RICHMOND, VA – (Thursday, May 17, 2012) – The Richmond Kickers will face the Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC of the U.S. Adult Soccer Association in the Second Round of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, May 22. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Maryland. Should the Kickers advance past the Hawks, they will host D.C. United of Major League Soccer on Tuesday, May 29 at 7 p.m.
“The match-up against the Aegean Hawks is the most important game of the season,” commented Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Head Coach and Director of Soccer. “We have a great opportunity to bring Major League Soccer to Richmond and test ourselves against the best.”
The Richmond Kickers enter the 99th edition of the tournament in the Second Round after making history with their remarkable run to the semifinals last season. Becoming the first lower division team to defeat back-to-back MLS teams on the road, the Kickers ejected the Columbus Crew in the third round before handing Sporting Kansas City their first-ever loss at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in the quarterfinals. Advancing to the semifinals for the second time in franchise history, the Kickers narrowly missed the Championship berth, conceding a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire last August.
Meanwhile, the Aegean Hawks upset the Premier Development League’s Carolina Dynamo 3-1 in the First Round on May 15. Two goals by former Georgetown Hoya forward Scott Larrabee led the Hawks to the club’s first-ever appearance in the Open Cup’s Second Round. After conceding a goal late in the second half, the Hawks added their insurance goal one minute later on a Matt Ney tally.
About the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
This year’s U.S. Open Cup includes a 64-team field, which represents the largest in the modern era (1995 to present), eclipsing the previous record of 42 teams set in 2005 and 2006. It also is the largest expansion of teams (24) from a previous year in the competition’s recent history with all Division I, II and III professional clubs participating in the tournament proper for the first time ever.
New in 2012, the U.S. Open Cup includes a random selection process for determining home teams from the first round through the quarterfinals among clubs that have applied to host. This change gives each participating team with a venue meeting tournament standards an equal chance at hosting its possible opponent for these rounds.
The U.S. Open Cup is a single-elimination tournament, crowning a champion for 98 consecutive years beginning in 1914. Every winning team’s name is engraved on the base of the Dewar Challenge Trophy, which dates to the first year of the tournament and currently resides at U.S. Soccer House in Chicago. The 2012 champion will earn a $100,000 cash prize, while the runner-up will collect $50,000. The top NASL, USL PRO and amateur clubs will each receive a $10,000 prize.
About the Richmond Kickers
The 2012 season marks the 14th time the Richmond Kickers have qualified for the U.S. Open Cup over the past 20 seasons, with an overall record of 23-12 during tournament play. The Kickers claimed the U.S. Open Cup title the first year of the Professional Era in 1995 and have since made it to the quarterfinal round five times (1995, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2011) and the semifinal round twice (1995, 2011). Ousting five Major League Soccer teams along the way, including Colorado Rapids in 2000, D.C. United in 2004, LA Galaxy in 2007 and Columbus Crew and Sporting Kansas City in 2011, the Kickers became the first lower division team to defeat back-to-back MLS teams on the road. With 77 total goals scored during the Open Cup, the Kickers have set several franchise records, as well as a Professional Era U.S. Open Cup record for most goals (12) during the 8-4 rout over the Ocean City Barons in 2005. Most recently, Kickers midfielder David Bulow notched his 14th goal in U.S. Open Cup history against Sporting Kansas City in 2011, becoming the tournament’s all-time leading scorer.
2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule
April 29: Qualifying deadline
May 15: First Round
May 22: Second Round
May 29: Third Round
June 5: Fourth Round
June 26: Quarterfinals
July 10: Semifinals
August 7 or 8: Final