Prior to every home game a panel of so-called experts will predict the outcome of the Richmond Kickers game. Each expert receives one point for each correct prediction. At the end of the season the winner gets a trophy and pack of gum.
What the heck is the US Open Cup?
Oh, just the third oldest soccer tournament IN THE WORLD!
The first Open Cup was held in 1913, and while there has been some tweaking here and there, the basic premise remains: teams from all levels of soccer (amateurs to pros) compete against one another.
Think of it like March Madness. That basketball tourney appeals to sports fans because small schools face off against collegiate titans…and sometimes the small schools prevail. Now what if March Madness also included amateur and NBA teams? That’s the Open Cup.
This will be the 17th time the Kickers have qualified for the U.S. Open Cup over the past 22 seasons, with an overall record of 26–15 during tournament play and winning the Cup in 1995. In 2011, the Kickers made it all the way to the semi-finals, beating the Columbus Crew and Sporting Kansas City and were the first lower division team to defeat back-to-back MLS teams on the road.
The game and predictions
Open Cup games were played last night and many more are occurring tonight but this match up is only one featuring two former Open Cup champions. Kickers took the title in 1995 and the Columbus Crew in 2002. This will be the fourth time the two teams have met, three times in Open Cup play and one pre-season friendly. The most recent meeting was four years ago when the Kickers were victorious, 2-1 in Columbus. That year, the Kickers made it into the Semi-final round before losing.
Last I checked, Ryan Taylor (#1), goalkeeper for the Kickers, was one of the few non-injured players. He’ll have to have a great game if the Kickers want any chance of winning it. Hopefully Matthew Delicâte (#7) and perhaps Nate Shiffman (#21) can provide enough offense to notch the win. On the down side, the list of injuries grew in the last game and stalwarts such as Brian Ownby are extremely doubtful. Expect to see some brand new faces on the bench and the field for the Kickers.
The Columbus Crew have forward Kei Kamara (#23) leading the team and MLS with 10 goals this season. The question remains whether players like Kei or, nearly as scary an offensive threat, Federico Higuaín (#10) will start. Columbus has had a rough June losing to Philadelphia on June 3rd (3-0), losing to Montreal on June 6th (2-1), and finally getting a draw against LA Galaxy (1-1) this past Saturday. With that many games that close together and only halfway through the MLS season they’ll be turning to their bench as well but you can’t compare an MLS bench and USL Pro bench without favoring MLS.
Kickoff is at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, June 17th gates open at 5:30 PM. The ticket deal for this game is a ticket and a 32oz growler aka grunt for only $15, and then you can take your grunt to Growlers To Go later to get 25% off. Only 50 growlers are available, so get into the stadium early!
RVANews Soccer Guru
|I was beyond confident in my failed prediction last week. I was equally confident that a broken, tired, and battered Kickers couldn’t beat the Columbus Crew. Then over the weekend I watched Red Dawn. If a plucky band of teens can halt the advance of a combined Russian/Cuban invasion in the heartland of America than I’m equally sure a plucky band of academy players can stop an MLS team from the heartland of America. Wolverines!!!!!!!!!!||5|
|Do you know why the Mexico game is always in Columbus? Because what could be more demoralizing to anyone than getting to come to America, but having Columbus, Ohio be your destination? Sadly, I imagine the opportunity for those poor souls on the Crew to experience true culture in RVA will invigorate them and make them play well. Combined with the Kickers having about 2.54 healthy players, and I think the run ends here.||5|
|Yellow soccer teams are weird. For some reason I always think of pineapples. Because of that I don’t think the Kickers run will end and it will continue after a nice Kickers victory.||6|
Total Soccer Show
|The only possible reason the Kickers failed to score against Montreal on Saturday is that they were saving all the goals for Columbus. I know that’s not how soccer works, but the US Open Cup isn’t about logic—it’s about optimism and upsets. That in mind, Kickers 2, Crew 0.||6|
RVANews Soccer Guru (Richard Hayes): All of Richard’s soccer knowledge comes from playing FIFA on the original Playstation and standing in bars, drinking, and yelling at the television. He also helps run RVA DCU and is a member of American Outlaws Richmond Chapter, which mainly involves drinking and yelling at televisions.
Red Army (Matt Myers) — Reigning Champion: Matt was sent off by Leigh Cowlishaw in a summer camp scrimmage as a pre-teen but has not held that against the team. He’s coming to grips with being a relatively old man now after seeing the youngsters in the Red Army and on the Kickers roster. He’s also attended way more matches than he should admit to, especially for having lived in Richmond a total of one out of the last 13 years.
Richmond Kickers (Kickeroo): The Kicker from down under. He doesn’t really like anyone who isn’t a fan of the Kickers. A daredevil who will pretty much try anything and everything but would rather not talk (on advice from the lawyers) about the incident with the scooter and the Flaming Hoop of Death, he’s also a sensitive marsupial who enjoys long walks on a dew-covered soccer field and watching the sun set behind the goal post. He also shares something with the new Kickers beer, Kick It Hunny hops.
Total Soccer Show (Daryl Grove): Daryl is English, so everything he says about footsoccerball naturally carries more weight because he says it in a British accent. He is also part of the excellent local radio show and podcast Total Soccer Show that keeps track of all soccer related things in an intelligent and fun way. If you’re not listening to the Total Soccer Show, you need to change that posthaste.