotte Independence during July while also contending with the loss of standout forward Chandler Hoffman to a season-ending injury. Legion FC currently sits two points off a place in the postseason positions, with Soehn delighted that the hard work put in by his squad has paid off.

USL ONE NOTEBOOK – Forward Madison FC’s Daryl Shore has been named USL League One’s Coach of the Month for July after his side took three victories in five outings to move into the playoff positions in the League One standings with two months of the season remaining. Madison went 3-1-1 during July, opening the month by becoming the first side to earn victory on the road against South Georgia Tormenta FC. The Flamingos also took a 4-1 victory on the road against Toronto FC II and finished with a league-best +4-goal differential over the month in addition to the most wins in the league over the month.

NWSL POW – Sam Kerr of the Chicago Red Stars has been voted NWSL Player of the Week for Week 16 of the 2019 season by the NWSL Media Association, making it her fourth time to be selected for the honor this year. The Australian scored her 12th goal of the year and has a four-goal lead in the race for the league’s Golden Boot award Kerr scored in just the 5th minute to give Chicago the lead. After receiving a pass from Casey Short, Kerr headed the ball toward the net. Utah stopped her initial attempt, but she finished up on the rebound. This was the 5th time Kerr has scored in the first 15 minutes of a game. She kept the offense going strong, finishing the game with seven total shots, four of which were on goal. Chicago Red Stars ended the game 2-0 against the Utah Royals FC and are now on a four-game winning streak, as they look to their next game against the Washington Spirit on Saturday.

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