2022 U.S. Open Cup Photo Gallery (Semifinals)
The New York Red Bulls must have thought they were on course for a place in their first Open Cup Final since 2017 when Lewis Morgan (No10) struck a sensational opener in the Semifinal against Orlando City on the road in Exploria Stadium.
But the good vibes in the Red Bull camp didn’t last long as Orlando – who’d plodded through low-scoring affairs and tense penalty shootouts to reach the Semifinal stage – began a riotous comeback just seconds after the visitors went up. Cesar Araujo started things off…
Orlando City’s 22-year-old Uruguayan sensation Facundo Torres was one of the best players of the whole 2022 Open Cup – and his orchestrations in the 5-1 Semifinal rout of the Red Bulls (where he scored the fourth of his side’s handful of goals) opened a path directly to the Final.
Home Sweet Home for City. The Florida side’s demolition of NYRB in the Last Four was their fifth straight home win on the trot in this Open Cup. Never once did a coin flip go against them. Guaranteed hosting priority in the Final, they played all of their games in the comforts of Exploria Stadium.
Smile, Orlando. Antonio Carlos takes a selfie with the home fans in the Wall after the big win over the Red Bulls that booked a place in a first-ever Final for the Central Florida club (who joined MLS in 2015).
Rodrigo ‘RoRo’ Lopez, veteran skipper of Sacramento Republic (center), was among the heroes of the USL Championship side through this 2022 U.S. Open Cup. In the Semifinal against four-time champions Sporting Kansas City, at home in Northern California, his team had the chance to become the first from the lower leagues to reach the Final since 2008.
Regular and extra-time ended tangled at 0-0 with both teams having clear chances to sneak out a winner. But tension ruled the hot Sacramento night – and the Republic's goalkeeper Danny Vitiello (in yellow, punching) was up to everything that the MLS side from Kansas threw at him.
Had to be him. ‘RoRo’ Lopez was the hero as he stepped up to convert the fifth spot-kick for Sacramento after Vitiello saved crucially from former U.S. international Graham Zusi to open the door to the Final – and history – for this second-division club.
Ecstasy and History. The Sacramento Republic, with the shootout win over Sporting KC, moved through to the Final. There, up against Orlando City on the road, they earned a chance to become the first non-MLS team since 1999’s Rochester Rhinos to win U.S. Soccer’s national championship.
The historic Semifinal was a third win against MLS opposition for the Sacramento Republic in the 2022 U.S. Open Cup. And the players, indebted to their dedicated home fans, celebrated at the final whistle on what was a night to remember.