Fire rout Orlando City to reach U.S. Open Cup semifinal

ChrisRolfeCrew (ISIPhotos.com)

By IVES GALARCEP

For a brief moment, the Chicago Fire looked like they just might be the latest victim of Orlando City’s Cinderella run through the U.S. Open Cup when Rob Valentino delivered a second-half equalizer for the USL PRO side on Wednesday night.

Then, in the span of four minutes, the Fire provided a reminder that they, not Orlando City, are the team with the lengthy history of U.S. Open Cup success, rattling off a pair of goals just eight minutes after Valentino’s equalizer on their way to a 5-1 thrashing of Orlando City at Toyota Park on Wednesday night.

Four different players scored goals in the second half, including Chris Rolfe, who notched his second of the night, and Mike Magee, who made it seven goals in seven consecutive games to help seal the Fire’s place in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals, where they will face D.C. United. D.C. defeated New England, 3-1, in their quarterfinal earlier on Wednesday.

A 73rd-minute red card to Yann Song’o with the match already 3-1 to the Fire, helped open the floodgates, with Magee and Joel Lindpere delivering the final blows to end Orlando City’s valiant run through the tournament.

The star of the night for the Fire was goalkeeper Sean Johnson, who stepped up with his only save of the night on a dangerous Dom Dwyer chance in the 54th minute that could have given Orlando City the lead.

Johnson’s save sparked a strong surge from the Fire, who overwhelmed the Orlando City defense the rest of the match.

The victory keeps the Fire unbeaten in all competitions since the arrivals of Magee and Bakary Soumare, and now Chicago is a step away from returning to the U.S. Open Cup Final for the second time in three years. The Fire will be looking to win the fifth U.S. Open Cup title in the club’s history.

 

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8 Responses to Fire rout Orlando City to reach U.S. Open Cup semifinal

  1. SanFran415 says:

    Mike Magee 7 goals in 7 games. MVP season this guy is having.

  2. kar says:

    No sure describing Sean Johnson as having 1 save accurately reflects his evening. In addition to a massive double save (that the second doesn’t count as the linesman flagged for offsides doesn’t diminish the effort), he also stopped a couple of break-aways and generally bossed his area well on a night when the defensive line looked a little suspect.

    Kudos to OCSC though, they definitely came out and played hard!

  3. Modibo says:

    I know there are loads of people who were hoping to see Orlando keep going and assert their right to enter MLS, but I think the Fire’s victory shows our determination to take the Cup. It also shows that there’s an advantage to playing on your home field, but I think we would have taken the game if it was held in Orlando anyways.

  4. Pingback: Sporting KC recalls Dwyer from Orlando City | Soccer By Ives

  5. Adrian says:

    Not to mention all the goals as he carried L.A. while Landy was on sabbatical.

  6. Matt says:

    u would not have taken anything if it was in Orlando.

  7. Firefan in MN says:

    I’ve heard a lot of Orlando fans screaming about how good their team is and how they should be in the MLS. I think it’s great to see such support and by all means keep it up. It’s the kind of support that helped get Philly an MLS spot, even without a team. But the fact is, the Open Cup is not a good barometer of a team’s skill level. Sure Orlando beat a few MLS teams. The problem is, not many MLS teams take the USOC seriously. The Fire are one of the few. As a Fire fan, I’ll freely admit that the Fire are a mid table team. Sure they’ve made some good roster additions as of late and have been pretty hot, but still…mid table. Orlando got blown out by a mid table team in a tournament that most MLS teams could care less about. I still think they deserve an expansion slot, but they will benefit immensely from an expansion draft. I highly doubt they would field the team I just saw. Just my 2 cents.