Orlando City Lions make history with win over Sac Republic to take U.S. Open Cup

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 07: Orlando City hoist the trophy after winning the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against the Sacramento Republic FC 3-0 at Exploria Stadium on September 07, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

The Orlando City Lions made history on Wednesday before a sellout crowd, winning the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship in a 3-0 defeat of the USL's Sacramento Republic FC. 

Facundo Torres broke through with a goal in the 75th minute, then converted on a penalty to give Orlando City its first-ever trophy as a Major League Soccer club. Torres' penalty kick in the 80th all but sealed it for the Lions, who had not won a title since joining Major League Soccer in 2015. Orlando native Benji Michel added a stoppage-time goal. 

Sac Republic, which plays in the USL, was looking to become the second lower-division club to win the Open Cup championship in a quarter-century. The Rochester Rhinos won the title in 1999. 

Torres' first goal came off a tap by Michel, a homegrown player signed before the 2019 season. The Uruguayan's goal prompted the sellout crowd at Exploria Stadium to chant "We want the cup!" Michel was fouled in the box to make way for Torres' penalty, then scored himself in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

Orlando City had beaten the New York Red Bulls 5-1 in the Open Cup semifinals to advance to the title game.  Sacramento advanced 5-4 on penalties after a scoreless draw with Sporting Kansas City in the semifinals. The Republic also downed the San Jose Earthquakes and the LA Galaxy in Open Cup play.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 07: Facundo Torres #17 of Orlando City celebrates after scoring a goal in the second half against the Sacramento Republic FC during the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Exploria Stadium on September 07, 2022 in Orlando, Florid

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 07: Maalique Foster #99 of Sacramento Republic FC and Antônio Carlos #25 of Orlando City battle for possession in the second half during the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Exploria Stadium on September 07, 2022 in Orlando, F

Before Wednesday night, the closest the Lions came was in 2020, when they were runners-up in the MLS is Back tournament. Orlando City became the first Florida team to win a major pro soccer trophy since 2001 when the Miami Fusion won the MLS Supporters' Shield. 

This was the 107th edition of the Open Cup, which was not played for the past two years because of COVID-19. 

Over 25,500 were in attendance at Exploria Stadium. 

Orlando City SC announced after the match that the club will take its celebrations to the steps of City Hall in downtown Orlando on Thursday afternoon. The event is set to start at 12 p.m. ET.  Hosted by former Lions goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo along with City’s sideline reporter Gabrielle Amado, the event will include speeches from City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando City Chairman Mark Wilf, and Head Coach Oscar Pareja, with the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup trophy in full display. 

The event is free and open to the public, with fans encouraged to come out and celebrate with the team and the Orlando community, as the Lions lift their first trophy in the MLS era.

U.S. Open Cup Champions by year

  2022--Orlando City
  2018--Houston Dynamo
  2017--Sporting Kansas City
  2015--Sporting Kansas City
  2014--Seattle Sounders
  2013--D.C. United
  2012--Sporting Kansas City
  2011--Seattle Sounders
  2010--Seattle Sounders
  2009--Seattle Sounders
  2008--D.C. United
  2007--New England Revolution
  2006--Chicago Fire
  2005--Los Angeles Galaxy
  2004--Kansas City Wizards
  2003--Chicago Fire
  2002--Columbus Crew
  2001--Los Angeles Galaxy
  2000--Chicago Fire
  1999--Rochester Raging Rhinos
  1998--Chicago Fire
  1997--Dallas Burn
  1996--D.C. United
  1995--Richmond Kickers
  1993--San Francisco CD Mexico
  1992--San Jose Oaks
  1991--Brooklyn Italians
  1990--AAC Eagles
  1989--St. Petersburg Kickers
  1988--St. Louis Busch Seniors
  1987--Club Espana
  1986--St. Louis Kutis
  1984--AO Krete
  1983--New York Pancyprian-Freedoms
  1982--New York Pancyprian-Freedoms
  1981--Maccabi Los Angeles
  1980--New York Pancyprian-Freedoms
  1979--Brooklyn Dodgers SC
  1978--Maccabi Los Angeles
  1977--Maccabi Los Angeles
  1976--San Francisco
  1975--Maccabi Los Angeles
  1974--Greek American AA
  1973--Maccabi Los Angeles
  1972--Elizabeth SC
  1971--New York Hota
  1970--Elizabeth SC
  1969--Greek American AA
  1968--Greek American AA
  1967--Greek American AA
  1966--Philadelphia Ukrainians
  1965--New York Ukrainians
  1964--Los Angeles Kickers
  1963--Philadelphia Ukrainians
  1962--New York Hungaria
  1961--Philadelphia Ukrainians
  1960--Philadelphia Ukrainians
  1959--McIlvane Canvasbacks
  1958--Los Angeles Kickers
  1957--St. Louis Kutis
  1956--Harmarville Hurricanes
  1954--New York Americans
  1952--Harmarville Hurricanes
  1951--German Hungarian
  1950--St. Louis Simpkins-Ford
  1948--St. Louis Simpkins-Ford
  1947--Ponta Delgada
  1946--Chicago Viking
  1944--Brooklyn Hispano
  1943--Brooklyn Hispano
  1940--No final. Baltimore and Chicago Sparta shared title.
  1939--Brooklyn St. Mary's Celtic
  1938--Chicago Sparta
  1937--New York Americans
  1936--Uhrik Truckers
  1935--St. Louis Central Breweries
  1934--Stix, Baer and Fuller
  1933--Stix, Baer and Fuller
  1932--New Bedford Whalers
  1931--Fall River Marksmen
  1930--Fall River Marksmen
  1929--New York Hakoah
  1928--New York Nationals
  1927--Fall River Marksmen
  1926--Bethlehem Steel
  1925--Shawsheen Indians
  1924--Fall River Marksmen
  1923--Paterson Silk Sox
  1922--St. Louis Scullin Steel
  1921--Brooklyn Robins Dry Dock
  1920--Ben Millers
  1919--Bethlehem Steel
  1918--Bethlehem Steel
  1917--Fall River Rovers
  1916--Bethlehem Steel
  1915--Bethlehem Steel
  1914--Brooklyn Field Club