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Philadelphia Union score five goals en route to convincing win over the Richmond Kickers

Union see off USL opposition in their first US Open Cup match of the season

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Philadelphia Union vs Richmond Kickers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

A soccer match was played in Chester tonight between the Philadelphia Union and the Richmond Kickers. And while those in attendance saw the match, those streaming at home were left with twitter updates to keep them informed about the match during the first half, as there were “technical difficulties” and the stream wasn’t able to start until the second half.

However, despite the technical difficulties in streaming the match, the Union were firing on all cylinders tonight, scoring four first-half goals in a 5-0 victory at home. The Union made quick work of the Kickers’ defense and cruised to an easy victory at the Talen Energy Stadium.

The Union struck first blood, scoring off of a corner kick four minutes into the match. The Union had gone with a fairly strong lineup, including regular first team players Haris Medunjanin, Jack Elliot, Mark McKenzie, Marcus Epps, David Accam, and Keegan Rosenberry. It was a fairly strong lineup to face a Richmond Kickers team that has struggled in USL this season. Some of the players on the pitch for the Union, such as Derrick Jones and Cory Burke, would have faced the Kickers for the Bethlehem Steel.

The Kickers committed a foul in the box and David Accam made no mistake, putting the ball into the back of the net in the 27th minute. The Union had full control of the match after only a half-hour, but the MLS team would not be done scoring in the first half.

Young stars Anthony Fontana and Marcus Epps both scored late in the first half to put the match to bed. Fontana has had some opportunities in the first team, so he will be hoping that a good showing against the Kickers might lead to more minutes in MLS. Marcus Epps continued his good game and scored a really nice goal in first half stoppage time, and if the match hadn’t already pretty much decided, it certainly out of reach for the Kickers after that goal.

Corey Burke had gone down injured during the first half, but he had played through the pain and continued. Burke was the player fouled in the box that had drawn the first half penalty that had been converted by Accam. While it appeared that Burke was okay to continue, he was taken off at half-time for Jay Simpson, in what was possibly an abundance of caution with the match already pretty much decided.

Simpson made history, of sorts, by scoring a goal in the 49th minute. This was Simpson’s first goal this season after a poor season last year. The former Leyton Orient and Hull City striker was a high-profile acquisition in 2017, but his first season in the United States left much to be desired.

Michee Ngalina, who was signed on a temporary basis by the Union from the Bethlehem Steel, made his MLS debut in the 62nd minute. The 18 year-old midfielder joined the other teenage Union players Jack Elliot, Mark McKenzie, and Anthony Fontana.

Jones had a slight problem in the 69th minute after getting a cut on his cheek. Play was stopped, as he was bleeding, but he came off and received treatment and was good to continue.

Aaron Trusty came on for Anthony Fontana in the 83rd minute as Union coach Jim Curtin put on another defender to see the match out and keep the clean sheet. John McCarthy had some work to do late in the match, as the Kickers got some looks at goal, but he was equal to the challenge and the Union were able to preserve the clean sheet.

The Union saw off the challenge of a USL team and they now progress to the next round of the US Open Cup, avoiding the trap of a midweek match. Here’s hoping the five goal performance will carry some momentum to Friday’s match against Toronto FC.