The second round of the 100th edition of the US Open Cup is upon us, and this is the round in which most of the NASL and USL Pro teams enter the competition. The Richmond Kickers, featuring D.C. United loanees Andrew Dykstra and Michael Seaton, will take on New Jersey based Icon FC, who beat the Brooklyn Italians of the NPSL in the first round to earn a trip to Central Virginia. This is the first time that Icon FC have entered the US Open Cup, while the Kickers won the Cup in 1995 and made the semifinals in 2011.
Icon FC don't seem to have a website, but they star former D.C. United player Danny Szetela and Dilly Duka's brother, Argjent Duka; they are coached by Greg Bajek. In addition to the loanees, the Richmond Kickers have the top goalscorer in the professional era of the Open Cup (1995-present), David Bulow, but he has not made the bench so far this season despite being healthy.
The winner of this game faces D.C. United in the third round a week from today. If the Richmond Kickers win, United will travel down to Richmond; if Icon FC wins, the clash will occur at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds. As a side note, if you have not yet read Jeff Crandall's piece on the coin flips that determined the matchups and locations for the third round of the US Open Cup, stop what you are doing and do so now.
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: City Stadium, Richmond, Va.
Streaming: As always, Richmond Kickers home games are available on uslnation.com; this one is no different.
Predicted lineup: With a game this past Friday and a game this coming Friday, I expect there to be some variability in the Kickers lineup. So I will predict that Andrew Dykstra will start in goal, with Juan Arbelaez, Henry Kalungi, Shane Johnson, and Alex Lee in defense. Philippe Davies and Sascha Goerres will start in defensive midfield, with Brian Ownby, David Bulow, and Joseph Haboush in front of them. Michael Seaton will start up top, with Kickers all-time leading scorer Matthew Delicate (who is coming back from an 18-month long lingering groin injury) coming in sometime early in the second half. Regulars William Yomby, Mike Callahan, Luke Vercollone, Nate Robinson, and Joseph Ngwenya all get some rest.
Result: Even the Kickers backups should be able to take care of an amateur team from the USASA, so I am going to go with a 3-0 win for the Kickers to set up a trip for D.C. United to Richmond next week.
Follow me here and on twitter for all of the updates for this game. If you watch, let's hear your pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion!