The suspense is over as the New England Revolution received their draw for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round on Thursday morning. The Revs enter the historic competition against the Richmond Kickers of USL PRO on June 18th.
New England and Richmond have met before in the Open Cup, with the Revs earning a 3-0 victory in the third round of the 2008 tournament. The Kickers beat amateur club New York Greek American Atlas in the third round of this year's tournament to book their place in the fourth round. That match was marred by a three-hour rain and lightning delay, but Richmond was still able to come away with a 2-1 result.
The June 18th fixture date falls smack in the middle of the Revolution's World Cup break, which is a huge bonus for a number of reasons. They will have ten days of total rest between their June 8th match against New York and this Cup clash, and then another ten days until their June 28th match against Philadelphia. Since Jerry Bengtson is their only World Cup representative, there's no reason why the Revs cannot field a totally first-choice squad against Richmond, barring unforeseen injury
In fact, that might be preferable. A 20-day rest period is sure to be welcomed by the players and coaches, but there is always the danger of coming back cold. With a competitive match placed right in the middle of that break, the Revs now have a chance to keep loose and warm.
This also creates a bit of a problem if the Revs win, though. The next round match is played in the final week of June, which is the same week as their 6/28 match against the Union. It stands to reason that the match would be prior to the Union match, in midweek. After the Union match, the Revs begin a July run of six regular-season matches, including a Friday and two Wednesday games. The extra Open Cup game starts that run a little early for the boys in blue, though it might not be too much of a burden in the end.
The match will be played in Richmond, with kickoff set for 7 PM.