Tonight the Lions face the Charleston Battery in the fourth round of the 2015 U.S. Open Cup and this is an extremely important game. Yes, the Battery play in the USL, yes their stadium is in a parking lot, yes Orlando City will be resting some major starters.
Make no mistake.
This game is the first step to playing for all the marbles. Not MLS marbles, WORLD MARBLES. This game is the first step towards the day that our Men in Purple are introduced as…
YOUR WORLD CHAMPIONS: ORLANDO CITY SC.
In the Quentin Tarantino film, Inglourious Basterds, the villain, Hans Landa has a line that perfectly sums up the skepticism expressed by Brad Pitt’s Aldo Raine at a proposition that appears too good to be true. He says, “Sitting in your chair, I would probably say the same thing. And ninety-nine point nine nine times out of a million, you would be correct. But in the pages of history, every once in a while, fate reaches out and extends its hand.”
This is one of those times.
Part of the magic of soccer and a feature that makes it so much different and better than the Big Four North American sports, are tournaments like the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. This tournament which has been going on since ragtime music was all the rage, crowns the best soccer team, regardless of league, in the United States. The idea that your team could be in a contest that counts for something outside of its native league is just plain awesome and that’s why tonight’s match against the Battery is a Big Freaking Deal.
How often is the title, “World Champions” uttered for NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL teams when in fact there is no such thing? With soccer, there is such a thing and it’s pretty freaking cool. It’s the FIFA Club World Cup and it was most recently won by Real Madrid. Winning the U.S. Open Cup gives an automatic berth in the CONCACAF Champions League. The CONCACAF Champions League is contested by clubs from leagues throughout North and Central America and the winner of that league gets a place in the Club World Cup.
Imagine if Orlando City won the Club World Cup? How salty would DC United fans be after that?
Unlike previous MLS teams before them, Orlando City are taking the Open Cup matches seriously and we fully expect to see Adrian Heath’s magic at work tonight. This isn’t just a silly match conjured up out of silly notions of building the sport in America, no, no it isn’t. This is big.
This is even bigger than the I-4 Derby.
Watch it here on YouTube tonight at 7:30 pm.