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Atlanta United travels to Orlando City in US Open Cup semifinals

The Southeastern rivals meet in a winner-take-all knockout game for the first time.

May 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta United midfielder Gonzalo Martinez (10) and Orlando City defender Joao Moutinho (44) contest the ball during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)
May 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta United midfielder Gonzalo Martinez (10) and Orlando City defender Joao Moutinho (44) contest the ball during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

Atlanta United and Orlando City SC will renew their Southeastern rivalry in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup semifinals on Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 7:30 p.m. ET. Atlanta will travel to meet Orlando at Exploria Stadium.

Minnesota United and the Portland Timbers play in the opposite semifinal at Minnesota’s Allianz Field on Aug. 7. Minnesota thrashed New Mexico United of the second-tier USL Championship 6-1 in their quarterfinal contest. Portland pulled off a 1-0 upset at Los Angeles FC to get to the semifinal.

U.S. Soccer officials determined the semifinal hosts with a draw Thursday afternoon.

The Five Stripes moved on to the Open Cup semifinals with a 2-0 win over USL Championship side Saint Louis FC Wednesday night at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga. Gonzalo “Pity” Martínez scored a 52nd-minute winner, his first goal from open play since May 12 against Orlando. Josef Martínez added a penalty in second-half stoppage time. Midfielder Emerson Hyndman provided an assist in his Atlanta debut.

The Lions advanced past New York City FC in a penalty shootout Wednesday. 

Orlando has never beaten Atlanta. The Five Stripes own a 5-0-2 record in the series and have won four straight. Pity Martínez’s strike, which opened his Atlanta account, was the only goal scored during the teams’ last meeting.

The Open Cup semifinal will be their first matchup in a winner-take-all knockout game.

Following the Five Stripes’ victory Wednesday, manager Frank de Boer said the possibility of facing the Lions was enticing.

“Orlando is coming up, is doing much better every week,” de Boer told reporters. “It should be nice, Orlando: the derby, a little bit, special for the fans.”

Thursday’s draw also determined hosting priority for the Open Cup final, scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 27 or Wednesday, Aug. 28. Atlanta was drawn with top priority. Should the Five Stripes defeat Orlando, they will host the final at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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