RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It had been since 2007 that the Kickers had knocked off a MLS team. But in the U.S. Open Cup, crazy things can happen.
Tuesday night in Columbus, OH, Richmond topped the Crew of Major League Soccer, 2-1 to advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup. The Kickers will play Sporting Kansas City of the MLS, on the road on July 12th.
Nozomi Hiroyama got the Kickers on the board in the 20th minute. But the Crew scored 17 minutes later to tie the game at one. But, the offensive leader of the team, VCU grad Matthew Delicate scored the game winner with five minutes left in regulation, to give the Kickers the surprise victory.
The Kickers and the Crew met for the third time in history, and for the second time in U.S. Open Cup play. The Crew opened their 2002 U.S. Open Cup Championship run with a 3-0 victory over the Kickers at Crew Stadium on July 17, 2002. Brian McBride opened scoring before Dante Washington tallied twice in the second half. The Kickers hosted Columbus in a preseason exhibition on March 15, 1997, when the underdogs handed their MLS opponents a 3-1 decision.
Four players have progressed from the Richmond Kickers to the Columbus Crew in franchise history, including Mike Clark, Todd Yeagley, David Testo and current Kickers midfielder Stanley Nyazamba, while Scott Cannon and Ben Hunter joined the Kickers following a stint with the Crew.
The 2011 season marks the 13th time the Richmond Kickers have qualified for the U.S. Open Cup over the past 19 seasons and hold an overall record of 21-11 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 four times (1995, 2001, 2004, 2007), ousting three Major League Soccer teams along the way including Colorado Rapids in 2000, DC United in 2004 and LA Galaxy in 2007. With 72 total goals scored during the Open Cup, the Kickers set several franchise records, as well as a Professional Era U.S. Open Cup record, for most goals (12) during the 8-4 rout over the Ocean City Barons in 2005.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup has crowned a champion for 97 consecutive years beginning in 1914. Like recent editions, the U.S. Open Cup is a single-elimination tournament, with games tied after regulation extended by two 15-minute overtime halves. If a winner is not determined in overtime, advancement will be determined by kicks from the penalty spot. The 2011 champion will earn a $100,000 cash prize, while the runner-up will collect $50,000. The top Division III and Amateur Division clubs will each receive a $10,000 prize.