Armada FC begins its inaugural US Open Cup campaign tonight in Richmond against the Richmond Kickers. The competition will be the team’s only chance at attaining a berth in CONCACAF’s Champions League, which is awarded to the winning club.
The match kicks off at 7pm, and is only available to watch on ArmadaFC.com.
The Armada’s starting lineup has been announced
Will David Sierra bounce back after a rough second half against MUFC?
The second half against Minnesota United saw Sierra let three goals into the net, although one was a penalty. The third was especially bad, as he was caught too far off his line and was beaten as a result. With Richmond being a team built more for defending, he won’t be tested as much as he was against Minnesota, but even a USL team can pounce on mistakes and bad positioning.
Will resting Marcos Flores prove to be a mistake?
Marcos Flores isn’t even on the bench for tonight’s game, with Guillermo Hoyos opting to rest the star midfielder ahead of crucial league matches. Flores initially struggled with the team, turning in a lackluster preseason, but the team’s shift to the 3-4-3 in week three, with Flores in the CAM position has really unlocked his talent, and he has been a key member of the Armada attack since. It now falls to young Nico Zaldana to pull those strings tonight, and only the full time whistle will tell if leaving Marcos totally out of the team was costly or not.
Akeil Barrett finally gets his chance.
Akeil Barrett has been ferocious in all of his appearances off of the bench for the Armada. As a forward, his willingness to track back and defend has resulted in many extra chances on goal for the team. The most obvious example of this is the winning goal against San Antonio where Barrett won the ball in midfield and ended up with the decisive assist. Tonight is finally his time to start a match for the team, and make an impact from the opening whistle. Akeil is still a young player learning the life of a professional, but he has positioned himself to be a long-term weapon for the team, and tonight could be his breakout night.