SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Sacramento Republic FC is one win away from making history. 

The Republic FC looks to become the first non-MLS team to take home the U.S. Open Cup trophy since 1999 when they face the Orlando City SC in the finals Wednesday night. 

Sacramento is the first lower division club to compete in the finals since the Charleston Battery in 2008. The last non-MLS club to hoist the trophy was the Rochester Rhinos. 

The Battery lost 2-1 to D.C. United in 2008 while the Rhinos defeated the Colorado Rapids in the 1999 edition of the tournament. 

As for the Republic’s opponent, Orlando City holds a 12-6-10 record in the MLS and is currently on a four-game winning streak. Orlando advanced to the finals after defeating the New York Red Bulls 5-1 at home. 

Orlando City will host the finals at Exploria Stadium and will be the fourth MLS club Sacramento will face in the tournament. 

Sacramento currently holds a 12-8-7 record in the United Soccer League, which is good for fourth place in the Western Conference standings. The Republic FC will head into Wednesday’s matchup coming off a 3-1 road loss to Louisville City FC. 

“Mark Briggs is a great manager, he’s brought in some season veterans, he’s got good attacking pieces, he’s got a great defensive unit,” ESPN commentator Devon Kerr said in an interview with FOX40 News Monday morning. “That right there is my opinion is to why this team has a shot at the title because on the offensive side of the ball, they’re so good.”  

As the Republic looks to become the first lower division club to win the tournament in 14 years, here’s their road to the finals. 

Republic begins knockout stage with historic victory

After going 3-0 to start the tournament, Sacramento upset the San Jose Earthquakes of the MLS in the Round of 16 on May 25. 

The Republic FC defeated the Earthquakes 2-0 in front of a sold-out crowd at Heart Health Park. It was Sacramento’s first time hosting an MLS opponent in the Round of 16 and it was also the first time the Republic FC played at home in the round. 

Luis Felipe and Rodrigo Lopez were responsible for the Republic FC’s goals. Felipe gave Sacramento a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute and Lopez scored his goal in the 84th minute. 

Republic continues cinderella run in quarterfinals

In the club’s first trip to the tournament’s quarterfinals, the Republic FC pulled off another upset on June 21 when they took down another MLS club in the quarterfinals.

Sacramento defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 behind goals from Lopez and Felipe. At Dignity Health Park in Carson, Lopez and Felipe again put the Republic FC on the board. 

Lopez netted Sacramento’s first goal in the fourth minute, his fourth of the Cup. After LA scored the equalizer in the 18th minute, Felipe put Sacramento ahead in the 70th minute, his third tournament goal. 

At the time, the Republic FC became the first non-MLS club to reach the Open Cup semifinals since FC Cincinnati advanced that far in 2017. The Republic FC also became the first USL club to take down two MLS teams in the tournament since Cincinnati in 2017. 

Sacramento advances to final with thrilling victory

In front of a sold-out crowd at Heart Health Park, the Republic FC defeated Sporting Kansas City in a penalty shootout in the semifinals on July 27. 

Both teams entered the 90th minute in a 0-0 draw, and neither team scored in overtime, pushing the match into penalty kicks. 

With the shootout tied 4-4, Lopez put the Republic FC into the finals after scoring the game-winner. 

“Sacramento has been on a magical tear and they seem like a team of destiny,” ESPN commentator Tyler Terens told FOX40 News in an interview Monday morning.  

Kickoff for Wednesday’s match is scheduled for 5 p.m. from Exploria Stadium in Orlando. The championship match will be shown on the ESPN Plus streaming service. 

FOX40 News will air a special pre-game preview, “Quest for the Cup,” on television and will be available on FOX40.com prior to the match.