CHESTER, Pa. — Behind a youthful roster that featured Anthony Fontana, Marcis Epps, Matt Real and Derrick Jones, the Union easily topped USL’s Richmond Kickers on Tuesday, 5-0, at Talen Energy Stadium in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup.
The win advances the Union to the Round of 16, which takes place on June 20, or earlier depending on a flex schedule. They will find out their competition and whether they will host the next game following a regional draw on Thursday.
• The Kickers entered Tuesday’s sparsely populated match sitting 14th in the USL’s Eastern Conference at 3-6-1. They defeated Reading United in PKs, then took down Penn FC, 3-2, in late May to advance to Talen Energy Stadium. That’s where their road ended.
• It took less than five minutes for the Union to claim the lead, when center back Jack Elliott easily fired home a redirection of a cross from Haris Medunjanin. Although it came easy for the big man, it wasn’t a typical sight, as Elliott scored only once last season.
• David Accam, who has had a nightmarish season in MLS, set his club up for success in the 27th minute, feeding a lead pass to Cory Burke. In a race for the ball, Burke was clipped by goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg for the penalty kick.
• Making his way to the spot, Accam lined up and powered it in for his first goal of 2018 and first with the Union. He celebrated in relief as the hosts took the 2-0 advantage.
• Fontana made it 3-0, when he snagged a Kickers’ turnover and moved into the box. Looking to shoot the entire time, he ripped a shot through Spangenberg. That’s two 2018 starts and two goals for the local product. He also graduates high school on Friday.
• The youth brigade continued for the Union when Epps followed Fontana with a pretty goal of his own. Moving down the right side of the box, he dropped his defender before cutting left and giving his club the 4-0 lead at half.
• The Union’s in-house web stream for the game failed to launch, which is probably a fortunate thing for the Kickers, who were dismantled. Four goals is the most the Union have ever scored in a half in the Open Cup.
• Moving into the second half, Jones made a nice goal-line feed to Jay Simpson, who entered at the half for Burke, for the Union’s fifth. It was a doghouse goal for the Union, as both players have been lost in the Union’s sea of depth in 2018.
• In the 62nd minute, 18-year-old Michee Ngalina made his Union debut, subbing in for Epps. The Bethlehem Steel winger was acquired in April. His highlight? He missed a wide-open header, chipping it wide.
• John McCarthy grabbed the clean sheet for the Union. He’s been the go-to Union goalkeeper in the Open Cup the last couple years and has played well. He made one save.