Orlando ousted from US Open Cup by MLS' Chicago Fire


Orlando City SC fell to Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Chicago Fire 5-1 Wednesday night at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., in the US Open Cup Quarterfinals. The loss ended the team’s impressive run in the tournament as the last USL PRO team standing, returning to regular season action Saturday night against the Richmond Kickers.

The Fire got on the board early, with Forward Chris Rolfe on the receiving end of a well-placed ball from Midfielder Dilly Duka in the 6th minute. Duka found Rolfe at the top of the six, whipping in the cross past Orlando Goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo for the 1-0 advantage.

After the early score, Orlando settled down- gaining possession while making key defensive stops against the MLS side. One of those stops included a save by Gallardo in the 29th minute, with Patrick Nyarko’s laser inside the 18-yard box deflected up and out of danger by the 2011 USL PRO Goalkeeper of the Year.

Orlando equalized in the second half, with Winger Kevin Molino whipping a low-drive in the box to Defender Rob Valentino. Valentino put the ball past former UCF Knight Sean Johnson in the lower-right corner, equalizing the match at 1-1 in the 53rd minute.

A few minutes later the Fire responded, with fancy footwork by Fire Midfielder Patrick Nyarko resulting in Chicago’s second score of the night. The speedy midfielder took the ball away from the Lions’ backline, slotting it past Gallardo on the left hand side for the 2-1 Chicago lead.

The Fire added to their lead in the 64th minute, with Rolfe slotting home his second goal after chipping the ball up and over Gallardo. Jeff Larentowicz began the play with a through ball to the forward in space, with Rolfe converting for the third Chicago goal.

Orlando went down to 10 men in the 73rd minute after Defender Yann Songo’o received a red card for denying Joel Lindpere a scoring opportunity, leaving the Lions down a man with a little over 15 minutes to play. Adama Mbengue was also sent off in the 87th minute due to a red card, leaving Orlando with a big disadvantage heading into the closing parts of the match. Two more Chicago goals were scored in the 83rd and 90th minutes by Chicago’s Magee and Lindpere, respectively, pushing the Fire to a 5-1 advantage and victory.

The Lions return to regular-season action this Saturday, June 29, against the unbeaten Richmond Kickers (7-0-5) at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. with tickets starting at just $15.

For more info on the match, visit Orlandocitysoccer.com.