Final on the Line for RBNY vs. Orlando: 'It Should Be a Good One'

The New York Red Bulls will battle Orlando City FC in the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals on Wednesday, July 27 at Exploria Stadium.

The Red Bulls are 9-3-2 on the road across all competitions this season, including three-straight road matches unbeaten. 

"Our match plan, our behavior on the field is very proactive, and we will have the will in more directions," Head Coach Gerhard Struber said. "We have good pressing triggers, when we go in synchronized moments to press, and I think away this crashed in many times the opponent. This is also what we want to do [on Wednesday], that we have the will and to be in control also in off-ball moments." 

This will be the second overall meeting between New York and Orlando this season, with the Red Bulls earning three points in a 3-0 win against Orlando at Exploria Stadium on April 24.

"We played very well in all facets of the game," Sean Nealis said. "The three goals kind of came in different aspects, with a penalty, a transition moment, and a build-up moment. They’re a good team over the last few months and we’re preparing hard for them, and it should be a good one."

Brazilian midfielder Luquinhas scored the game-winning goal in the match, which was his first career MLS goal. This will be the 17th all-time meeting between the two clubs, New York holds the advantage with a 9-5-2 mark, and this will be the first-ever Open Cup meeting between the squads.

"In transitions and in possession moments, the team is growing and it’s not so easy to handle and manage for other teams here in the league or what we will see in the Open Cup," Struber said.

Luquinhas has tallied three assists in this year's tournament, which is tied for the most in franchise history with John Wolyniec and Tab Ramos. 

"The mood in the team not only about [the Austin FC match], over the last few weeks and month, is also on a very high level," Struber said. "The dynamic is very good in the team, and we are looking forward for a big game."

New York are 4-1-1 in their last six matches against Orlando City SC, including two-straight victories at Exploria Stadium. 

"We know what is coming with Orlando, it’s one of the best teams in our conference and we know what we have to do against a team like that to have a big chance to win," Struber said. "We have big respect for the opponent tomorrow and the whole team is looking forward with a very good feeling and with a very good confidence."

Cristian Casseres, Jr. has made four career Open Cup appearances, including three this season. The Venezulan international has scored in three-straight matches against Orlando City SC, including two-straight matches. Casseres has scored two of his three career goals against Orlando at Exploria Stadium.

The winner of Wednesday's semifinal will face either Sporting Kansas City or Sacramento Republic FC in the Final, to be determined in the second Open Cup match of the night.

"That’s a big goal for everybody," Nealis said. "We have a lot of determination to win this game and move on to the championship round. Back in the Hartford game, we kind of sat down and set a lot of goals on why we want to achieve this and it’s becoming a stronger possibility game-by-game."