An early goal set the tempo for the match as defending champion Sporting Kansas City fell to Orlando City 1-0 in the fourth round of the US Open Cup.
Orlando City struck extremely early as Long Tan got the ball at the top of the 18 and fired it past Eric Kronberg for the score in the 2nd minute, giving Orlando some momentum early in the match.
Sporting continued to play sloppily for the rest of the first half with the squad making lazy passes and giving up possession in the midfield. However they looked good from a stats perspective, outshooting Orlando eleven to two and gaining four more corner kicks but the teams went into the locker rooms with Orlando leading 1-0.
CJ Sapong would come in at the half for Josh Gardner to give Sporting KC a better attacking presence on the wing. He would have a great chance in the 58th minute as he received a through ball in the middle of the box that he was not able to poke past Gallardo but it resulted in a couple more chances for Sporting directly after. Orlando was able to brace the attack.
Sapong had another great chance in the 68th minute as he got a cross near the face of goal but his shot went just over the bar to keep Orlando in the lead.
After 75 minutes it became obvious that Sporting's attack wasn't getting it done so Peter Vermes called upon another on one of Sporting KC's reserve strikers in Teal Bunbury. Bunbury hadn't seen action since his injury in August of last year. He came in for Jacob Peterson.
Sporting was not able to find a goal even with the substitutions and Orlando City upset Sporting Kansas City 1-0 to advance to the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup.
Head Coach of Orlando City Adrain Heath was very pleased with his clubs performance, especially the early goal.
"It settles you down," he said. "It gave us something to believe in."
Peter Vermes praised the performance of Orlando City while noting the disappointment of an early tournament exit.
"It's huge," he said. "It's definitely something we wanted to not happen."
Kevin Ellis was a bright spot for Sporting Kansas City making his first start and performing rather well at the fullback position, which Vermes noted.
"I'm proud of him and happy for him because I know that he's worked really hard," Vermes said. "He's been i consistent form for three months and played very well in his opportunity."
Kevin Ellis said that he felt like "a weight had been lifted off of his shoulders" as he made the start.
"I left it all on the field tonight and it will be up to them (Vermes) to assess my playing time," he said.
Sporting Kansas City is now officially eliminated from the US Open Cup, as are all of last years semifinalists. Orlando City will move on to facing the winner of the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew match on June 26th. The winner of that match will be the host for the quarterfinal match.
The loaned players for Orlando City will be able to play for the rest of the tournament, meaning they get their leading goalscorer Dom Dwyer and strong central defender Yann Songo'o for the match.
Sporting KC will travel to Dallas on June 22nd in their next league match after the international break concludes next week.