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Report: Republic Files Complaint About Alleged Orlando City SC Spy During Training Session | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats & Rumors

AP Photo/John Raoux

USL Championship soccer club Sacramento Republic FC alleged that a staff member at MLS club Orlando City SC spied on their practice session on Monday.

According to ESPN Jeff Carlislea Republic equipment manager noticed that the Orlando City staff member worked for Orlando manager Óscar Pareja, and was asked to leave the premises several times, but refused for 30 to 45 minutes because he said he was there to meet a friend.

During the training session, which took place at Central Winds Park in Winter Springs, Florida, Republic staffers reportedly moved two pickup trucks in front of the Orlando staffer to block his vision, but the member of staff moved before finally leaving.

The alleged incident happened just days before Sacramento and Orlando meet in the US Open Cup tournament final in Orlando on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the United States Soccer Federation said the governing body was “reviewing” the situation and confirmed that a USSF camera crew filmed the incident.

Meanwhile, Orlando City released a statement, noting that “the club has been made aware of the matter regarding the Sacramento training session and is cooperating with US Soccer.”

An Orlando City source told Carlisle that the staff member did not provide any information to the club about training and that there was “no coordinated effort” for the staff member to attend the coaching.

It’s unclear if the Orlando staffer could face discipline since the USSF’s Open Cup Open Division handbook doesn’t specifically state that what happened was illegal, especially more than the practice took place in a public park when Sacramento refused to train at the Orlando Hope Training Center. to find a more private place.

The playbook gives Sacramento the right to file a lawsuit, in which case it would be up to the USSF to determine a sanction for Orlando, if any.

Unsurprisingly, the US Open Cup has been largely dominated by MLS clubs over the years as it is the top division of soccer in the United States.

MLS teams first entered the tournament in 1996, and an MLS team has won the tournament every year since 2000. The last non-MLS club to win the US Open Cup was the Rochester Rhinos of the now defunct A -League in 1999, as they beat MLS side Colorado Rapids in the final.

Sacramento have already achieved a lot, becoming the first non-MLS team to reach the US Open Cup final since the Charleston Battery in 2008.

While the Republic are considered relatively far away from winning the tournament, they shocked MLS clubs from Earthquakes San Jose, LA Galaxy and Sporting Kansas City to reach the final.

Orlando City are looking to win their first US Open Cup, but have just won the first two MLS playoff appearances in club history in each of the past two seasons, which means the MLS 2015 expansion team has grown in size.