As if the month of May weren’t already hectic enough with two West Coast trips and three Western Conference opponents, the U.S. Open Cup draw on Thursday added a trip to Orlando to their itinerary.
The Union will visit Exploria Stadium on May 10 for the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. It will be their second time facing the Lions in the competition after beating them 1-0 in the 2018 quarterfinal.
Of all the scenarios going into Thursday’s draw, the Orlando trip was the worst, head coach Jim Curtin admitted.
“Of all the options, away at Orlando was the one I said would be hardest and that is the one we got,” Curtin said.
The Union will play at LAFC three days earlier so they will likely be flying straight from Los Angeles to Orlando instead of returning home.
“Every team is at the mercy of the luck of the draw and in certain instances and we certainly would have loved to have hosted and at least be in our own beds,” Curtin said. “But a two-day trip to LA now turns into basically a six-day one but these are the realities of the league.”
The Union will now have at least eight games in the month of May and would add a ninth game if they are able to advance past Orlando to the Round of 16, which will be played May 24 or 25.
As it stands now, the itinerary includes more than 14,000 miles of travel with Nashville on May 1, LAFC on May 7, Portland on May 22 and New England on May 22. They will host New York Red Bulls and Inter Miami in a four-day span on May 14 and 18.
“There’ll be some congestion in the schedule and look we’ll call upon our whole squad there to help us out and get through a hard moment for sure with the travel with the heat with all the things that come along with it,” Curtin said.