D.C. United will play its first U.S. Open Cup game away from home since 2007 when it travels to meet the Richmond Kickers at Richmond City Stadium on May 29 in the third round of this year’s retooled version of the storied knockout tournament.
United hasn’t played an Open Cup game away from Washington since a 1-0 loss to the Harrisburg City Islanders on a high school field in Lancaster County five years ago. Playing all home games, D.C. won the tournament in 2008 and advanced to the final in 2009. Changes this year mean that the venue is picked blindly if both competing teams wish to host. The tournament’s other major change is that instead of an MLS qualifying tournament just to get into the tournament, every U.S. team in MLS is participating in the third round.
The Kickers, who play in USL Pro, the third tier of American pro soccer, last met D.C. United in 2-0 loss at George Mason in 2010. They defeated the Dulles SportsPlex Aegean Hawks, 4-0, on Tuesday, to reach the third round.
Should D.C. United defeat Richmond, they’ll move on to the fourth round and host the winner of Philadelphia Union-Rochester Rhinos – who also play next Tuesday evening – at Maryland SoccerPlex. The match will take place on either Tuesday, June 5, or Wednesday, June 6.
With the potential of two Open Cup matches in consecutive weeks and a reserve match against Toronto FC on Saturday, June 9, United now has the chance to play three times during its break in MLS play following this weekend’s league game against New England.
D.C. and Richmond have met four times prior in Open Cup play. In 2001, United got two goals from Abdul Thompson Conteh in a 2-1 quarterfinal win at RFK Stadium. In 2004, Richmond, playing at home, got a goal on either side of halftime and defeated D.C., 2-1. The following year, two Christian Gomez goals and a tally from Freddy Adu in a 3-1 United victory in the fourth round of play.
D.C. United midfielder Dwayne De Rosario’s professional career took off when he signed with Richmond in 1999 at the age of 21. He had his breakthrough season in 2000, with 16 goals and six assists, leading the Kickers to a 20-7-1 record. The following year, he joined the San Jose Earthquakes.