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Game Preview: Kickers Playing in the US Open Cup on Thursday

Win and move on. Lose and dream of the Open Cup next year.




What is the Open Cup? – Technically, The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is a knockout cup competition in men’s American soccer. It is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States. What makes it exciting is that it pits teams from all levels of U.S. soccer against each other. Amateur teams if they make far enough could end up facing top-level (MLS) professional teams. MLS teams have dominated the competition since the league began play in 1996. No lower division team has won the U.S. Open Cup since the Rochester Rhinos in 1999, and none have reached the final since the Charleston Battery in 2008. Our very own Richmond Kickers won the Open Cup in 1995 and in 2011 the Kickers went on the road and beat two MLS Teams the Columbus Crew and Sporting KC. They fell to the Chicago Fire in the semi-final.

1995 Open Cup Winners Richmond Kickers

Opponent:  Cleveland SC (Beat Lionsbridge to advance)
Date/Time: Thursday, April 6th, 7 PM
Last Result: League 1-2 loss to Charlotte

Weather Forecast From

Three Things to Kick About

  1. Underdogs Bite – Underdogs in this tournament have nothing to lose and everything to gain. They nearly always come in with a chip on their shoulder and aren’t afraid to make up for a lack of talent with a few (or more than a few) hard fouls. Open Cup games in these early rounds are rarely pretty but they are often exciting hard-hitting affairs. I expect this to be more of the same.
  2. Emiliano Where for Art Thou – Last year’s MVP and Golden Boot winner Emiliano Terzaghi has been completely MIA the first three games. This is through no real fault of his own. Regardless this needs to change.
  3. Time Off – The Kicker don’t have another game until April 15th after this match. That means the Kickers will be able to throw as many starters as they can and not have to worry about a league game on the horizon. This is great news because it gives the team to gel and get ready for the long season ahead.


As always Open Cup games are a crap shoot to predict. Anything can and will happen. On paper this should be a piece of cake for the Kickers. Cleveland SC is an American semi-professional soccer club based in the Greater Cleveland, Ohio region. Cleveland competes in the National Premier Soccer League as part of the Midwest Region’s Great Lakes Conference. Other than that little information I don’t know much about the team.

Kickers 2, Cleveland SC 0


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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.