Nashville will travel to Orlando City SC next Wednesday for the quarterfinal round of the US Open Cup. But if the Boys in Gold win that game, they won’t have to leave Nashville again as long as they remain in the competition.
The winner of the Nashville/Orlando game will host a semifinal, and if that team can defeat New York Red Bulls, would host the final against the Sporting KC/Union Omaha winner in the opposite semifinal. If Nashville keeps winnin’, GEODIS keeps hostin’.
Of course, there are some pretty significant “ifs” here. The Boys in Gold took extra time to win their Round of 32 match against Atlanta United, then a needed comeback in the Round of 16 against Louisville City FC. In MLS regular-season games, they’ve gained just one point from back-to-back home games against the worst teams in the West (San Jose, then Sporting KC). Orlando City currently sits fourth in the Eastern Conference in the regular-season table, and has advanced to the quarterfinals with wins over Tampa Bay Rowdies and Philadelphia Union. As an MLS club, Nashville has a 2-1-4 record against OCSC, with one of the wins in last year’s playoffs (and three of the four draws in the regular season a year ago).
It won’t be easy, but home-field advantage may make it a little less daunting for Nashville to hoist its first trophy.