Union dominate Richmond 5-0 in their US Open Cup opener

The Philadelphia Union dominated in the first match of their 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup campaign as they defeated the Richmond Kickers of the United Soccer League 5-0.

Union starting XI: McCarthy; Real, McKenzie, Elliott, Rosenberry; Jones, Medujanin; Accam, Fontana (Trusty 83′), Epps (Ngalina 61′); Burke (Simpson HT)

Richmond starting XI: Spangenberg; A. Lee (Sekyere 62′), Thomsen, Williams (Shanosky 89′), Yearwood, Umar, Eaton, Hlavaty (Osei-Wusu 74′), Bolduc, Gonzazlez, Fernando

One thing Richmond has not been kicking this year is ass. They are 3-6-1 and in 14th place in the 16team Eastern Conference. And nothing but losses on the road.

And it started out bad for Richmond as the Union scored earlyin the 4th minute. Jack Elliott was perched in front of the goal on a Haris Medujanin corner kick and knocked it in.

Despite the early goal, the match was back-and-forth for the first 15 minutes. But then the Boys in Blue took over. They completely dominated for the rest of the half.

They increased their lead in 27th minute when Cory Burke was knocked down in the penalty area by Richmond GK Trevor Spangenberg. David Accam took the shot and placed the ball nicely into the upper corner of the goal for the 2-0 lead. It was Accam’s first goal wearing the Blue and Gold.

Anthony Fontana took advantage of the minutes he was given by scoring the Union’s third goal in the 43rd minute. He drove into the box surrounded by Kicker players, but got a shot off, which deflected off Spangenberg’s fingers into the net.

The Union kept pouring it on with a Marcus Epps goal in first-half stoppage time. As Epps ran into the box, Austin Yearwood, the Kicker defending against him, fell down, allowing Epps to get a nice shot, making it 4-0 going into the half.

Jay Simpson replaced Cory Burke at halftime and wasted no time in joining the party. Derrick Jones was in the box at the right side, and passed the ball to Simpson who made a nice finish to make it 5-0.

The Union continued to completely control the match until the 83rd minute when Auston Trusty replaced Fontana, and the Union parked the bus. Richmond managed to get a couple chances while the Union held back, but they couldn’t break through. They must have been relieved when the final whistle blew.

The Union did what they needed to do, dominate a poor, lower division team. Their next U.S. Open Cup match will be against DC United, who drew against North Carolina FC, but advanced on penalty kicks.

Phinal thoughts:

  • Bethlehem Steel FC midfielder Michee Ngalina got a chance to play for the big club tonight, and he was exciting to watch. He showed deft footwork and great speed. He could very well see himself playing in MLS someday.
  • Nice to see Accam finally get a goal even if it wasn’t during the run of play. Maybe he can score some more now that he has that monkey off his back.
  • The River End was more empty than full, but they still managed to bring the noise, including a nice and loud rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody during the second half.
  • Epps, Jones, and Fontana all seemed to work well together. They deserve to get some more minutes, either in MLS or the U.S. Open Cup.

The Union will back in action on Friday night in an MLS match against Toronto FC. Another blowout would be nice but that should much more competitive than this one was (and hopefully not a blowout the other way).

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