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KICKERS HEAD NORTH TO READING FOR U.S. OPEN CUP WEDNESDAY

By Cory Van Dyke, 05/15/18, 12:15PM EDT

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Second Round Match to be Streamed Live on USSoccer.com

RICHMOND, VA - (Tuesday, May 15, 2018) - The Richmond Kickers will head north to Alvernia University Stadium to face Reading United AC (PDL) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. in the Second Round of the 105th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The match will be streamed live on the U.S. Soccer website.

Richmond’s best finish came in 1995 when the Kickers were crowned Champions of the tournament. The Kickers defeated the El Paso Patriots by way of penalty kicks in the final August 27, 1995. It was one of the greatest runs in the history of the cup as Richmond was an amateur team competing in the USISL Premier League, defeating three professional teams en route to the title. Reading’s best finish came in 2013 and 2017 when they advanced to the Third Round of the tournament. 

The two clubs have met on one occasion on June 27, 2001 in the Second Round of the U.S. Open Cup when Reading were branded as the Rage. Richmond cruised to a 7-2 victory over Reading in that contest. Kevin Alvero and Kevin Jeffrey both scored two goals, along with goals from Kevin Knight, Mike Burke and Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi rounded out the scoring for the Kickers on that night as they advanced to the Third Round against the Connecticut Wolves, and then eventually falling to D.C. United in the Quarterfinals. 

The Kickers are coming off a 1-0 victory at City Stadium against the Tampa Bay Rowdies last Saturday night. Forward Dane Kelly broke the deadlock in the 38th minute when he received a cross from defender Austin Yearwood just inside the six-yard box and found the back of the net for his first goal with the Kickers. Last year, Kelly notched 18 goals with Reno 1868 FC to win the Golden Boot and MVP of the USL. The Kickers’ defense stood strong the rest of the match to secure the victory as goalkeeper Travis Worra tallied his first clean sheet of the season.

Reading won its First Round U.S. Open Cup match to set up the match versus the Kickers in the Second Round. Reading United defeated Christos FC 5-4 in penalties after the teams were still tied 1-1 at the end of extra time. Forward Kieran Roberts had the equalizer in the 59th minute to eventually force extra time and then penalties. Reading also won its PDL opener this past weekend, beating Lehigh Valley United 2-0. Goals by Gilbert Waso and Aaron Molloy in the second half powered Reading to their first three points of the season.

U.S. Soccer announced the potential pairings for the Third Round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Monday. The winner of Wednesday night’s match between the Kickers and Reading will host the winners of the FC Motown and Penn FC match next Wednesday, May 23. 

The Kickers return to USL action following a ten day break May 26 against the Charlotte Independence for Red, White and Brews presented by Impawsible Pups at City Stadium. The dog-friendly wine and beer fest starts at 5:30 p.m. with live music by The Hit List, 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. Then, the two teams will take the field at 7:00 p.m. The match will be streamed online on ESPN+. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Richmond: Forward Dane Kelly (#29) tallied the lone goal in the 1-0 win versus Tampa Bay on Saturday, his 57th USL career goal. In two appearances this year, Kelly has one goal and one assist. Midfielder Raul Gonzalez (#27) created two chances and had a passing accuracy of 88.9% against Tampa Bay. The University of Memphis product has appeared in all eight games for the Kickers this season and collected one goal. Defender Mekeil Williams (#55) anchored the back line for the Kickers with six clearances and five interceptions in Saturday’s win en route to the team’s first clean sheet of the season. Williams has now started five matches in the backline for the Kickers.

Reading: Forward Kieran Roberts kept Reading’s U.S. Open Cup hopes alive when his second-half goal forced extra time and his penalty won the match. Roberts plays his college soccer at Radford University where he was named the 2018 Big South Attacking Player of the Year. Midfielder Aaron Molloy rocketed a 25 yard shot on goal in Reading’s 2-0 win over Lehigh Valley. Molloy was the 2017 PDL Young Player of the Year. Midfielder Sebastian Hauret has been a key distributor for Reading this season tallying an assist in both games.