Riverhounds need more than a win against Northern Virginia
They must score three or more goals.
'Our target is to get the maximum five points,' Riverhounds coach Kai Haaskivi said. 'We need the bonus point. Anything less would be disappointing.'
A victory gets the Riverhounds four points. If they score three or more goals they are awarded an extra point. The Riverhounds need all five points in order to have a shot at qualifying for the Lamar Hunt Open Cup. They get their chance to reach that goal at 7:35 tonight when they play host to the Northern Virginia Royals at Bethel Park Stadium.
Even if they get the five points, they still might need help from other teams. Another important game for the Riverhounds is the one on Sunday when Reading plays Hershey. The Riverhounds need Reading to beat or at least tie Hershey. The Riverhounds are 3-1-1 with 14 points in Open Cup action, while Hershey is 3-0-2 with 15 points.
'We are going to try as hard as we can to get the five points,' Riverhounds defender David Wright said. 'It would be nice to qualify for the Open Cup because then we can play against some MLS teams and see how well we do against them.'
In the Open Cup competition, there are 10 qualifying groups and 16 teams in each group qualify. Out of the 16, at least six have to be D3 level teams, which complicates the process.
The Connecticut Wolves and the Rochester Raging Rhinos - both A-League teams - have clinched spots. Eight other A-League/D3 teams will advance along with six wild cards. After advancing to round two, teams will face single elimination play throughout the remainder of the tournament. The additional rounds will be played in June, July and August. The Open Cup championship will be held in late October.
The winner of the intra-state Keystone Cup also will be decided after the Reading/Hershey game. If Hershey wins, the Wildcats will win the Keystone Cup. If Hershey ties or loses, the Riverhounds will claim the Keystone Cup.
But Haaskivi knows he has no control over what Hershey does. He main focus is on his team.
'We just need to win our game and hopefully get the bonus point,' Haaskivi said. 'Then we will have to sit back and watch, and, hopefully, we will get help from some place else.'