The first spot in the 2019 US Open Cup final is up for grabs on Tuesday night, as Orlando City takes on Atlanta United at Exploria Stadium.
The semifinal match (7:30 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on regular TV in the US, but you can watch it right here via ESPN+, the digital streaming service from ESPN that has exclusive coverage of the US Open Cup and other live sports, all the 30-for-30 documentaries and additional original content all for $4.99 per month.
You can sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch Orlando City vs Atlanta United live on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the ESPN app.
Orlando City vs Atlanta United US Open Cup Preview
Orlando City currently sit in ninth place in the MLS Eastern Conference standings, and though they’re only four points below New England for the final playoff spot, they are in danger of missing the postseason for the fifth consecutive season.
Nevertheless, even if they ultimately fall short of their first MLS playoff berth in franchise history, a trip to the US Open Cup final would help provide a more positive outlook on the season. They’ve previously never advanced past the quarters at the Open Cup, so getting to the final would be a massive accomplishment for the young-but-improving club.
However, they run into an extremely dangerous Atlanta United side.
Currently second in the East and third in the MLS in goals scored, Atlanta enter this match having won three of their last four (with the only exception being a thrilling 4-3 defeat at the hands of LAFC, the best team in the MLS) and outscoring opponents 10-0 in those three victories.
Moreover, Atlanta has won each of the last four head-to-head matchups against Orlando City: 1-0 at home (May 12, 2019), 2-1 away (August 24, 2018), 4-0 at home (June 30, 2018) and 2-1 away (May 13, 2018). In fact, Orlando City has yet to beat Atlanta since the latter joined the MLS in 2017, securing only a pair of draws in seven matches.
Atlanta may have bigger aspirations in MLS play, and they’re facing a jam-packed schedule right now (they played the Galaxy on Saturday, play NYCFC on Sunday, then play in the 2019 Campeones Cup next Wednesday), but that doesn’t mean they won’t be going all out in this match. Like Orlando, they’re seeking their first Open Cup final.
“It’s impossible not to think about winning a trophy and we are going full for the Open Cup,” Atlanta coach Frank de Boer said. “Our focus is very serious on this tournament. We are still a very young club and we don’t have that much history. In that history, we have an MLS title and to play in another Final this year would be great for this club. We are eager to win prizes and the U.S. Open Cup is one we can win this year.”
All that said, there are some reasons for optimism on Orlando City’s side. The biggest of those reasons is the fact that this match will take place on Orlando’s home soil. Thus far this season, James O’Connor’s squad hasn’t been great at home (5-6-1), but Atlanta have been even worse on the road (3-8-0).
The winner will get either Minnesota United or the Portland Timbers in the final, which takes place August 27 in either Atlanta, Minnesota or Orlando.