RICHMOND – A severely rotated side for Charlotte FC was able to work against the Richmond Kickers to advance to the U.S. Open Cup round at 16. It was a convincing 5 – 1 win for the Crown as they recovered from slow start to comfortably win the game.
It was a first half that started the usual Open Cup way – it was sloppy, hard, and slow. The Kickers came out on the front foot, pressed high, and forced Charlotte FC a few nervous moments early.
Kickers seemed inspired and in control for most of the first 15 minutes. Eventually, CLTFC began to settle the match, slowly taking possession. Despite having a lot of balls, they had a hard time breaking down the Kickers.
Better scoring chances came for the home side, but CLTFC goalkeeper George Marks took the visitors on a few occasions. However, in the 34th minute, a mishit from Yordy Reyna got a lucky bounce in the box and Daniel Ríos was able to snatch it to give Charlotte the lead.
Less than 10 minutes into the second half the Kickers tied the score with a deflected goal from midfielder Zacarias Moran. Things were looking up for the Kickers but everything fell for them from there.
CLTFC immediately responded with a goal from an expert one -two between Reyna and Titi Ortiz that Reyna finished – opening the flood gates for the Crown. CLTFC scored two more goals in the next 7 minutes, both from winger McKinze Gaines. Andre Shinyashiki added to the goal tally with a late goal in the 86th minute.
“Now in terms of depth, we’re paid more. We’re also able to change formation in a moment, with more wings. We’re playing 442 because of the lack of wings. Now we have more wings. players per position. Flexibility and depth. ”
Last week, head coach Miguel Ramírez had something to say about the state of his roster after the latest additions. Depth is a question mark that will come in time, especially with the Club having to balance playing on two fields: MLS and US Open Cup. Charlotte played a fully rotated squad against the Kickers who despite a shaky start did a short job on them.
Resting most of your starters is essential to a big fight over the weekend just a few days ago. Depth will continue to play a critical role not only in the Open Cup but also for the rest of MLS’s long season in the future.