Richmond, Virginia. – A heavily rotated side for Charlotte FC did the job against the Richmond Kickers to advance to the US Open Cup Round of 16. It was a convincing 5 – 1 win for Crown as they were able to recover from a slow start to comfortably win the game.
It was a first half that started in typical Open Cup fashion – it was sloppy, grainy and slow. The Kickers came out with the front foot, pressing high and forcing Charlotte FC into some nervous moments early on.
The Kickers seemed motivated and controlled the majority of the first 15 minutes. Eventually, CLTFC began to settle into the game, slowly gaining possession of the ball. Although they had more ball, they struggled to break down the Kickers.
The best scoring chances came from the home side, but CLTFC goalkeeper George Marks got the better of the visitors a few times. However, in the 34th minute, a miss from Yordy Reyna took a lucky rebound in the box and Daniel Ríos was able to pounce on it to give Charlotte the lead.
Less than 10 minutes into the second half, the Kickers tied the game with a deflected goal from midfielder Zacarias Moran. Things were looking up for the Kickers, but everything went downhill for them from there.
CLTFC immediately responded with a smart one-two goal between Reyna and Titi Ortiz which Reyna finished – opening the floodgates 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 are more compensated. We are also able to change formation in an instant, having more wingers. We were playing a 442 because of the lack of wingers. Now we can have more number of players per position Flexibility and depth.
Last week, head coach Miguel Ramírez had this to say about the state of his roster after the most recent additions. Depth was a question mark at the start of the season, especially with Club having to balance the game on two fronts: MLS and US Open Cup. Charlotte played an all-out team against the Kickers who, despite a shaky start, made short work of them.
Being able to rest the majority of your starters is crucial with a big weekend game days down the line. Depth will continue to play a vital role not only in the Open Cup, but also for the rest of the long MLS season ahead.
-Courtesy of FC Charlotte