Orlando City vies for U.S. Open Cup title tonight at Exploria Stadium
Central Florida's Major League Soccer team Orlando City competes in its first-ever U.S. Open Cup final tonight against Sacramento Republic.
The match is 8 p.m. in a sold-out Exploria Stadium and on ESPN+.
Sacramento Republic is in the second-tier United Soccer League. And Major League Soccer has had a lock on the historic U.S. Open Cup final for more than 20 years.
In a press conference Tuesday, Orlando City midfielder and captain Mauricio Pereyra said the Lions are ready for a difficult and important match.
"Always you have to respect the rival you have in front. It doesn't matter if they are from USL or from MLS or Premier League, it doesn't matter," Pereyra said. "Always, I think the most important for a soccer player is to respect the rival you have in front, knowing that the desire that we have to win this trophy, they have too."
Orlando City has enjoyed home field advantage throughout the cup. Now Pereyra is hoping the team can give fans a first trophy to celebrate.
"It's fantastic for us (to) play with our people and our fans around us. They were following us during the season and in this case with a full stadium I think it's a great opportunity for us to give them, how do you say, to give them happiness."