Watson talks Tuesday’s Open Cup match vs. MLS’ Colorado Rapids

Tuesday’s Open Cup match vs. Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Colorado Rapids is a big game.

Not just because Orlando will host a MLS team at home in the knockout tournament for the first time in franchise history, but because of the support the players know they will have come kickoff at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl.

“It’s always difficult playing MLS teams in the Open Cup, and on the road it’s even a bigger task,” said Orlando City Midfielder Jamie Watson. “But playing at the Citrus Bowl is difficult because of the environment. Our fans make it a tough place to play. No matter who you are (NASL, USL PRO, MLS), it’s not an easy place to play.”
After Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Wilmington Hammerheads, Orlando quickly transitioned to preparation for Tuesday and Colorado with a training session Sunday morning. The Rapids, who also played Saturday night, are unbeaten in their last five MLS games.

“Turnaround is quick, but the motivation is there for us,” said Watson. “We want to beat a MLS team in a competition like the US Open Cup. It would be a huge accomplishment for the club. Now more than ever, we want to do it. This could be the year that we get over the proverbial hump.”

In the last two years, the Lions traveled and fell to FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City respectively, in the same third round they are entering into Tuesday night. Both were by the final score of 3-2.

“Coach (Adrian Heath) gives the Open Cup the respect it deserves,” Watson added. “He looks at this like every other game, he wants to win. Adrian (Heath) is on the same wavelength as all of us in the locker room. We want to win.”

“There will always be upsets (in the Open Cup),” Watson added. “Why can’t it be our turn?”

Photo: Alex S./Sportstalk Florida

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Teams GP Pts
Orlando City SC 28 62
Sacramento Republic FC 28 55
LA Galaxy II 28 51
Richmond Kickers 28 51
Charleston Battery 28 41