Legion FC competes in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup quarter-finals for the first time in club history on Wednesday, June 7 at Protective Stadium. Kickoff is at 7pm against Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami CF, marking the second time Legion FC faces a first division side this year.
In order to get here, Birmingham had to defeat the Chattanooga Red Wolves, Chattanooga FC, Memphis 901 FC, and Charlotte FC. With three more wins Legion FC could be the first soccer team from Alabama to ever lift the Open Cup trophy.
In its last Open Cup match, the Legionnaires bested MLS team Charlotte FC in the Round of 16. Forward Prosper Kasim scored the lone goal of the match, and Legion led in shots (14/5 vs 10/4). Birmingham is the underdog again against Inter, and will be looking to get another upset to progress to the competition’s semi-finals.
Birmingham is an offensive threat, even to an MLS side. In its attack the Legion have Enzo Martinez, Juan Agudelo, Tyler Pasher, and Prosper Kasim at its disposal. Martinez is a USL Championship legend, and Legion’s 2022 Team MVP. The Uruguayan currently leads the club in goals scored (five). Agudelo is a former MLS and USMNT international — he was the youngest to ever score for the national team in 2010 at the age of 17. Pasher has some of the best acceleration and dribbling in the USL Championship, and had 36 appearances in MLS in 2021/22 with six goals and three assists. Kasim has been creating lots of chances for Birmingham this season (five assists in all comp.) and steps up in big moments — a veteran from the club’s inaugural 2019 season who is the scorer of its first ever goal, home goal, and goal against a first division side.
Defensively, the Black & Gold have been struggling this season. Birmingham has conceded the second most goals in the USL Championship this season (23). Its defense has promise, however. The Alabama Reds secured clean sheets against rivals Memphis 901 FC in the Open Cup Round of 32 and against Charlotte in the Round of 16. The boys will have to remain organized and disciplined against Miami if they are to win.
Inter Miami CF: 5W – 11L – 0D / 15 Goals Scored – 21 Goals Allowed / 15 Points / 15th in MLS Eastern Conference
Inter Miami comes into its match against Birmingham in poor form. The Herons are on a five-match losing streak in league play and recently departed with its manager, Phil Neville. Its interim manager Javier Morales has not gotten off to a good start, falling to DC United 2-1 at home in Miami’s last outing.
In Open Cup play, Inter Miami have battled to get here. It narrowly lost to USL side Miami FC in the third round, coming back late into the match and winning on penalties. The Herons beat USLC’s Charleston Battery 1-0 in the fourth round, and narrowly held their 2-1 lead against Nashville SC to progress past the Round of 16. Inter, with Josef Martinez, Leonardo Campana, Kamal Miller, Rodolfo Pizarro, and other talent at its disposal, will be looking for a confident win against Legion FC to bounce back into form
If you cannot make the game tomorrow, the match will air on the CBS Sports Golazo Network for free HERE.
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