Kickers take on their first MLS opponent of the US Open Cup.
Update #3 — June 17, 2014; 11:02 AM
Richmond Kickers continue their quest for the Open Cup on Wednesday, June 18th at City Stadium as they face the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer. This will be the first true test of the Open Cup for the Kickers as they face a team that plays in the highest division in the US and is having an excellent season. The Revolution have posted a 7-5-2 regular season record and sit in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference. However all is not well in MLS-land as New York Red Bulls, Chivas USA, and Real Salt Lake have fallen to lower division rivals.
The Revolution have a local connection in Brad Knighton (#18). Brad played for the Philadelphia Union and Vancouver Whitecaps before ending up at New England, but prior to that he graduated from Godwin High School and was a goalkeeper for the Richmond Strikers. He has earned one start so far this season, in the Revs 5-3 win over Philadelphia last month. However since this is the Open Cup coaches often call on 2nd and 3rd string so don’t be surprised if Knighton gets the nod.
The Kickers are sure to change up their line up as well and give starters a much needed break as well. In the last game against Wilmington both Kicker goals were scored by Forward Matthew Delicâte (#7) and were his eighth and ninth goals of the season.
Kickoff is slated for 7:00 PM and tickets are on sale now for $15 at RichmondKickers.com. Should the Kickers advance to the Fifth Round, they will travel to D.C. United on June 24th or host USL PRO rivals Rochester Rhinos on June 25th.
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Update #2 — May 29, 2014; 10:24 AM
The Richmond Kickers beat New York Greek American Atlas in the 3rd Round of the US Open Cup last night at City Stadium by a score of 2-1. The win pushes the Kickers further into the US Open Cup with a 4th Round match against MLS Eastern Conference leaders the New England Revolution on June 18th.
New York Greek American Atlas scored first in the 21st minute. Soon after, referees halted the game at 7:33 PM for what would be an over three-hour delay due to lightning in the area. Play resumed at roughly 10:45 PM.
In the game’s second half, George Davis IV (48’) and Tishan Hanley (82’) scored for the Kickers, securing the win and the team’s advancement into the 4th Round of the US Open Cup where the squad will play the New England Revolution at City Stadium on June 18th.
The Kickers will next play at City Stadium on June 7th against the Harrisburg City Islanders at 7:00 PM.
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Update #1 — May 27, 2014; 8:37 AM
Richmond Kickers routed RVA FC 6-1 earlier this month to earn the right to face New York Greek American Atlas, Wednesday, 7:00 PM at City Stadium. New York Greek American Atlas was the 2013 Region I Amateur Cup Champions and recently upset the Ocean City Nor’Easters (PDL) 2-0 to advance to this game against the Kickers. If the Kicker win (and they should) they’ll face the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer on Wednesday June 18th at City Stadium.
New York Greek American Atlas is one of the oldest teams in the United States, established in 1946. One player to definitely keep an eye on is Chris Megaloudis (#10). When not playing for Atlas he plays for Long Island Rough Rider so USL PDL, has earned 19 caps with the Puerto Rican National Team and played one year in MLS for the New York Red Bulls.
Tickets for Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup Third Round match are just $5.00 all ages. Wild Wolf Wednesday tickets are also available for $10 and include admission and two of the Kickers official craft beers, Kick It Hunny (ages 21+ only). Order at RichmondKickers.com.
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Original — May 13, 2014
By Nathan Cushing and Richard Hayes
The Richmond Kickers and RVA FC meet for the first time during the second round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup at Sports Backers stadium on Wednesday at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the gate.
Although the US Soccer Federation will stream the game online, RVA’s first soccer “derby” will be a fun one to watch.
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What the heck is the US Open Cup?
Oh, just the third oldest soccer tournament IN THE WORLD!
The first Open Cup was first 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. The 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.
How is Richmond involved?
Richmond gets its first ever derby (pronounced DAR-bee in soccer parlance). A derby is when two teams from the same city or area face one another in a game. That’s what we’ll have on Wednesday night when the Richmond Kickers play RVA FC in the second round of the US Open Cup.
I’ve heard of the Kickers before! Who are they again?
The Kickers play in the USL PRO division, which is the third tier in the US soccer pyramid. The Kickers, founded in 1993, are one of the oldest continually operating professional soccer clubs in the US. Last year, they were the USL PRO regular season champs, taking the title from Orlando City,1 one of the Kickers’ biggest rivals.
For years, they’ve been the only Richmond team in the Open Cup. The Kickers actually won the cup in 1995. In 2007 they beat LA Galaxy (which play in the US soccer’s first tier, MLS) in the third round. In 2011 the Kickers had their own Cinderella run by defeating MLS clubs Columbus Crew and Sporting Kanas City to reach the semi-finals.
Last year, the Kickers lost in the third round to DC United, their MLS affiliate. This year’s Open Cup gets more interesting because Richmond’s newest soccer club, RVA FC, enters the fray.
Who’s RVA FC?
RVA FC plays in US soccer’s fourth tier, the National Premier Soccer League, which RVA FC joined in 2013. The team comprises (for the most part) college players who compete during the college off-season.
Virginia native Grover Gibson founded RVA FC last year. Gibson used to play in the Germany’s premier soccer league, one of the most revered leagues in the world, the Bundesliga. In its first year, RVA FC won the NPSL championship, thereby qualifying for this year’s Open Cup.
Is there a rivalry between the two clubs?
“There’s definitely some tension between the two clubs,” Grover Gibson said. “It’s nothing negative, but it’s something that naturally evolves” when competitive players and teams play in the same city. That in and of itself is rare. “An inter-city rivalry is hard to come by because the US is so big,” he said.
“This is probably one of the best events to date [this year] that’s going to be held in Richmond that’s about Richmond.”
Anything going on before the match?
Yep. The Kickers’ supporters group, the River City Red Army, are leading a March to the Match from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery at 6:15 PM. Head to the brewery to pregame and hang with some friendly soccer folks before taking part in the 0.7-mile walk to the game.
RVA FC supporters are meeting at F.W. Sullivan’s both pre and post-game.
The second round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup takes place at Sports Backers Stadium on Wednesday, May 14th at 7:00 PM.
- Orlando City will jump up from the third tier into MLS in 2015. ↩