It happened and now we must deal with it. Everybody connected with Orlando City SC will feel extremely flat today after Fort Lauderdale Strikers eliminated the Lions from the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup last night.
Going down 1-2 after extra-time, our Florida rivals’ winning goal came in the 120th minute courtesy of Brazilian midfielder PC. It was a knockout blow in every sense.
While making MLS Cup was and still is the Lions’ primary objective for 2016, you can’t help feel disappointed that Orlando City SC have bowed out of the U.S. Open Cup a round earlier than last season.
What’s more, many supporters believed City were arguably on the more favourable side of the draw with Fort Lauderdale Strikers now going on to face Chicago Fire despite this team dumping out Adrian Heath‘s men last term.
Up next in the league, Orlando City SC face an Independence Day trip to the Major League Soccer stronghold that is FC Dallas’ Toyota Stadium with Óscar Pareja’s Texan side in great form this campaign.
With this distant road trip up next, we definitely could’ve done without the extra 30 minutes yesterday evening so without any further ado, here’s FIVE reasons why every Orlando City SC supporter wants to forget #ORLvFTL!
Fatigue at FC Dallas?
As already alluded to, playing an extra period of 30 minutes in last night’s fixture wouldn’t have been on the agenda of Adrian Heath.
With all respect to Fort Lauderdale Strikers, despite dumping out MLS opposition in the form of D.C. United in Round 4, many expected Orlando City SC to make home advantage at Camping World Stadium count.
Considering first team professionals such as Kevin Alston, Brek Shea, Servando Carrasco, Adrian Winter and Cyle Larin all got minutes at some point or another last night, these guys will have to dust themselves down quick for FC Dallas on Monday.
And with FC Dallas unbeaten in their last 16 MLS fixtures at home, grabbing all three points looks like a tough ask at an unforgiving venue!
Bragging rights surrendered…for now!
Orlando City SC 1 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2 – Highlights – June 29, 2016 (Credit: CNC Florida Central)
While Orlando City SC supporters received their fair share of trolling from Jacksonville Armada following the NASL sides’ 2-1 pre-season win over the Lions, we avenged that result when it mattered by dumping them out of this year’s U.S. Open Cup in Round 4.
However, surrendering more bragging rights to another Florida rival in the shape and form of Fort Lauderdale Strikers was certainly not in the script!
Adrian Heath correctly claimed before the game that teams such as Strikers are that much more pumped up to beat Orlando City SC given we are the biggest and best supported outfit in Florida and frustratingly, we gave them that very satisfaction!
— OrlSentinel Soccer (@oslions) June 30, 2016
From what we could tell from the Twitter coverage of last night’s U.S. Open Cup defeat, Fort Lauderdale Strikers were often play-acting and time-wasting where they saw necessary.
With these tactics seeming to wind the Lions up throughout the 120 minutes, things boiled over in the second-half whereby both Kevin Molino and Maicon Santos were dismissed by referee Caleb Mendez in the 67th minute for their actions in a brawl.
Of course, we weren’t privy to what was said or done out on the field but in the cold light of day, Kevin Molino is an incredibly important cog in our starting eleven week in, week out and we need to rely on him going forward.
After all, it was the Trinidad and Tobago international that cancelled out Jose Angulo’s opener courtesy of his 15th minute equaliser.
I’m sure we’ll be finding out what the repercussions are in the coming hours but unfortunately, the game got ugly when we had hoped it would’ve been out of sight.
Knocks for Rafael Ramos and Cyle Larin
— Orlando City UK (@Orlando_CityUK) June 30, 2016
Turning into more and more of a frustrating fixture with each passing five minute spell it seemed, last night’s fixture didn’t come without cost, not only in terms of the scoreline but knocks too.
The first blow came on 38 minutes whereby the returning Rafael Ramos had to exit the field with what looked like a thigh injury.
With Kevin Alston replacing the young Portuguese, we mustn’t forget that Ramos has only just returned from a hamstring injury so this was far from good.
Later on in the game, it was looking as if Orlando City SC could suffer more patients as Cyle Larin got bumped and bruised although there are no major injury fears hanging over the Canadian international at present.
Nevertheless, we wouldn’t have envisaged subbing Larin in to help us out of a hole so all in all, the game was incredibly taxing.
No Live Stream!
— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) June 29, 2016
Without sounding too much like a broken record with many, many Orlando City SC supporters announcing their displeasure at the lack of a Live Stream for yesterday’s game, it was still a massive sore point.
The only Round of Last 16 fixture not to be aired via YouTube as is usually the case with U.S. Open Cup fixtures, it appeared this move was designed to increase the number of fans actually attending the fixture itself at Camping World Stadium.
However, only 3,162 supporters turned out for last night’s game with this figure representing the lowest home gate for a competitive match since August 3rd, 2011 which marked the club’s inaugural campaign in USL.
In the end, non-attending fans had to contend with either text-based play-by-play commentary or DIY Periscope coverage from thoughtful City supporters at the game.
Perhaps somebody knew all along that the Orlando City SC result was going to turn out bad but joking aside, perhaps the issue of no Live Stream will be looked into with far greater understanding by the powers that be going forward.