Orlando City SC’s U.S. Open Cup run was cut short on Tuesday night, with the Lions suffering a 5-2 defeat to Major League Soccer (MLS) side Colorado Rapids in the fourth round of the competition at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The win by the Rapids marks the first loss for Orlando City to the Colorado based club, as the Lions took a 3-1 victory in last year’s edition of the Open Cup.
Despite Colorado maintaining much of the possession in the opening 20 minutes, Orlando City was able to jump on the score-sheet first when Adama Mbenuge surprised the home crowd with a low-driven effort in the 22nd minute. After receiving the ball from Ceren just outside the area, the Senegalese midfielder’s powerful effort flew past Irwin to give the Lions an early lead.
Colorado continued probing throughout the half though, and Deshorn Brown would eventually provide an equalizer for the Rapids in the 32nd minute after Nick LaBrocca’s strike landed directly at his feet.
With the score-line level, the Rapids kept the pressure on the Orlando backline and LaBrocca managed to find the back of the net in the 41st from a well-placed ball from Marc Burch across the box. LaBrocca’s initial effort was saved by Gallardo at point-blank range, but the midfielder did well to finish the follow-up on his second attempt. Gallardo was impressive in the first half, as the Mexican goalkeeper made several key saves to keep the score within distance. Colorado outshot the Lions 9-2 in the first 45, and Gallardo came up big on several close range efforts from Brown and LaBrocca.
With the momentum in their favor, Colorado would go on to add a third at the start of the second half when Deshorn Brown finished a curling strike in the 47th minute for his second goal of the match.
Brown’s pace continued to cause problems for Orlando’s defense as the half progressed and the speedy striker secured a hat-trick in the 54th minute. Running on to a clipped ball from Jose Mari, the Forward was able to elude the defense and lob it over Gallardo to extend the Rapids’ lead to 4-1.
In light of Brown’s goal, Orlando began pushing more numbers forward and would cut into the Rapids’ lead when Luke Boden was able to evade veteran Defender Marvell Wynne on a corner in the 71st minute and nod the ball past Irwin to provide hope for the Lions. Unfortunately for City, the MLS side would respond just two minutes later when Dillon Powers smashed a strong shot to the near-post for the final goal of the match.
With the loss, Orlando City will now exit the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the last time as an USL PRO club. The Lions next match features an international friendly against Brazilian powerhouse Sao Paulo F.C. Kick-off is set for 8 p.m. at ESPN Wide World of Sports.