Orlando City’s most important game in its history — a home U.S. Open Cup semifinal — ended with yet another loss at the hands of Atlanta United. Orlando is still yet to defeat Atlanta United in any competition in eight attempts, including six losses.
Atlanta players could not have been happier about the events that unfolded Tuesday night at Exploria Stadium, where Atlanta United won 2-0 and punched its ticket to host the U.S. Open Cup final. But they weren’t just happy with winning in a vacuum. Just look at Josef Martinez.
#ATLUTD beat Orlando City...on the road...without this guy in the lineup. pic.twitter.com/hly86ycBAE— Sydney Hunte (@SHWrites) August 7, 2019
OH MY GOD. The only thing that would make this video better is if he was just casually munching on a chicken — oh wait, he’s doing that too! Josef is Atlanta. Atlanta is Josef.
Lest we forget, this is kind of a hobby for Josef. After he broke the MLS goalscoring record in front of the Orlando flick-offing faithful, he famously told reporters: “Every time we play them, they play like it’s the game of their lives, and we continue to father them.”
Orlando fans gave Martinez an earful last week when he was in town for the MLS All Star Game to play against Atletico Madrid. He then said after Atlanta United’s win against the LA Galaxy that Orlando is his house: “When you go home, you always get a reception like that. That’s why they love me so much.”
And then, there’s also Orlando City’s most-hated son, Justin Meram. Meram told us before the game that if he scored, he was “a million percent” certain he would celebrate. Orlando fans famously jeered him while he was their own players, all but forcing the Iraqi international to shove his fingers in his ears to tell HIS OWN FANS he was blocking them out.
After the win, he wasn’t done.
Haters will say it’s fake... https://t.co/NQo1SbkskP— Justin Meram (@JustinMeram) August 7, 2019
and then the knockout punch:
Don’t kill people with kindness, because not everyone deserves your kindness. Kill people with silence, because not everyone deserves your attention...✌ pic.twitter.com/rLZTP4VkfT— Justin Meram (@JustinMeram) August 7, 2019
Julian Gressel with a little zinger:
#USOC2019 Final bound! ⚫️ Love taking pictures in this locker room #UniteAndConquer #atlutd pic.twitter.com/2ytktQqG0Q— Julian Gressel (@JulianGressel) August 7, 2019
You may say it’s not a rivalry. Orlando fans will DEFINITELY say it’s not a rivalry. Just don’t tell the players that.