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STARTING XI: MAY 15

By Cory Van Dyke, 05/15/18, 7:45AM EDT

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News and Notes from the Kickers and Around the Soccer World

1. U.S. Open Cup

The Richmond Kickers begin action in the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Reading United AC from Alvernia University Stadium. If the Kickers win, they would host either Penn FC or FC Motown Celtics on Wednesday, May 23 from City Stadium.

2. U.S. Open Cup History

In the history of the U.S. Open Cup, the Kickers have found success. In 1995, Richmond won the entire tournament as an amateur team, defeating the El Paso Patriots in the final. In 2001, the Kickers advanced all the way to the semi-finals, defeating two MLS teams along the way.

3. Red, White and Brews

Celebrate Memorial Day weekend from City Stadium as the Kickers take on the Charlotte Independence. The dog-friendly wine and beer fest starts at 5:30 p.m. with live music by The Con, pet-centric vendors, over a dozen craft beers on tap, a selection of wines, and legendary hot dogs fresh off the grill from Joey’s Hot Dogs for just $18. Get tickets here!

4. Four Straight at City Stadium

Saturday’s 1-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rowdies was the start of four-straight USL games played from City Stadium for the Kickers. The homestand represents a major opportunity for Richmond to earn some points and shoot up the table.

5. Dane Kelly

Speaking of that 1-0 win versus Tampa Bay, Dane Kelly scored his first goal with the Kickers in just his second appearance. Kelly now has 57 goals in his USL career, including a league-leading 18 goals last year with Reno.

6. Packed Standings

The Eastern Conference of the USL has a tightly packed field towards the middle of the table. All five teams ranked 7-11 in the standings are within two points of each other. The Kickers (3-4-1) currently sit 10th in the standings with 10 points.

7. Richmond's Rival in Great Form

The Kickers’ biggest rival, the Charleston Battery, have been in the best form of the Eastern Conference recently, winning the past four matches. Richmond and Charleston have been playing against each other since 1993, and the Kickers will face the Battery in their last game of the four-game homestand on June 9.

8. Drogba still has it

Former Chelsea legend and current Phoenix Rising star Didier Drogba wowed fans again on Saturday night. The Ivory Coast native blasted a 40-yard free kick for a goal in the 5-1 win over Tulsa.

9. MLS Rivalry

The Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders, the biggest rivals in the MLS, came to blows on Sunday night. The Timbers won 1-0 behind Sebastián Blanco’s 86th minute goal in the 100th meeting of the 40-year rivalry.

10. Across the pond

The English Premier League came to a close on Sunday with Manchester City officially being crowned league champs. West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and Swansea City all suffered relegation. Cardiff City and Wolverhampton have earned promotions, while Derby County, Fulham, Aston Villa, and Middlesbrough are fighting for the last spot.

11. Hamburg fans fury

Hamburg was relegated this past Saturday for the first time in club history after spending every season in the Bundesliga since its 1963 formation. The end of the match was delayed after Hamburg fans sent flares onto the field and started fires in the stands.