The Richmond Derby is the highlight of this week’s U.S. Open Cup offerings. The Richmond Kickers, the 2013 USL PRO Regular Season Champions, face off against the 2013 NPSL National Champion RVA FC. It is literally a matchup of champions, a battle for the bragging rights in the lovely city of Richmond, Virginia.
The Kickers are Open Cup veterans; this being the 16th time the Kickers have qualified for the Cup over the past 21 seasons. They have amassed a 24-14 record during that period, which included winning the U.S. Open Cup title in 1995. They have made it to the quarterfinal round five teams, ousting five MLS teams along the way.
The Kickers will look to George Davis IV, Matthew Delicate, and Kyle Porter for scoring punch, hoping that service from Samuel Asante, Christiano Francois, and Collin Martin will turn into surefire goals. Ryan Taylor and Joe Willis will lead the Richmond defense from between the pipes.
One thing is for certain, Leigh Cowlishaw’s side will be ready to face off against the defending NPSL champions.
Grover Gibson’s RVA FC is ready for the challenge, putting up some of the country’s best collegiate talent and rising stars. Gibson, a former pro himself, has a squad known for its high energy, attacking style. Remember that this is a team that claimed the NPSL’s highest honor in its FIRST season.
“We are expecting a true European Derby style matchup with the local pro team having to visit its city rival,” Gibson remarked. “The fans should look forward to a rare opportunity to watch two clubs from the same city compete for a place in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup.”
Gibson’s attention to detail and development has already paid dividends with several former RVA FC players signing professional contracts throughout the country, in both the NASL and USL PRO.
Chattanooga FC, New York Red Bulls U-23s, FC LVU Sonic, Jacksonville United, Greater Binghamton FC Thunder, Brooklyn Italians, San Diego Flash, and Tulsa Athletics all face matches here in the Second Round.
What does this mean for NPSL fans and supporters? A lot of exciting soccer on one day!
Take the match between Chattanooga FC and the USL PRO’s Wilmington Hammerheads. CFC is hosting the match, which means the team’s legendary supporters’ group, the Chattahooligans, will be in full swing.
The NPSL side is full of talent with goalkeeper Greg Hartley, forward Luke Winter, midfielder Thibault Charmey, and defender Chris Lavie leading the way.
This is a major milestone for the Tennessee club, something that the players, coaches, and supporters are well aware of.
“The USOC is a great opportunity to show the quality of our team – and the NPSL as a whole – against tough pro competition,” CFC GM Sean McDaniel added. “We also expect the city and our fans to show up en masse to rally around the team and cheer us onto our first USOC victory.”
This is a great matchup on a great night of American soccer. Anyone in attendance at this one can expect a very special experience.
Best of luck to all NPSL teams on Wednesday! Do our fans, supporters, players, sponsors, and teams proud…….