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Orlando City vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies, U.S. Open Cup: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More



Welcome to your match thread for a Wednesday night U.S. Open Cup third-round match-up between Orlando City and the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Exploria Stadium (7 p.m., ESPN+). The I-4 Derby was established before the Lions joined Major League Soccer but this edition of the rivalry has real stakes. It’s the second time the teams have met in this competition.

Here’s what you need to know about the match.


Orlando City is 6-0-0 in the all-time series as far as “official” records go, but 9-0-0 if you count the three preseason friendlies since the Lions made the jump to MLS.

The I-4 Derby began in 2013, when the Lions and Rowdies met three times. Orlando City was in the third-division USL Pro at the time, while the Rowdies played in the second division’s NASL. The teams first met on Feb. 23, 2013 at Disney’s Wide World of Sports as part of the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic. The Lions won that game in the tournament’s consolation bracket 2-0, thanks to a first-minute penalty conversion by midfielder Jamie Watson and a 78th-minute sealer by striker Dennis Chin.

The I-4 Derby was established after that with a pair of home-and-home preseason friendlies. The teams met in Orlando on March 9, 2013, with the Lions capturing a 3-2 win on goals by Watson, James O’Connor, and Jean Alexandre, while Amani Walker and Luke Mulholland scored Tampa Bay’s first goals against Orlando City. The return leg took place at Al Lang Stadium on March 30 of that year and Orlando won 3-2 again. Kevin Molino, Adama Mbengue, and Dom Dwyer provided the offense, with Dwyer’s 91st-minute strike winning the game. Takuya Yamada and Walker scored for the Rowdies.

The I-4 Derby resumed in 2014, with the first game taking place in Lake Buena Vista on April 30, as the Lions played home matches at Disney’s Wide World of Sports that year. Orlando City won 3-0 on goals by Mbengue, Chin, and Brian “Cobi” Span.

The teams then met in the U.S. Open Cup in the first competitive I-4 Derby match-up on May 28, 2014, at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford. The Lions thumped the Rowdies 4-1 in that match, with Molino bagging a first-half brace and Austin da Luz and Mbengue also scoring in the opening 45 minutes. Blake Wagner’s goal just before halftime spoiled the shutout but the Lions handled their business.

The return leg of the regularly scheduled 2014 I-4 Derby in St. Petersburg didn’t happen until July 6, with Orlando winning by a 3-2 scoreline for the third time in the series. Molino and Darwin Ceren scored on either side of a strike by Tampa Bay’s Georgi Hristov to take a 2-1 lead into the break. Hristov tied the match in the second half, but Corey Hertzog scored the winner for the Lions in the 75th minute.

Since 2014, the teams have met only in a few preseason friendlies/scrimmages and they apparently aren’t being counted in the overall series. The Lions and Rowdies met in the 2017 preseason, playing to a scoreless draw at Sylvan Lake Park in a closed-door scrimmage held on Feb. 11. Three years later, almost to the day, the teams met again in the preseason — this time at Exploria Stadium — on Feb. 12, 2020. Orlando City won 2-1, with Junior Urso and Jordan Bender supplying the offense in a come-from-behind win after Kyle Murphy had put Tampa ahead.

The most recent meeting came Feb. 19 of this year, when the Lions again topped the Rowdies in preseason behind closed doors. Tesho Akindele, Mauricio Pereyra (penalty), and Jack Lynn scored for Orlando, while Tampa Bay avoided a shutout thanks to a goal by Jake LaCava.

Match Overview

Orlando City is coming off Saturday’s 2-0 road win over the Columbus Crew, in which Rodrigo Schlegel opened his MLS account and Ercan Kara added his second goal in the last two games. The Lions are 2-2-0 at home in 2022.

Tampa Bay is 3-1-3 on the USL Championship season, sitting third in the Eastern Conference standings. The Rowdies are coming off a 3-1 win over FC Tulsa at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday. Tampa is 1-0-2 away from home in 2022.

The Lions will need to be wary of LaCava, who leads the Rowdies with three goals and an assist on the season in seven games (five starts). Sebastian Dalgaard has chipped in two goals. Leo Fernandes and Sebastián Guenzatti have been the team’s providers thus far, with two assists each.

Orlando City will likely rotate the starting lineup from Saturday’s match, but it’s worth noting that neither Alexandre Pato nor Ruan played any minutes on Saturday. This match will provide an opportunity for Oscar Pareja and his staff to give a look to players who haven’t gotten on the field that much yet this year, such as Akindele, Andres Perea, and potentially Thomas Williams and Lynn.

“We’re excited to play the first game [of this competition] versus a good team,” Orlando City Assistant Coach Josema Bazán said in a pre-match press conference. “It’s going to be a very good match. The players are excited to play in the game in their first match of the Open Cup. We are all on the same page and we’ll continue to get ready.”

Orlando City will be without Antonio Carlos (hamstring), but no other Lions are on the availability report.

Projected Lineups:

Orlando City (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Mason Stajduhar.

Defenders: Kyle Smith, Thomas Williams, Rodrigo Schlegel, Michael Halliday.

Defensive Midfielders: Sebas Mendez, Andres Perea.

Attacking Midfielders: Benji Michel, Junior Urso, Tesho Akindele.

Forward: Alexandre Pato.

Tampa Bay Rowdies (3-4-3)

Goalkeeper: Raiko Arozarena.

Defenders: Aaron Guillen, William Conner Antley, Laurence Wyke.

Midfielders: Jake Areman, Yann Ekra, Lewis Hilton, Sebastian Dalgaard.

Forwards: Sebastián Guenzatti, Kyle Greig, Jake LaCava.


Ref: Daniel Gutierrez.

AR1: Abdel Kuttaineh.

AR2: Albert Escover.

4th: Jasmine Peralta.

How to Watch

Match Time: 7 p.m.

Venue: Exploria Stadium — Orlando.

TV: None.

Streaming: The match can be streamed on ESPN+.

Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City’s official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC).

Enjoy the match. Go City!

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Portland Timbers shut down by Philadelphia Union in 2-0 home defeat; coach Giovanni Savarese rumored to be joining Venezia




In a showcase of one of Major League Soccer’s top defensive sides, the Philadelphia Union locked down the Portland Timbers 2-0 on Sunday night at Providence Park.

“A frustrating result,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said. “What differentiated this game from one team to the other is Philadelphia scored two goals, and we couldn’t find the net. We have created chances, but at the end of the day, they took advantage of the two or three moments that they had. Philly is a difficult team to play against. If you don’t have a constant energy, they never stop. Credit to them to the fact they found two goals that was the decisive separation for them.”

The Union (6-1-6, 24 points) dominated the shorthanded Timbers (3-5-6, 15 points) in the first half, displaying why they are the leading team in the Eastern Conference with stifling defensive play all night. Philadelphia opened the scoring early, too, in a spectacular moment.

Daniel Gazdag’s bicycle kick made it 1-0 Union early, silencing the Providence Park crowd.

Philadelphia continued to lurk in the attacking third, but nothing came of their immediate chances. In the 15th minute, the Timbers suffered what could be a serious loss as midfielder Eryk Williamson came off the field due to injury, shaking his head in frustration. He was replaced by Santiago Moreno.

“Sometimes, you come to a moment when it hits you,” Savarese said. “All of the sudden you have injuries, you have health situations that prevent you from having a full roster. It’s frustrating not to have everybody available. Eryk I don’t think will be available for this weekend (against Miami). He was very smart to come out of the game before he suffered something more difficult to handle. I think it will be something that won’t be too long.”

At 23 minutes in, the Union led 8-0 in shots. Portland’s first shot of the night came on a Bill Tuiloma header in the 27th minute on the feed from Moreno, but it went wide left.

In the 41st minute, Moreno had an ambitious take of his own from just outside the box, and it ended up just high of goal.

A moment of intense disagreement arrived in the 44th minute as Diego Chara was given a yellow card for a challenge in which he led with his head, and multiple players from both teams jawed at one another (and the officials) in the aftermath.

“I feel frustrated in that moment,” Diego Chara said. “In my opinion, it was a 50-50 ball, and we crashed. I don’t know why I got that. It’s a target always from the referees when they give me a yellow card. I didn’t deserve that yellow card, but it’s nothing to do.”

The match officials described Chara’s card as a “reckless challenge.”

Portland went into halftime looking outmatched on every level. That trend continued in the opening minutes of the second half.

Philadelphia doubled its lead in the 48th minute on a header from Sergio Santos, making it 2-0 Union as the road side’s defense continued to limit anything Portland tried to put together.

In the 65th minute, Portland brought on Larrys Mabiala and Marvin Loría to replace Justin Rasmussen and Cristhian Paredes. The Timbers’ attack soon found renewed life as Loría pushed the ball ahead to Moreno, whose shot was saved.

Unfortunately for the Union, the ball fell right to the feet of Sebastian Blanco, who put it in the back of the net in the 69th minute. It was called a goal initially and Philadelphia’s lead appeared halved, but after further review by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), it was disallowed due to offsides.

“Santiago Moreno was in an offside position when his teammate Josecarlos Van Rankin heads the ball to him,” the match officials said postgame. “The VAR was trying to establish if indeed, there was a touch by Josecarlos Van Rankin. Once the VAR found an angle which allowed him to confirm this touch, he recommended a review for an offside offence (sic) in the build up to the goal.”

In the 80th minute, Portland brought on youngster David Ayala for Josecarlos Van Rankin, adding another attacking talent as it desperately sought to break through for a goal.

Yimmi Chara had a chance from close range in the 86th minute, and Tuiloma had one of his own in the 90th minute, but both were saved. Beyond that, Portland had little to offer in the way of dangerous comeback scoring attempts. Philadelphia simply parked the bus in the second half, and the Timbers couldn’t often see past it, despite 12 shots and 11 corners. Philadelphia had the same number of shots and just five corners.

“Difficult match,” Diego Chara said. “We tried to win the game, but it was going in the wrong way. Philly did a good job. For us, it was difficult when we conceded that goal in the (5th) minute, and that changed our plans.”

Portland’s next match is Saturday on the road at Miami. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. PT (TV on Fox 12 Plus).

Savarese to Venezia?

Before kickoff Sunday night, Italian journalist Nicolò Schira reported that Italian club Venezia has selected Savarese as its new manager. The Timbers, in response to this report, told The Oregonian/OregonLive that “Gio (Savarese) is under contract for 1.5 more years and we have not been contacted by Venezia.”

After the match against Philadelphia, Savarese didn’t provide a clear yes or no answer to The Oregonian/OregonLive’s question about the report.

“I’d rather talk about the game today,” Savarese said. “This is the most important thing. I am the coach of the Portland Timbers, and this was a tough game to digest.”

To a follow-up question asking if he’d been in contact with Venezia, Savarese replied, “I’d rather stay on the game. I think that’s the most important part for today.”

— Ryan Clarke,

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Pride Make Late Rally But Fall To Chicago Red Stars, 4-2




ORLANDO, Fla. (May 22, 2022) – Orlando Pride (2-2-1, 5 points) fell by a score of 4-2 to the Chicago Red Stars (2-1-0, 6 points) on Sunday night at Exploria Stadium, in what served as the side’s third game in eight days. 

The Pride scored two goals in the second half, first from the head of defender Amy Turner and then the foot of forward Leah Pruitt, both notching their first goals as a member of the Pride. Orlando had an opportunity to add another in the 81st-minute, but Sydney Leroux’s penalty attempt was stopped by Alyssa Naeher. 

Goalkeeper Erin McLeod finished with five saves on the night. 

Orlando Pride Head Coach Amanda Cromwell:

“Obviously, we had tired legs. We had three games this week and they did not. There is still no excuse for that. We rested players [at the midweek] so we would be ready for this game. We had multiple players get minutes on the Wednesday game. The lack of energy is inexcusable. I really want to apologize to our home crowd because they deserve better when they come out to see us. You saw some of that energy at the end when we get two goals and also had a penalty. Their penalty, I don’t know, I was too far away to see really what happened. Even with all that, it is a penalty or a non-penalty away from being three-three, which is crazy.”

11’ – Sarah Griffith (Vanessa DiBernardo) – CHI 1, ORL 0

The Red Stars opened the scoring early after the ball was played through to Vanessa DiBernardo who took it to the end line and cut it across the face of the goal. Sarah Griffith was there and had her initial shot blocked up in the air, but Griffith was able to get her head to the ball and knock it over the line. 

54’ – Bianca St-Georges (Mallory Pugh) – CHI 2, ORL 0

Chicago doubled their lead in the second half after Mallory Pugh played a ball in behind the Pride’s backline finding Bianca St-Georges who fired it into the side net from a tight angle. 

64’ – Mallory Pugh (Ava Cook) – CHI 3, ORL 0

The Red Stars extended its lead after Pugh received the pass from Ava Cook and dribbled it to the top of the box, striking it with her right foot into the bottom right corner of the goal. 

83’ – Amy Turner (Courtney Petersen) – CHI 3, ORL 1

The Pride pulled one back after Sydney Leroux was fouled just outside the box after a nice run of play. Courtney Petersen took the free kick and sent it to the back post where it found Amy Turner who was able to head the ball past a diving Chicago goalkeeper. 

86’ – Mallory Pugh (Penalty Kick) – CHI 4, ORL 1

Chicago was awarded a penalty kick late in the second half and Pugh stepped up to take it. Pride goalkeeper Erin McLeod saved the initial penalty shot but the rebound fell right in front of Pugh and she was able to tap in the rebound. 

87’ – Leah Pruitt (Abi Kim) – CHI 4, ORL 2

Orlando found the back of the net for the second time of the night after Abi Kim took on two defenders from the wing and put the ball to the feet of Leah Pruitt who was able to turn and send a rocket with her right foot to the inside of the opposite goal post and into the net. 

  • Amy Turner’s goal marked her first goal in the NWSL
  • Leah Pruitt’s was her first in Pride uniform, and fifth across all NWSL competitions
  • Courtney Petersen recorded her third assist in regular season play with the service on Turner’s goal
  • With the helper on Pruitt’s score, Abi Kim recorded her first assist of the year and second in regular season play
  • After earning her first start on the road at the midweek, midfielder Viviana Villacorta made her first career start at Exploria Stadium on Sunday night. 
  • Head Coach Amanda Cromwell made five changes to her starting lineup from the midweek, with Courtney Petersen, Toni Pressley, Gunny Jónsdóttir, Darian Jenkins and Leah Pruitt all getting back in the Starting XI. 

Next Match: The Pride go up against the Washington Spirit on Friday, May 27. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET at Exploria Stadium, with the match aired nationally on CBS Sports Network.

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Charlotte FC overachieving, RSL bucking advanced numbers & where every team stands after MLS Week 13




What’s the deal with these teams? NYCFC have probably been the best team in the league since finishing their CCL run. They’ve taken 19 of 21 available points, and have a +15 goal differential. They are now just fractionally behind LAFC in the Shield race on PPG, and are atop the East on the same.

They have done this despite constantly juggling injuries and absences – they’re down to their third-string right back, who’s actually a d-mid, and their No. 10 has had to be a No. 6, and their back-up LB has had to be their starting LB, etc etc etc. Everybody has to handle injuries, but I don’t think anybody’s done so as well as the Pigeons.

The one problem on the horizon, though, is the Taty Castellanos situation. In the 10 games he’s played they’ve scored 23 goals; in the two he hasn’t, they’ve scored once, and it was a PK (in this game!). Heber is back, but he’s not back, and if Taty’s sold this summer (seems likely)… how do you replace the best pressing forward in the league, who also happens to be the best playmaking forward in the league, and also happens to be one of the top goalscoring forwards in the league?

I think they’ll still be really good. But having an elite center forward has consistently been the difference, leaguewide, between being a really good team, and a team that wins hardware.

Sadly for the Fire, the only hardware they look like they’ll be competing for is the Wooden Spoon. Obviously that can change, and I’ll argue they’ve looked better in attack over the last three games as Chris Mueller has gotten into the team.

But that’s not saying much. They’re now winless in nine, Xherdan Shaqiri has been a massive disappointment, and the defense has consistently broken down after a promising start. I think they can point to the fact Jairo Torres has barely played as a mitigating factor (he only just arrived a couple of weeks ago and is carrying a knock), and perhaps moving Torres inside as a No. 10 and Shaqiri out to his more natural right wing spot could help fix things.

Though to be clear, I don’t think that’s how it was drawn up when they made those acquisitions. Rather, that’d just be Ezra Hendrickson trying to make the best out of a rapidly deteriorating situation.

So even though a lot has changed in Chicago, not much actually has.

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