ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando City SC have their first-ever trophy as a Major League Soccer club, winning the 2022 US Open Cup Final on Wednesday night, 3-0 over USL Championship side Sacramento Republic FC at Exploria Stadium behind Facundo Torres’ second-half brace and Benji Michel's game-changing substitution.
Torres found the breakthrough in the 75th minute on the game’s second shot on target, bending a left-footed blast past Sacramento goalkeeper Daniel Vitiello.
The Uruguayan winger then doubled Orlando’s advantage in the 80th minute, dispatching a penalty kick that was drawn by Michel, whose 61st-minute introduction for striker Ercan Kara changed the game on its head.
For good measure, as Sacramento pushed numbers forward late, Michel added a result-clinching goal in the 96th minute. The homegrown forward raced onto a through ball from Torres and slipped his effort past Vitiello at the far post.
The Lions’ victory, occurring before a sell-out crowd of 25,527, booked a 2023 Concacaf Champions League ticket as well. And they kept MLS’s dominant run going in the historic national tournament, a streak that stretches back to 2000.
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Lions, playing in their second final in three years, have their first piece of silverware since joining MLS in 2015. It’s an apex moment of Oscar Pareja’s tenure, arriving before their home fans and guaranteeing continental competition next year – aside from the revamped Leagues Cup. History achieved, with a hometown hero (Michel) and possible World Cup-bound star (Torres) leading the way.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Orlando’s 75th-minute opener silenced worries of a Cupset, and it came after some fantastic high-pressing from Ivan Angulo and Benji Michel. When the ball was laid off to Facundo Torres, the 22-year-old winger made no mistake.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Facundo Torres, though Benji Michel has a strong shout. The club-record signing lived up to his Designated Player tag, scoring twice and assisting once to earn Orlando silverware.
- ORL: Saturday, Sept. 10 at Philadelphia Union | 7:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+) | MLS
- SAC: Saturday, Sept. 10 vs. Loudoun United | 10 pm ET (ESPN+) | USL Championship