Its a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match day as the Fire look to advance to a ninth Open Cup semifinal Wednesday night vs. USL PRO side, Orlando City (7:30pm LIVE on Chicago-Fire.com).
Here are five things you should know about tonight's game...
Use Bonus Game 3
We’ll just get this one out of the way right now. Wednesday night’s U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals vs. Orlando City counts as Bonus Game #3 for Fire Season Ticket Holders. Don’t forget to bring your ticket to Toyota Park!
What is an Orlando City? Why do people rate them so highly?
Where exactly did the Orlando City Lions come from? They’re formerly known as the Austin Aztex, who played two seasons in USL and then the USSF Second Division before moving to Central Florida to become the Orlando City Lions for the 2011 season.
That year they went on to win the new USL Pro title and they’ve won each of the past two USL Commissioner's Cups (given out for the best regular season record). Since moving to Orlando, the Lions are an all-time 49-16-7 across all competitions.
The team looks well on their way to winning their third regular season championship this season as they currently sit top of the table with a 10-1-2 record, with their only loss coming away to LA Blues back on April 10.
The Centerback: Don't take Orlando lightly
A “third division” team, this certainly is not as bore out by their 3-1 defeat of the Colorado Rapids in the third round and a 1-0 upset of 2012 champs Sporting KC in the fourth round.
Needless to say, Orlando is rightly using their current Open Cup run to build plenty of hype around their bid to become a new franches in Major League Soccer.
The Players on Orlando City
Orlando City’s roster is littered with familiar players for Fire or MLS fans.
Names like Jamie Watson (former RSL, FC Dallas) who is their second leading scorer, Jean Alexandre (former RSL, San Jose), Long Tan (former Vancouver and D.C. United) and Hoffman Estates native Rob Valentino (former Colorado, New England) are on the roster.
Fire connections include former Fire PDL player Freddie Braun (2009) and former preseason trialists Luke Boden (2013) and Eric Ustruck (2012).
Perhaps most significantly, Orlando City’s partnership with Sporting KC has them currently rostering four current MLS players in Dom Dwyer, Jonathan Kempin, Christian Duke and Yann Songo’o.
Due to a gentlemen’s agreement between Orlando City and Sporting, the four players weren’t allowed to play in their fourth round meeting which was slightly controversial because Dwyer is the leading scorer in USL (15 goals).
Go figure, Orlando beat them anyways…
Fire Open Cup record in Illinois
Counting qualifiers, the Fire’s all-time U.S. Open Cup record is an impressive 32-10-4, outscoring opponents 86-43.
Even more impressive is the team’s record when playing in the state of Illinois: 20-0-1, outscoring opponents 53-17 in the process.
READ: Fire captain Pause in doubt for Wednesday's Open Cup clash
Now, what is the only blemish on that record? A 0-0 draw which the Fire ended up losing 3-0 on penalties to the Charleston Battery back in 2010. You know when Brian McBride can’t make a PK, it’s just not your night…
Charleston was also in the equivalent USL Second Division at the time.
Can Magee go 7 for 7?
#MikeMageeFacts: No one wants to jinx Mike Magee on his current six goals in six games streak. That includes the man himself. Asked about his current streak post-game on Saturday at Columbus, Magee said, “Don’t jinx me man. I can’t comment on numbers of goals right now.”
I hope I haven’t just done it.