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KICKERS PREPARE FOR U.S. OPEN CUP ACTION IN PHILADELPHIA TUESDAY

By Cory Van Dyke, 06/04/18, 12:00PM EDT

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Watch Live from Talen Energy Stadium at 7PM on USSoccer.com


Photo © Jessica Stone Hendricks Photography

RICHMOND, VA - (Monday, June 4, 2018) - The Richmond Kickers head north to face the Philadelphia Union of the MLS in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, June 5. Kickoff is set to take place at 7:00 p.m. from Talen Energy Stadium. The game will be streamed on ussoccer.com.

The U.S. Open Cup, now in its 105th edition, features 32 teams remaining now in the fourth round. The Kickers are one of 12 non-MLS teams remaining in the tournament.

This is the first meeting all-time between Richmond and Philadelphia. The Kickers last played an MLS opponent in 2015 against Columbus Crew SC. That meeting also occurred in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup. Columbus walked away with the 3-1 victory at City Stadium. Fred Owusu Sekyere scored the lone goal for the Kickers.

Richmond is coming off a 2-1 loss at home to Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC. The Kickers opened the scoring in the 54th minute on a Luiz Fernando goal. However, they surrendered two late goals and Pittsburgh stole three points on the road. Richmond advanced to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup after defeating Penn FC, 3-2 in the third round on May 23. Luiz Fernando tallied two first half goals for the Kickers before Penn FC stormed back with two goals of their own. The Kickers put the finishing touches on the win when Austin Yearwood connected with Heviel Cordovés for the game-winner in the 83rd minute.

Philadelphia last played at Atlanta on Saturday, losing 3-1 to Atlanta United FC from Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Union played the last 71 minutes of the match after Alejandro Bedoya and Haris Medunjanin were sent off following an altercation with the referee. Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez recorded an MLS-tying fifth hat trick in the game. Fafa Picault scored the only goal for Philadelphia in the loss. The Union currently sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings of the MLS with record of 5-6-3. This will be there first match of the 2018 U.S. Open Cup.

Following Tuesday’s match, the Kickers will conclude its homestand by welcoming longtime rivals, the Charleston Battery to Richmond. Saturday, June 9 marks Kickers Fiesta at City Stadium. The party starts at 5:30 pm with live Salsa music, all-you-can-eat Chicken Fiesta Taco Bar and Modelo on tap for just $22 ($16 for Season Ticket Holders). Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.

Players to Watch

Richmond: Forward Luiz Fernando (#71) has been the spark plug for the Kickers recently. Fernando powered Richmond to the win over Penn FC in the third round of U.S. Open Cup with two goals. The Brazilian international came of the bench in Saturday’s loss to Pittsburgh and provided a boost of energy, finishing a tap-in goal in the 54th minute. Defender Alex Lee (#18) led the Kickers with seven clearances in their loss to the Riverhounds. Lee has been a rock as the Kickers fullback, even getting heavily involved in their offensive attack on the right flank. Goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg (#1) has been Richmond’s netminder through the Kickers run in the U.S. Open Cup so far. Spangenberg saved Richmond in penalties against Reading United in the second round. The Arizona native collected six saves in Saturday’s loss to Pittsburgh, preventing further damage from a hungry Pittsburgh attack.

 

Philadelphia: Midfielder Bořek Dočkal (#10) is the key playmaker for Philadelphia. He leads the Union with three goals and six assists while appearing in 13 games so far. As a member of Czech Republic’s national team, Dočkal has racked up six goals in 27 appearances. Forward CJ Sapong (#17) is Philadelphia’s main threat from an attacking positon. He leads the Union with 28 shots this year. Sapong has roots in Manassas, Virginia and played his college ball at James Madison University. Goalkeeper Andre Blake (#18) has started all 14 games for the Union in 2018. Blake has accounted for 55 saves and four clean sheets in the MLS season.