STOKE CITY’S sister side Orlando City made further history on Wednesday evening when they overcame MLS giants Sporting Kansas City to secure a first ever spot in the Quarter-Finals of the US Open Cup.
Adrian Heath’s side, who have enjoyed a superb start to the 2013 campaign, overcame their Mid-Western based opponents by a single goal, thanks to a second minute strike from livewire forward Long Tan.
Whilst the hosts, who held Stoke to a 1-1 draw in a pre-season friendly just over twelve months ago, pressed for an equaliser, they were unable to find a way through a stubborn and dogged backline, which was superbly marshalled by highly-rated ‘keeper Miguel Gallardo.
Speaking to Orlando City’s official website following the game, Stoke-born boss Heath couldn’t hide his delight at what was undoubtedly the biggest upset of the round.
“It’s a really big result and something the players can be incredibly proud of,” he smiled. “All of a sudden we are a couple of games away from something really special. I’m looking forward to playing the next round opponent.”
Orlando’s last eight encounter will again be on the road against either Chicago Fire or Columbus Crew, who go head-to-head this evening after their originally scheduled tie was postponed due to adverse weather conditions.
The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States and is open to United States Soccer Federation (USSF) affiliated teams.
The Open Cup was first held in 1913, with this year marking the centennial edition of the tournament. This year’s field consisted of 68 teams, the largest field in US Open Cup history.