U23s face defending NPSL champion Jacksonville United in first round of U.S. Open Cup
ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando City U23s face the defending National Premier Soccer League Champions Jacksonville United this Tuesday, May 15, at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, Fla. Tuesday’s match marks the start of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States. Kickoff for the match is set at 7 p.m.

Jacksonville United is a member of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), which was formed in 2002. Last season, United won the NPSL championship match by defeating Hollywood United 3-2. JUFC captain Tommy Krizanovic scored a hat trick in the 3-2 victory, earning himself the Championship MVP.

“Jacksonville (United) is a solid team that will be ready to play,” said Orlando City U23s Head Coach Joe Avallone. “We need to be at our best on Tuesday. They’re one of those teams that could take you by surprise if you don’t thoroughly prepare for them.”

In their last regular season match held Friday, the U23s swept past Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy in a 6-0 win at the Seminole Soccer Complex. A week beforehand, the two clubs ended in a scoreless draw at the same venue. The result shows the U23s are constantly learning and growing as they gain more valuable training time on the practice pitch.

If the U23s are successful, they will host the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League (NASL) – an unspoken rival of the pro team due to location of the two clubs. No Orlando City team has ever faced the Rowdies in professional competition. The match would be held at the Seminole Soccer Complex.

Tickets for all Orlando City U23s matches start at $5 for kids 16 and below, with admission for adults 17 and up just $10. Tickets are available at the gate before every home match. For more information on the U23s match and more, visit Orlandocitysoccer.com

Player to Watch- Jonathan Mendoza

Team Captain Jonathan Mendoza joined the U23s for the 6-0 win over Fort Lauderdale after finishing the Spring semester at Stetson, showing why he wears the armband in the dominating victory. Mendoza immediately provided a spark, scoring the first goal in the 5th minute after recovering his own deflection off of the Schulz Academy goalkeeper. Look for Mendoza to continue his strong play on Tuesday against JUFC.

Available Roster

Moses Aduny, Johan Bergfeld, Ricardo Campbell, Oumar Diakhite, David Graydon, Will Frandsen, Ryan Griffin, Ezequiel Pedraza, Joseph Toby, Steven Williams, Sean Reynolds, Chip Saunders, Anthony Arico, Keneil Baker, Jonathan Mendoza, Louis Ojeco, Nicolas Russo.

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