RICHMOND, VA – (Tuesday, June 17, 2014) – The Richmond Kickers return to U.S. Open Cup action this Wednesday, June 18 when they host the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer in the Fourth Round. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. 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 24, or host USL PRO rivals Rochester Rhinos on June 25.
The Kickers advanced to the Fourth Round after ousting the NY Greek American Atlas SC (USASA) in a dramatic 2-1 affair at City Stadium in the Third Round on May 28. The amateur side claimed an early lead before a fierce electrical storm forced a three hour delay. After the break, Kickers midfielders George Davis IV and Tishan Hanley tallied unanswered second half goals to boost the home side through to the next round.
Previously, the Kickers entered the tournament with a Second Round 6-1 win over NPSL side RVA FC. Samuel Asante, Shay Spitz and Jason Yeisley opened scoring in the first half, with Hanley adding a pair of goals following the break. RVA FC pulled a goal back just past the hour mark before Davis rounded out the scoreline two minutes from regulation.
The 2014 season marks the 16th time the Richmond Kickers have qualified for the U.S. Open Cup over the past 21 seasons, with an overall record of 25-14 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). With a reputation of defeating MLS teams, the Kickers made history in 2011 when they became the first lower division team to defeat back-to-back MLS teams on the road.
New England enters this year’s tournament in the Fourth Round, alongside 16 other U.S.-based MLS teams. The Revolution earned their first-ever cup tournament title when they were crowned 2007 U.S. Open Cup Champions, following a 3-2 win over FC Dallas in Frisco, Texas, on Oct. 3, 2007. Carrying a 13-11-4 U.S. Open Cup all-time record into Wednesday’s match, the Revolution met the Kickers once before when they claimed a 3-0 win in the Third Round of the 2008 tournament.
The Revs currently reside in second place in the MLS Eastern Conference standings with a 7-5-2 record and 23 points. Wednesday’s match marks the club’s first in 10 days as they most recently dropped a 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on June 8.
Players to Watch
Kickers: Rookie Hugh Roberts (#8) has become a versatile player, splitting time between the back line and the midfield during his debut season. Impressing at the Kickers January 2014 pro combine, the native of Olney, MD signed his first professional contract this year after making 69 appearances at George Mason University. Midfielder Nate Robinson (#10) re-signed with Richmond just 24 hours before the club’s 2-2 draw against Wilmington last week. The 2013 USL PRO Rookie of the Year led the team in assists with nine en route to the 2013 Regular Season Championship before being sidelined through injury during the offseason. Forward Matthew Delicâte (#7) added his eighth and ninth goals of the season with a first-half double against Wilmington last week. Notching 80 goals over eight seasons in Richmond, the club’s all-time leading scorer also holds the franchise record in points with 179.
Revolution: Richmond native Brad Knighton (#18) returned to New England this year after making 29 appearances between the Philadelphia Union and Vancouver Whitecaps over the past three seasons. The former Godwin High School and Richmond Strikers goalkeeper has earned one start so far this season, in the Revs 5-3 win over Philadelphia last month. Midfielder Daigo Kobayashi (#16) enters this game leading the team with three assists on the season. The Japanese International is in his second season in MLS following a prolific career in the J-League. Club legend Shalrie Joseph (#21) returned to New England in 2014 after stints with Chivas USA and Seattle Sounders last year. The 35-year old midfielder has made 283 career appearances in MLS, including a Revolution club record 261 appearances.
About the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer's National Club Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 100 consecutive years dating back to 1914. This year's winner will earn $250,000 and have its name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest nationally contested trophies in American team sports. The runner-up will take home $60,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will earn a $15,000 cash prize. D.C. United is the defending U.S. Open Cup champion, having won its third tournament title (following triumphs in 1996 and 2008) after a tense 1-0 road victory over Real Salt Lake on Oct. 1, 2013.
USA vs Portugal Outdoor Viewing Party June 22
The Richmond Kickers, in conjunction with Sports Backers, Venture Richmond and the American Outlaws Richmond, are hosting an official viewing party for the USA versus Portugal 2014 FIFA World Cup™ game on Sunday, June 22. Featuring the largest outdoor high-definition LED screen in RVA, live music from The Southern Belles, food trucks and draft beer trucks, including the Kickers official craft beer, Kick It Hunny, the official viewing party will take place in downtown Richmond at 1 West Grace, at the intersection of West Grace and Foushee Street, 11:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m. and is free of charge. For more information, visit RichmondKickers.com/ViewingParty.