and third time in four years -- the two neighboring clubs meet in the U.S. Open Cup. A year ago, it was the Richmond Kickers who claimed victory against their MLS rivals -- a result made even more illustrious a few months on when D.C. United won the fourth MLS Cup of their storied club history.
IN THE U.S. OPEN CUP: The Kickers won the U.S. Open Cup in 1995 as part of the USISL Premier League, the year before the beginning of Major League Soccer. They defeated the El Paso Patriots on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw, the Kickers team featuring future MLS players Richie Williams and Brian Kamler. ... Since, the Kickers have reached the quarterfinals on two occasions, on 2001 and last year, when they knocked off the PDL Cape Cod Crusaders (1-0 aet) and D.C. United (2-1) before losing 1-0 to the Chicago Fire. ... The Kickers have twice knocked off MLS teams, the win against United a year, and 3-0 victory against the Colorado Rapids in the second round in 2000 before falling to the San Jose Earthquakes in the third round.
THIS YEAR: The Kickers advanced to the fourth round of the Open Cup after a wild 8-4 win against PDL side Ocean City Barons, a game delayed by a week because of weather. McColm Cephas scored a natural hat trick within 14 minutes in the first half as the Kickers scored four goals in each half (Luzak 12; Cephas 14, 16, 28; Jeffrey 69; Brown 77; Bobo 82; Delicate 84 - Carmichael 4, 41; Donatelli 54 pen; Todd 84) ... By virtue of their 2004 record, the Kickers entered the competition at the third round along with three other teams; the other four eligible USL First Division sides entered the Open Cup at the second round.
FORM GUIDE: The Kickers are in second place in the USL First Division with 35 points from 21 games, three points behind the Montréal Impact, who have played four games fewer. The Kickers haven't scored in four consecutive games, a 1-0 loss to the Charleston Battery on July 17 followed by three consecutive scoreless draws: July 22 at Rochester, then July 30 and 31 at home against Rochester and Toronto respectively. Matthew Delicate leads the Kickers with eight goals, while McColm Cephas - last year's leading scorer for the Kickers with 12 goals and the giant-killer against D.C. United with two goals in their Open Cup tie - hasn't scored in league play this year, though he hit for a hat trick in their third-round Open Cup match against Ocean City Barons.
IN THE OPEN CUP: The first MLS winners of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, United has been a losing finalist and a twice semifinalist since, but haven't repeated the inaugural success. In 1996, they became the first club to complete the U.S. double, defeating the Rochester Raging Rhinos 3-0 three days after winning the first MLS Cup against the Los Angeles Galaxy. ... The following year, United again reached the Open Cup Final after winning MLS Cup 1997, but lost on penalties to the Dallas Burn after a scoreless draw through 120 minutes. ... United in 2001 and 2003 reached the semifinals, losing to the New England Revolution 0-2 in '01, and to the MetroStars 2-3 in '03. ... United have been dumped out of the competition at the first time of asking on two occasions - the loss in both instances coming to lower-division opposition, in 1999 to the Charleston Battery and then a year ago to the Richmond Kickers.
LAST YEAR: The Richmond Kickers dumped out United in the fourth round of the Open Cup, winning 2-1 at City Stadium in Richmond. McColm Cephas scored goals on either side of halftime before Nana Kuffour pulled a goal back on his United debut. ... Cephas pounced on a poor touch by a United defender before chipping 'keeper Nick Rimando for his first (33), then drove home a Joey Worthen cross first-time to double the lead in the 64th minute. The 19-year-old Kuffour headed home a Freddy Adu corner kick eight minutes from time but it wasn't enough.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.