The Richmond Kickers began their US Open Cup run today, beating RVA FC 6-1 at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond, Virginia. In the opening 20 minutes, RVA FC bunkered in with 10 men in front of the ball; their defense forced the Kickers to lump long balls over the top, without much luck. The first Kickers goal started with an Alex Lee cross to Samuel Asante, who had posted up his man despite being the shortest man on the field. His header opened the floodgates, with Shay Spitz following up his own blocked shot to get the second goal. The third goal, in first half stoppage time, was again off of a Shay Spitz blocked shot, with Jason Yeisley, who is back after 8 months with concussion symptoms, cleaning up.
If the first half was a team effort, the star of the second half was former RVA FC player Tishan Hanley. Hanley used his combination of speed and strength to tally a brace in less than five minutes. His first goal, and the team's fourth in the game, was assisted by Luke Vercollone; Hanley took the shot from a ridiculous angle, pinging it in off of the far post. His second goal was assisted by Alex Lee, and Hanley just had to push it past a sliding keeper and into the back of the net, with Christiano Francois pulling defenders out of position. The last goal again featured Alex Lee on the assist, squaring it to George Davis IV who put it easily past the RVA FC keeper.
Two D.C. United players particpated in this game, meaning that they are now cup-tied to the Kickers for the rest of the 2014 US Open Cup. Joe Willis started in goal, and was largely untroubled, while Christiano Francois came in at halftime and used his speed to stretch the RVA FC defense. The Kickers are back in action on Friday in USL PRO play, and then play again on Sunday. Their next Open Cup match is against the New York Greek Americans on May 28 at City Stadium.