The Richmond Kickers will travel to Washington, D.C. for a clash with its DMV rival D.C. United on Wednesday evening. It's the first time the Kickers have faced DCU since 2012 and sixth time the pair have met overall. The meeting between the pair of former U.S. Open Cup champions is also the first meeting between an MLS and non-MLS former champion since 2017.
After claiming the 2022 USL League One Players' Shield, the Kickers returned most of their playmakers from a season ago and started the season with a 2-1-2 record across all competitions. Richmond narrowly took down NPSL side Cleveland SC in the Second Round of the Open Cup to secure its 36th all-time tournament victory and set up a date with D.C.
D.C. United are fresh off a pair of much-needed MLS victories after a stretch of six winless matches in league play under new Head Coach Wayne Rooney. The three-time U.S. Open Cup champions are chasing their 38th all-time victory in the tournament and fifth over their DMV rival and former affiliate club.
DC - Christian Benteke: In his first full season in D.C., the former Belgium international and English Premier League forward leads his side in goals with four.
RIC - Nil Vinyals: League One's Player of the Month in March, Vinyals tops his side in assists (1), shots per 90 minutes (2.3), chances created (10), and successful dribbles per 90 minutes (2.8).
Venue: DICK'S Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.
Kickoff: 9 p.m. ET
Weather: Sunny, 55°
Series (First Meeting): N/A (2023)
Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC will look to remain undefeated against MLS and USL Championship opposition as the two-year-old side travels south to take on the MLS original Colorado Rapids in the Platte River Derby on Wednesday evening.
Since their first U.S. Open Cup action a season ago, the Hailstorm have downed MLS side Real Salt Lake and the USL Championship's Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC twice. Northern Colorado are undefeated across all competitions so far this season.
The Rapids are set to kick off their 25th U.S. Open Cup participation and aim to progress beyond the Round of 32 for the first time since 2017 should they get past the Hailstorm. The Rapids have historically struggled against lower-division opponents in Open Cup play, though, going just 9-11 against such clubs.
COL - Michael Barrios: After his production slowed at the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023, Barrios has been on a tear lately. The 32-year-old Colombian winger has scored twice and assisted twice across his six previous matches, helping the Rapids to a five-match unbeaten streak.
NCO - Arthur Rogers: League One's 2022 Defender of the Year and ultra-productive wingback has continued his hot start to his tenure in Northern Colorado. The Londoner leads his position group in passing score, according to American Soccer Analysis, and leads the Hailstorm in chances created (8), accurate long balls per 90 minutes (5) and possessions won in the final third per 90 minutes (1.7).