There's already drama going into this match. Sporting Kansas City and Major League Soccer made the decision not to let Dom Dwyer, Jon Kempin and the other loaned players play against Sporting KC. This has drawn mixed reactions from around the nation but what's done is done. There is a match to be played with the US Open Cup quarterfinals on the line.
About the Teams
Sporting Kansas City
Sporting Kansas City, of course, are the defending US Open Cup champions and looked decent in their third round match against the Des Moines Menace. Sporting will strengthen their squad a bit by the return of Soony Saad, who missed the third round match, but will be without Kei Kamara, Peterson Joseph, Mechack Jerome, Graham Zusi, Matt Besler and Mikey Lopez due to international duty. However they should be able to field a strong squad to take on the Lions.
Orlando City easily dismantled the Colorado Rapids in the third round match to earn the right to play Sporting Kansas City in the fourth round. They will be without Dom Dwyer, their leading scorer this year, and Jon Kempin who has played in several matches for them thus far. It will be a big test to the USL Pro side to see if they can knock off the defending champs without their leading scorer.
Players to Watch
Sporting Kansas City- Soony Saad
Last year's match against Orlando City saw Soony Saad score a brace en route to a Sporting KC victory over the Lions. Now, fresh off of his first ever senior level international cap, Saad will return to Sporting KC just in time for the US Open Cup match. Saad scored in the friendly against Oman for Lebanon and would've played in the qualifiers had it not been for a paperwork mixup. Saad is riding high right now, he may due for a huge match.
Orlando City- Jamie Watson
While Dom Dwyer has been the leading goal scorer for Orlando City Jamie Watson has been putting together quite a nice season for himself with seven goals in USL play. If Orlando City is to win this match Watson will have to be big on the attack and replace the production that Dwyer had been giving them. If Watson can get past the Sporting defense once or twice it may end up being a very good night for the Lions.
How they will win
Sporting Kansas City
Without Dwyer Orlando City is still a very good team but their attack will lack a bit. Sporting KC needs to stifle the Orlando City attack up front and not allow any chances at Kronberg in the match. A strong defensive showing plus a goal or two should be enough to send Sporting through to the quarterfinals.
The Lions need to sit back and not let Sporting's pressure overwhelm them on the back line. From there they need to use counterattacks to catch the Sporting defense off guard and get some goals. Sporting typically has not done well against teams who have done that this year so if Orlando can execute this strategy well they may be primed for a victory.
Sporting KC: Kronberg, Myers, Olum, Collin, Sinovic, Rosell, Thomas, Feilhaber, Peterson, Sapong, Saad
Orlando City: Gallardo, Burke, Ustruck, Bolden, Valentino, Molino, O'Connor, Pulis, Mbenge, Watson, Tan
Sporting Kansas City 3-1 Orlando City
Sporting Kansas City has been resting for a week and a half and international duty will force them to play some of their stronger players. Orlando will make it interesting but Sporting should pull away late.