Tuesday, July 10, 2007 University of Richmond Stadium
Richmond Kickers 1 (Bulow 29’)
LA Galaxy 0
RICHMOND, VA – Imminent storms in the area cleared just in time for a crowd of 4,578 to witness the USL2 Kickers upset the LA Galaxy of Major League Soccer in the Third Round of the US Open Cup on a hazy, humid evening in Richmond. The lone goal of the night by Kickers forward David Bulow was enough to send Richmond to the Quarterfinal round of this year’s tournament. The Kickers will travel for the next round on August 7th, taking on the winner of the Chicago Fire (MLS) versus Carolina RailHawks (USL1) Third Round match up slated for Sunday, July 15th.
With most of the possession taking place in the midfield during the first part of the half, the Kickers finally opened fire in the 17th minute when midfielder Mike Burke, deep on the right side, chipped the ball into the box, finding midfielder Sascha Görres who laid off a header to Bulow at the top of the six-yard box. Bulow chested the ball, turned and attempted a right-footed half volley but the bouncing ball was pushed over the endline by Galaxy goalkeeper Steve Cronin.
Eight minutes later, Burke directed a header from the right side on to forward Robert Ssejjemba at the top of the box but his shot was smothered by Cronin. Another close call within the next two minutes occurred when Bulow drew a foul at the edge of the box. Burke lined up the resulting free kick at close range but it was deflected wide by the defensive wall.
The Kickers were not to be denied again when Bulow netted the lone goal of the night in the 29th minute. Görres delivered a corner kick from the right side, swinging the ball into the mix and finding defender Kelvin Jones unmarked at the back post. Jones headed the ball high to Bulow on the opposite side of the goal mouth, slipping the ball past the ‘keeper’s oustretched hands into the upper 90.
The Galaxy did not answer until the 38th minute when midfielder Kelly Gray took a free kick, 25 yards out. He fired a low shot on goal but Pascale leapt forward to stifle the ball and then smothered the rebound to preserve the lead.
Soon after the second-half restart, forward Alan Gordon received the ball on the left side and attempted to slide a low ball across the six-yard box but it was redirected by Pascale, inches from the post. Four minutes later, the Galaxy applied pressure in Kickers territory when midfielder Peter Vagenas intercepted the ball and slid it to Donovan, 20 yards out. Donovan quickly took control of the ball and unleashed a rocket on goal but Pascale was ready and collected the ball.
Minutes later, Kickers midfielder Trey Alexander collected the ball in the backfield and made a run down the right side, sending a long ball to defender Trevor McEachron. Streaking down the left flank, McEachron was unable to get past Galaxy defenders who deflected the ball wide. The subsequent corner kick resulted in a series of deflections at the top of the box, eventually finding Görres at 18 yards. His shot was repelled high over the crossbar for another Kickers corner. This time, the in-swinger found Kickers forward Nowaf Jaman face-to-face with Cronin but the ball was pushed over the woodwork.
The Galaxy picked up the pace in the 64th minute when forward Gavin Glinton eluded two Kickers defenders on the left side, just inside the box but his left-footed shot was driven wide before it could reach Pascale’s diving hands.
Richmond retaliated seconds later when forward Robert Ssejjemba received the ball, splitting defenders and flying up the left side. He found himself 1v1 with Cronin, who smothered his first attempt, but the ball came loose, allowing Ssejjemba to gather it deep on the flank as the ‘keeper scrambled back in goal. This time, his shot rattled the woodwork as it ricocheted off the near post, only to be recovered by Cronin.
The Galaxy pushed forward in the 69th minute when defender Ante Jazic served the ball to the Gordon at the far post but his header narrowly missed the upright. Three minutes later midfielder Mike Randolph swung the ball into the box from the right side, again looking for Gordon. Gordon blasted a header from point-blank range but it was cleared off the line by Görres.
The 74th minute saw Watson dashing down the field, beating two defenders and fending off a third before hammering a shot on goal; however, the close call passed narrowly over the woodwork.
Eight minutes later, a free kick was awarded to the Galaxy on Kickers terrain, 22 yards out. A quick free kick execution was played to Donovan who promptly settled the ball and fired a missile but Pascale collected the ball, preventing the equalizer. Gordon again looked dangerous at the top of the box in the 85th minute. Receiving the ball with his back to the goal, he attempted a bicycle kick that sailed just wide of the target.
Striking back in the 86th minute, Görres played a long ball from midfield to an on-rushing Jaman on the left side. As he raced down the touchline, eluding defenders, Jaman played the ball back to a well-placed Ssejjemba, inside the box, but his attempt soared wide left.
As the final whistle approached, Gordon created one last-minute opportunity when he found the ball in the air off of a cross from the left side but his direct header, destined to be the equalizer, sailed inches over the crossbar.
The Richmond Kickers return to regular season action on Friday, July 13th when they host the Charlotte Eagles at 7:00 p.m. at the University of Richmond Stadium. The two teams that met in last year’s USL2 Championship match are battling for top position in the league with the Kickers leading just one point over the Eagles, with two games in hand. Friday’s match is the final home game for the Kickers in July before a five-game road stand which ends in August. Tickets are $12/adult and $5/youth ages 3-17. Save $2.00 by purchasing tickets in advance via RichmondKickers.com.
Box Score First Half Second Half Final
Richmond 1 0 1
LA Galaxy 0 0 0
29th minute: Richmond: David Bulow (Kelvin Jones)
Kickers: GK Ronnie Pascale, Trevor McEachron, Stephen Wolfe, Kelvin Jones, Evan Harding, Mike Burke (Freddy Smith – 61’), Sascha Gorres, Matt Watson, Trey Alexander (Ihor Dotsenko – 88’), David Bulow (Nowaf Jaman – 45’), Robert Ssejjemba (Charlie Howe – 88’)
Galaxy: GK Steve Cronin, Quavas Kirk (Peter Vagenas – 45’), Abel Xavier, Ty Harden, Ante Jazic, Kyle Martino (Alan Gordon – 45’), Kelly Gray, Josh Tudela, Mike Randolph (Troy Roberts – 77’), Gavin Glinton, Edson Buddle (Landon Donovan – 45’)
Shots Saves Fouls Corners
Galaxy: 14 Galaxy: 3 Galaxy: 11 Galaxy: 5
Kickers: 13 Kickers: 4 Kickers 11 Kickers: 11
27th minute: Ty Harden (LA)
49th minute: Alan Gordon (LA)
87th minute: Trey Alexander (Richmond)
Referee: Andrew Chapin
Assistant Referees: James Conlee, George Vergara
Fourth Official: Mark Turner
First Market Bank Man of the Match: Richmond Kickers
Weather: Hot, humid, 98º